Hertz increases emphasis on car sharing

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Car Rental News - 15/12/2008


Rental car company Hertz is looking to the car sharing market to balance out the decline in traditional rentals.

Residents of New York, Paris and London are the focus of the rental car giant’s newest business, at a time when residents in these cities are seeking greener and cheaper alternatives to car ownership.

Michel Taride, Hertz European president, has remarked that car sharing, a practice enabling consumers to rent by the hour from local parking bays, is growing in popularity in large cities. Costs range from 3.95 pounds per hour in London to approximately four euros per hour in Paris, when the cost of keeping a car is averaging 2,749 pounds per year.

"We are not necessarily the first to do it, but we believe we have the ultimate solution for car sharing -- it's economical, better for the environment, stylish and fun," Taride said to Reuters during a phone interview.

He added that Hertz’s investment in the venture was in the millions of dollars, and is coming at a time when revenue from traditional rental businesses has decreased due to declining consumer demand and also a weaker market in used car sales.

"Times continue to be challenging from a growth standpoint," Taride continued. "In a global crisis, our revenue growth figures are not what we want them to be, but our balance sheet is extremely strong."

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