General Motors is gearing up to begin recalling 1.6-million cars for faulty ignition switches, and in preparation, it has struck deals with rental car agencies Enterprise, Avis and Hertz to reserve thousands of loaner vehicles to serve affected customers. The company has even dropped its policy to only rent out GM models from the current or previous year, which means some owners will likely be driving competitors' cars during the repair.
Carsharing venture DriveNow GmbH, owned by BMW and European rental company Sixt AG, is expected to be profitable this year, the first time that will happen since starting up two years ago. BMW hopes to overtake German rival Daimler (with Car2go) in this growing space as urban consumers become more interested in transportation alternatives like carsharing.
While some hipsters were bummed out by the idea of car rental giant Avis owning quirky car sharing innovator Zipcar, US regulators will probably approve the deal. That's what Reuters found out after conducting an informal poll of nine antitrust experts. While several of them feared loss of the lively upstart business, eight of the nine experts think that US regulators will approve the deal.
Car sharing has become big business, and it is getting bigger and more competitive.
The purchase by Avis/Budget of Zipcar for a reported $491 million is just the latest big name trying to share a piece of the car sharing pie.
Zipcar is testing out a pilot program it calls the "Access Plan" in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada, that requires no annual fee. It's a weekday program available only Monday through Friday – excluding holidays – that allows members to drive some Zipcars and Zipvans (where available) at a lower cost.
Zipcar has long been the granddaddy of carsharing programs, and has spent years forming partnerships with colleges, cutting a deal with Ford and working with the Feds to become a vendor in the government's Short Term Rental (STR) program. The company also first turned a profit in late 2011. A history like that was attractive enough to traditional car rental company Avis that Avis today announced it will buy Zipcar for $500 million. Avis is paying $12.25 per share. Zipcar's stock closed at $8.24
Hertz and Avis have been fighting to get their hands on Dollar-Thrifty for over a year now, with the latest volley coming from the Hertz camp. According to Bloomberg, the world's largest airport rental car company has offered $72 per share for Dollar-Thrifty, or 24 percent more than a recent offer from Avis. The offer consists of of $57.60 in cash and .8546 Hertz shares per share of Dollar-Thrifty.
Economists and talking heads argue endlessly about our economy on a daily basis. "It's back!," "It's almost back!" and "It's never coming back!" seem to be the leaders among the varied viewpoints we hear and read about. One sector that has apparently begun to rebound is the car rental business. Not necessarily in financial terms, but from the standpoint of customer satisfaction, America's rental car companies are returning to to a position last seen in the pre-recession days.
There's lots more to being a green company in the automotive realm than offering low carbon-output machines, whether you sell them to the public or rent them, like Avis. According to Avis, not only do its consumers prefer not to have their rental cars cluttered with unnecessary brochures and paperwork, but the elimination of said materials will reduce the rental firm's paper consumption by 100 tons per year. That savings adds up to the preservation of 1,500 trees. Surely, Avis is also happy to s
We've had to endure our fair share of craptacular rental whips during our travels (Faux carbon fiber trim in a minivan? Seriously Dodge?), but making the trek from airport to hotel to auto show and back could be a bit more bearable behind the wheel of a new Corvette. That's exactly what Avis is doing, by adding the 430-hp 6.2-liter V8 convertible 'Vette to its line of "Cool Collection" cars. While the $164.99 daily rental price isn't too hard to swallow, the drop-top Corvette's availability will
Volkswagen has just delivered 250 of its dual fuel natural gas Golfs to Avis in Milan, Italy where they will join the rental car fleet. VW's dual fuel system allows the engine to run on either gasoline or compressed natural gas. Each fuel has its own delivery system and if one fuel runs out the system can automatically switch over on the fly. The vehicles will primarily be run on CNG in order to gain the air pollution reduction benefits of that fuel in the inner city of Milan. If the vehicles pr
Thanks to a variety of CO2 emission-reducing steps (see links below), the fleet of 18,500 rental cars operated by Avis around the world has reduced CO2 emissions by four percent overall between 2005 and 2007. The average per vehicle is now 157g/km per car, a number Avis wants to make even lower in the future.