It is smart for any car company to invest in things like Lyft and Uber. There is a good chance in the future we have self driving cars and ride sharing is a big part of it. The future could exist where we no longer need to own our own cars.
I believe that it was a smart decision for General Motors to invest half a billion dollars in Lyft. This General Motor's investment in Lyft can also be seen as a hedge against Uber's rapid growth, and can be seen as a valuable competitor in the market of car sharing services, a fast growing market, especially in the United States.
The whole reason for GM's failure was that it dramatically financially overextended itself. The company just finished restructuring after declaring bankruptcy, and now it's investing half a billion into a service that will ultimately shrink its market? More people using ride-sharing services = less people with the need for a personal vehicle.
I'm not saying that we should stop trying to curb North America's dependence on personal vehicles. By all means, those services should be supported and improved. But from GM's business standpoint, that is another expensive, stupid decision from a company that nearly buried itself just a few years ago by making expensive, stupid decisions.
Car services like Lyft and Uber are a new transportation fad that is not here to stay in my opinion. Take the New Year's Eve debacle, for example, where they increased prices up to almost 10x normal cost, taking advantage of people trying to be responsible and not drive intoxicated. In large cities, yellow cabs are going to run Lyft out of town and therefore it was not the smartest investment for GMs to put money in Lyft
I think that GM investing in Lyft was a great idea as companies like Lyft and UBER continue to grow in populatiry. However, I do not feel that half a billion dollars needed to be spent. With Lyft riders putting money back into the system, I feel that GM could have found a better use for some of that money.