Good news, rental car fans – Hertz has managed to expand its operations by over 1,500 locations. The company has reportedly just agreed to snatch up Dollar Thrifty car rental in a $1.17 billion deal that included both cash and Hertz stock. According to USA Today, that figure values Dollar Thrifty shares at a 5.5 percent premium over what the company's stock had been trading for recently.
While most automakers are reporting double-digit drops in sales each month, Hyundai and Kia continue to swim against the current and maintain (or even increase) units sold. According to Automotive News, a significant part of their success is attributable to fleet sales – large numbers of cars going directly into rental and corporate fleets. During the first quarter of 2009 alone, more than 33 percent of Hyundai's first quarter sales of 95,854 units were fleet related. Rental car sales repr
Last October we advised you not to hold your breath for Daimler's Car2Go program to come to America. You can breathe again. If you live in Austin, Texas you'll be able to rent a mild hybrid Smart ForTwo by the minute this fall. Austin was chosen because of its university population and its concern for the environment.
Last summer, it was the Detroit Three that were restraining themselves from dumping cars into the gaping maw of fleet sales just to boost the bottom line. Turns out they had some help with that discipline: Due to last year's events, rental car fleets shrunk by 400,000 units from 2007 to 2008. As we begin 2009, rental car companies have declared they will be trimming their fleet orders and curbing the number of vehicles they keep on hand even further.
A busted car theft ring has turned up a vintage Cadillac once owned by one of the Magnificent Seven. The five-finger-discount drivers out of Colorado, headed by Jeffrey Earle Piper, would steal expensive rental cars, change their VIN numbers and "sell" them. The new "owner", who was in on the whole thing, would then report "his" car stolen and collect on the insurance policy. One of the cars found among the loot: a $133,000 1959 Cadillac – looks like a Series 62 convertible – that on
There has been a longstanding tradition among car rental agencies to push renters up to bigger, more expensive models. Not that it was all that difficult to do, considering that Americans tend to prefer larger vehicles when all other aspects are equal. Now, though, not all of those aspects are equal, as bigger vehicles are usually thirstier vehicles and the renter is required to return the vehicle with a full tank of gas. So, the act of stepping up to a Hemi-powered Dodge Charger from a four-ban
OK, this seems like a no-brainer. As GM and Ford have gradually pulled back from the low-margin fleet sales market, import fleet sales have surged. After all, somebody has to keep the rental car lots filled. It's mostly been the mainline Asian automakers that have stepped in to fill the void. Toyota, Nissan, Mazda and Kia have all increased their corporate sales of cars and trucks, but they still remain bit players overall. About 11 percent of U.S. import brand sales are to fleets so far this ye
Avis Budget Group has announced that they will start offering Toyota Priuses for rent through their outlets in Seattle, WA, Portland, OR and throughout California. The rental company is adding 1,000 of the hybrids to their fleet and joins Enterprise Rent-A-Car which already offers more than 3,000 hybrids. Avis will be charging $69.95 or more a day for the Priuses depending on where and when customers rent them.
Although she might not be the spokewoman for Overstock.com any longer, Sabine Ehrenfeld is one minor celebrity we actively look for an excuse to mention. Second only to Nürburg-queen Sabine Schmitz, Overstock.com's Sabine Ehrenfeld is that super sexy, multi-talented spokesperson that reintroduced us to the Big-O a Christmas or two ago.
Yesterday, our vision of a perfect world took a small step towards reality, when Lotus announced that they would make the Elise available to select rental car agencies. The decision was made in response to the unbridled affection shown by the U.S. market for the sub-ton roadster, along with the number of requests the company received for such a service.