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Monday, January 17, 2011

Hertz Corporation

The Hertz Corporation (also known as Hertz Rent a Car or simply Hertz) is the largest car rental brand in the world, with approximately 8,200 locations in 146 countries worldwide.
Hertz also maintains a heavy equipment rental division known as the Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation, aka HERC. It is headquartered in Park Ridge, New Jersey, United States. HERC has more than 300 branches throughout the United States, Canada, the European Union and India.


Early years
The company was begun by Walter L. Jacobs in 1918, who started a car rental operation in Chicago with a dozen Model T Ford cars. In 1923, Jacobs sold it to John D. Hertz who made it a subsidiary of his Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company and renamed it "Hertz Drive-Ur-Self System".
He sold a controlling interest in the Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company (and hence also 'Hertz Drive-Ur-Self') to General Motors in 1925 who then purchased the remaining shares in 1943.
Hertz arranged for The Omnibus Corporation, which he also owned, to purchase the car rental business back from GM in 1953. He sold all The Omnibus Corporation's public transport interests the same year, changed its name to 'The Hertz Corporation' and floated it on the New York Stock Exchange the following year.
[edit]The Hertz Corporation
As a public company, Hertz was traded on the NYSE under the symbol HRZ
In 1954, the new corporation bought a pioneer in New York truck leasing, Metropolitan Distributors.
In 1967, The Hertz Corporation became a wholly owned subsidiary of RCA Corporation and operated as a separate entity, with its own management and Board of Directors. In 1985, Hertz joined UAL Corporation. On December 30, 1987, Hertz was sold to 'Park Ridge Corporation', which was owned by Ford Motor Company and members of Hertz senior management. In 1988, Volvo North America Corporation invested in Park Ridge Corporation.
On June 13, 2005, Ford issued a notice that Hertz would be spun off in an initial public offering. On September 13, 2005 it was announced it was to be sold to a private equity group (composed of Johan Batista, a Cuban-American Neurosurgeon, and his Cuban-American Unidentified Female Partner) for $5.6 billion in cash and debt acquisition. The sale was completed on December 22, 2005. Both partners are known to own a huge amount of different business types that includes: Gold Mines, Silver Mines, Titanium Mines, Jewelry Wholesale Stores, Petroleum Business, Commercial and Residential Real Estate and Hotel largest chains (all around the globe).
This private equity group took Hertz public on November 16, 2006 and is now available on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'HTZ'.
On January 11, 2010. Hertz announced the acquisition of used car dealer British Car Auctions (BCA) for an undisclosed sum. On April 26, 2010, Hertz announced the acquisition of rival Dollar-Thrifty Automotive Group for a purchase price of $41.00 per share, in a mix of cash and Hertz common stock. Investors in Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Dollar Thrifty rejected the $1.44 billion bid from Hertz on Sept. 30. 
Despite the end of its affiliation with Ford, the rental fleet of most Hertz locations still consists of Ford and its brands, such as Mazda, Volvo, Mercury and Lincoln, along with various others (mostly Korean and Japanese).
Hertz Corporation Data Center is located in Warr Acres, a city in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma.

Collections and Specialty Cars

Rent A Racer Special edition 2006 Shelby GT-H Mustang.

The Nissan Leaf electric car will be part of Hertz "Green Collection" beginning in 2011.
In 1966, Hertz engaged racing and automotive designer Carroll Shelby to develop an exclusive version of his modified Ford Mustang. One thousand GT350H Mustangs were built and ultimately sold once their rental use had ended, and surviving models have become a rare collector car. In 2006, the 40th anniversary of the original GT350H, Hertz introduced Shelby Mustang GT-H's as part of the Fun Collection at select locations. This was followed in 2007 with a convertible version of the GT-H.

The Fun Collection is targeted at the leisure car rental market, catering to travelers seeking exciting driving experiences. It allows reservation of cars by specific make and model. All vehicles feature Sirius satellite radio. Approximately 9 different models are available from a 12,000 vehicle specialty fleet at approximately 24 major airport locations in the United States. In 2008, Hertz announced the Chevrolet Corvette ZHZ would be the new centerpiece of its Fun Collection.
In the early 2000s, Hertz debuted the Prestige Collection at many rental locations. This collection features cars from Ford's Premier Automotive Group, including specific reservable models from Volvo, Land Rover and Jaguar. Possibly due to market pressures, certain models from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and several other luxury makes are also being offered in highly competitive rental locations such as LAX.
[edit]Green Collection and Electric Cars
Hertz launched its Green Collection in September 2006 with environmentally-friendly vehicles including the Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion, Buick LaCrosse, Toyota Camry and Hyundai Sonata. All feature Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highway fuel efficiency ratings of 31 highway miles per gallon or better, and most carry the Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay certification, which indicates lower emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases. The Prius has also earned SmartWay Elite status. In early 2007, Hertz launched its global hybrid rental program in conjunction with a $1 million donation to the National Park Foundation. The launch of the global hybrid program expanded Hertz’ “Green Collection” by adding 1,000 Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles to the company’s US nationwide fleet, a $20 million investment. As with the Fun Collection, the Green Collection allows customers to reserve specific vehicle models.
Hertz has an agreement with Nissan to bring the Nissan Leaf electric car to certain U.S. and European locations. Hertz said it also will supply electrics and plug-in hybrids from other manufacturers, including General Motors, Toyota and Mitsubishi.[7]
Hertz has created its EV Service. [8]
[edit]Connect by Hertz

The Nissan Leaf will be the first electric car available through Connect by Hertz carsharing service.
Connect by Hertz is the Hertz Corporation’s global car sharing service, launched in December 2008, and currently operates in Berlin, London, Madrid, New York City and Paris, as well as numerous universities campuses worldwide.[9][10] Connect by Hertz offers vehicles in the Personal, Social and Jet Set Collections which are available for online reservation.[11]
As part of Hertz Global EV initiative, Connect by Hertz will offer for hour rental several electric cars at selected locations in the US, the UK, and China. The plug-in electric vehicles that will be available include the Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Tesla Roadster, Smart ED, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid and Coda Sedan . The introduction of the Leaf to the carsharing service is scheduled to begin in New York City on December 15, 2010, followed by San Francisco and Washington D.C. in 2011.[12][13]
[edit]Hertz Neverlost and Other Technologies

Hertz Neverlost (North America) navigation display in a fourth generation Hyundai Sonata
In the late 1990s, the company pioneered in-car satellite based navigation in a portion of its rental fleet with the introduction of "Hertz Neverlost". The system features a color LCD display, voice prompting in several selectable languages, street address lookup, turn-by-turn guidance, and a destination guide based on AAA Tourbooks. Later generation units feature a special events by city, and popular chains database. Geographic information for the entire United States, and the majority of Canada is stored in the Neverlost control unit which is typically mounted under the hatshelf in the trunk area. The Neverlost navigation system and components are standardized throughout the North American rental fleet and the same physical unit is used for several years and moved across multiple rental cars. Neverlost in other parts of the world may differ from the unit found in North America.
Since being introduced, the Neverlost system has undergone two major hardware revisions, and several iterative software revisions. The latest generation Neverlost OTP unit features Online Trip Planning that allows the user to plan, save and upload destinations to a USB flash drive from an Internet equipped personal computer. The destinations are automatically preloaded when the flash drive is plugged in to the Neverlost unit. Later revisions of Neverlost OTP unit also feature street-name pronunciation.
The system was later repackaged and commercialized in a portable consumer unit called the Magellan Roadmate GPS Navigation System by Thales Group. The fact that it is based on the Hertz Neverlost system is frequently touted in the Roadmate marketing literature. The underlying Neverlost is map data provided by NAVTEQ.
Another significant Hertz-led technology was the development in North America of the low-floor passenger coach. Until the early 21st century, most large Hertz lots were linked to airports they served by small fleets of firm-operated transit buses. Many Hertz locations used the Rapid Transit Series, whose high floor and stairs made loading of baggage difficult and rendered access to wheelchair and ECV-using customers difficult or impossible. A large potential contract from Hertz led Gillig Brothers of Hayward, California, to invest in a radical redesign of the city bus that offered a floor only a foot off of the ground (lower when pneumatically "kneeled") from the front of the bus, between the front wheels, up to the rear axle. The low floor and additional space freed by the redesign, initially titled the "H2000LF" by Hertz, greatly reduced loading and unloading time, increased convenience, and were for a time exclusive to Hertz. The bus was subsequently marketed as the Gillig Low Floor and is widely deployed by US public transportation agencies.

The inside of a Hertz Toyota rental car in Pakistan
A large billboard advertising Hertz was on the roof of the Texas School Book Depository in Dealey Plaza during the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. The billboard was removed in 1978.[14]
In 1961, Hertz television commercials featured a special effect showing people easily floating down from the sky into a car, with a cheerful group singing, "Let Hertz put you in the driver's seat" and an announcer stating "Hertz", following by phrases such as "we put you behind the wheel (in the driver's seat)"[15] The campaign, by agency Norman, Craig & Kummel, was ranked 65 in the Advertising Age list of top 100 campaigns [16]
This prompted an early Saturday Night Live parody of a man screaming as he falls from high altitude, crashing into a car. The announcer states, "Hertz." The man screams, "It sure does!"[citation needed]

Hertz's logo until 2009
In the late 1960s, Hertz came out with a TV ad in which a company official, looking very much like a Nazi officer, shows the viewers the high efficiency of various aspects of Hertz' operations. At the end of the commercial he asks, "Why do we do this? I don't know; I am only following orders." This commercial brought about so much outrage that Hertz had it removed after a very short time.[citation needed]
O.J. Simpson appeared prominently in ads for the company for years in the 1970s and 1980s (many times appearing with golf legend Arnold Palmer; the pair was joined by the early 1990s by actress Jamie Lee Curtis). In one spot from the mid-1970s, which became iconic, Simpson, former football star as he was, leapt over rows of departure lounge seats, running through an airport terminal (wearing a three-piece business suit and carrying a briefcase) trying to get to his Hertz rental car. A woman yelled, "Go O.J. Go!" The tagline of the ad, as spoken by O.J., was "Hertz, the superstar in rent-a-car".
The relationship with Hertz and Simpson ended in late 1992 when reports of domestic abuse surfaced.
In 1993, a new campaign centered on the phrase "Not Exactly" was launched. The initial spot featured two business men (Bill Applebaum, Wayne Federman) forced to rush down an escalator, board a shuttle, and run through the rain to retrieve their non-Hertz rental. The spot was directed by Bob Giraldi.
[edit]Subbrands: Simply Wheelz and Advantage

In 2007, Hertz launched subbrand "Simply Wheelz" to address economy-minded and leisure-market customers in Orlando, Florida. The subbrand was colocated within and utilized the fleet and other assets of the parent brand, and channeled reservations and customer-service through a streamlined web front-end (resembling those of low-cost-carrier airlines) to its existing systems. Ambitious expansion plans were announced and the subbrand briefly expanded into other strong leisure markets including Los Angeles and Las Vegas, but was withdrawn with the acquisition of the Advantage Rent a Car brand.
Hertz outbid Enterprise Rent-a-Car acquiring the assets of bankrupt Advantage Rent a Car System in early 2009. The Simply Wheelz subbrand and website were then themselves rebranded as Advantage Rent-a-Car.


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