The Automobile Rental Trade

Market Overview

The automotive rental trade is a multi-billion greenback sector of the US economic system. The US phase of the trade averages about $18.5 billion in income a 12 months. Right this moment, there are roughly 1.9 million rental autos that service the US phase of the market. As well as, there are various rental companies apart from the trade leaders that subdivide the whole income, specifically Greenback Thrifty, Funds and Vanguard. Not like different mature service industries, the rental automotive trade is extremely consolidated which naturally places potential new comers at a cost-disadvantage since they face excessive enter prices with diminished chance of economies of scale. Furthermore, a lot of the revenue is generated by a number of companies together with Enterprise, Hertz and Avis. For the fiscal 12 months of 2004, Enterprise generated $7.four billion in complete income. Hertz got here in second place with about $5.2 billion and Avis with $2.97 in income.

Degree of Integration

The rental automotive trade faces a totally completely different surroundings than it did 5 years in the past. In keeping with Enterprise Journey Information, autos are being rented till they’ve gathered 20,000 to 30,000 miles till they’re relegated to the used automotive trade whereas the turn-around mileage was 12,000 to 15,000 miles 5 years in the past. Due to sluggish trade progress and slender revenue margin, there isn’t any imminent menace to backward integration throughout the trade. The truth is, among the many trade gamers solely Hertz is vertically built-in by means of Ford.

Scope of Competitors

There are a lot of components that form the aggressive panorama of the automotive rental trade. Competitors comes from two principal sources all through the chain. On the holiday client’s finish of the spectrum, competitors is fierce not solely as a result of the market is saturated and nicely guarded by trade chief Enterprise, however opponents function at a price drawback together with smaller market shares since Enterprise has established a community of sellers over 90 p.c the leisure phase. On the company phase, alternatively, competitors may be very sturdy on the airports since that phase is underneath tight supervision by Hertz. As a result of the trade underwent an enormous financial downfall lately, it has upgraded the dimensions of competitors inside a lot of the firms that survived. Competitively talking, the rental automotive trade is a war-zone as most rental companies together with Enterprise, Hertz and Avis among the many main gamers have interaction in a battle of the fittest.


Over the previous 5 years, most companies have been working in direction of enhancing their fleet sizes and rising the extent of profitability. Enterprise presently the corporate with the most important fleet within the US has added 75,000 autos to its fleet since 2002 which assist enhance its variety of amenities to 170 on the airports. Hertz, alternatively, has added 25,000 autos and broadened its worldwide presence in 150 counties versus 140 in 2002. As well as, Avis has elevated its fleet from 210,000 in 2002 to 220,000 regardless of latest financial adversities. Through the years following the financial downturn, though most firms all through the trade have been struggling, Enterprise among the many trade leaders had been rising steadily. For instance, annual gross sales reached $6.three in 2001, $6.5 in 2002, $6.9 in 2003 and $7.four billion in 2004 which translated right into a progress price of seven.2 p.c a 12 months for the previous 4 years. Since 2002, the trade has began to regain its footing within the sector as general gross sales grew from $17.9 billion to $18.2 billion in 2003. In keeping with trade analysts, the higher days of the rental automotive trade have but to return. Over the course of the following a number of years, the trade is predicted to expertise accelerated progress valued at $20.89 billion every year following 2008 “which equates to a CAGR of two.7 % [increase] within the 2003-2008 interval.”


Over the previous few years the rental automotive trade has made a substantial amount of progress to facilitate it distribution processes. Right this moment, there are roughly 19,000 rental places yielding about 1.9 million rental automobiles within the US. Due to the more and more plentiful variety of automotive rental places within the US, strategic and tactical approaches are taken into consideration in an effort to insure correct distribution all through the trade. Distribution takes place inside two interrelated segments. On the company market, the automobiles are distributed to airports and resort environment. On the leisure phase, alternatively, automobiles are distributed to company owned amenities which might be conveniently positioned inside most main roads and metropolitan areas.

Previously, managers of rental automotive firms used to depend on gut-feelings or intuitive guesses to make selections about what number of automobiles to have in a specific fleet or the utilization degree and efficiency requirements of preserving sure automobiles in a single fleet. With that methodology, it was very tough to take care of a degree of stability that may fulfill client demand and the specified degree of profitability. The distribution course of is pretty easy all through the trade. To start with, managers should decide the variety of automobiles that should be on stock every day. As a result of a really noticeable drawback arises when too many or not sufficient automobiles can be found, most automotive rental firms together with Hertz, Enterprise and Avis, use a “pool” which is a bunch of impartial rental amenities that share a fleet of autos. Mainly, with the swimming pools in place, rental places function extra effectively since they scale back the chance of low stock if not get rid of rental automotive shortages.

Market Segmentation

Most firms all through the chain make a revenue based mostly of the kind of automobiles which might be rented. The rental automobiles are categorized into economic system, compact, intermediate, premium and luxurious. Among the many 5 classes, the economic system sector yields essentially the most revenue. As an illustration, the economic system phase by itself is accountable for 37.7 p.c of the whole market income in 2004. As well as, the compact phase accounted for 32.three p.c of general income. The remainder of the opposite classes covers the remaining 30 p.c for the US phase.

Historic Ranges of Profitability

The general profitability of the automotive rental trade has been shrinking lately. Over the previous 5 years, the trade has been struggling similar to the remainder of the journey trade. The truth is, between the years 2001 and 2003 the US market has skilled a reasonable discount within the degree of profitability. Particularly, income fell from $19.four billion in 2000 to $18.2 billion in 2001. Subsequently, the general trade income eroded additional to $17.9 billion in 2002; an quantity that’s minimally increased than $17.7 billion which is the general income for the 12 months 1999. In 2003, the trade skilled a barely noticeable enhance which introduced revenue to $18.2 billion. Because of the financial downturn lately, among the smaller gamers that have been extremely depending on the airline trade have carried out a substantial amount of technique realignments as a means of making ready their firms to deal with eventual financial adversities which will encompass the trade. For the 12 months 2004, alternatively, the financial scenario of most companies have progressively improved all through the trade since most rental companies have returned far larger income relative to the anterior years. As an illustration, Enterprise realized revenues of $7.four billion; Hertz returned revenues of $5.2 billion and Avis with $2.9 billion in income for the fiscal 12 months of 2004. In keeping with trade analysts, the rental automotive trade is predicted to expertise regular progress of two.6 p.c in income over the following a number of years which interprets into a rise in revenue.

Aggressive Rivalry Amongst Sellers

There are a lot of components that drive competitors throughout the automotive rental trade. Over the previous few years, broadening fleet sizes and rising profitability has been the main target of most firms throughout the automotive rental trade. Enterprise, Hertz and Avis among the many leaders have been rising each in gross sales and fleet sizes. As well as, competitors intensifies as companies are continuously attempting to enhance their present situations and provide extra to customers. Enterprise has almost doubled its fleet measurement since 1993 to roughly 600,000 automobiles right now. As a result of the trade operates on such slender revenue margins, worth competitors is just not an element; nevertheless, most firms are actively concerned in creating values and offering a spread of facilities from technological devices to even free rental to fulfill clients. Hertz, for instance, integrates its By no means-Misplaced GPS system inside its automobiles. Enterprise, alternatively, makes use of subtle yield administration software program to handle its fleets.

Lastly, Avis makes use of its OnStar and Skynet system to raised serve the buyer base and presents free weekend rental if a buyer rents a automotive for 5 consecutive days Furthermore, the buyer base of the rental automotive trade has comparatively low to no switching value. Conversely, rental companies face excessive mounted working prices together with property rental, insurance coverage and upkeep. Consequently, rental companies are sensitively pricing there rental automobiles simply to get better working prices and adequately meet their clients calls for. Moreover, as a result of the trade skilled sluggish progress lately attributable to financial stagnation that resulted in an enormous decline in each company journey and the leisure sector, most firms together with the trade leaders are aggressively attempting to reposition their companies by progressively lessening the dependency degree on the airline trade and regaining their footing within the leisure aggressive area.

The Potential Entry of latest Rivals

Coming into the automotive rental trade places new comers at a critical drawback. Over the previous few years following the financial downturn of 2001, most main rental firms have began rising their market shares within the trip sector of the trade as a means of insuring stability and decreasing the extent of dependency between the airline and the automotive rental trade. Whereas this development has engendered long run success for the present companies, it has heightened the aggressive panorama for brand spanking new comers. Due to the severity of competitors, current companies similar to Enterprise, Hertz and Avis rigorously monitor their aggressive radars to anticipate Sharpe retaliatory strikes towards new entrants. One other barrier to entry is created due to the saturation degree of the trade.

For instance, Enterprise has taken the primary mover benefit with its 6000 amenities by saturating the leisure phase thereby putting not solely excessive restrictions on the most typical distribution channels, but in addition excessive useful resource necessities for brand spanking new companies. Right this moment, Enterprise has a rental location inside 15 miles of 90 p.c of the US inhabitants. Due to the community of sellers Enterprise has established across the nation, it has change into comparatively steady, extra recession proof and most significantly, much less reliant on the airline trade in comparison with its opponents. Hertz, alternatively, is using the total spectrum of its 7200 shops to safe its place within the market. Mainly, the emergence of a lot of the trade leaders into the leisure market not solely drives rivalry, but in addition it varies immediately with the extent of complexity of getting into the automotive rental trade.

The Menace of Substitute

There are a lot of substitutes out there for the automotive rental trade. From a technological standpoint, renting a automotive to go the space for a gathering is a much less enticing various versus video conferencing, digital groups and collaboration software program with which an organization can instantly setup a gathering with its workers from anyplace around the globe at a less expensive value. As well as, there are different alternate options together with taking a cab which is a passable substitute relative to high quality and switching value, however it will not be as attractively priced as a rental automotive for the course of a day or extra. Whereas public transportation is essentially the most value environment friendly of the alternate options, it’s extra expensive by way of the method and time it takes to succeed in one’s vacation spot. Lastly, as a result of flying presents comfort, pace and efficiency, it’s a very engaging substitute; nevertheless, it’s an unattractive various by way of worth relative to renting a automotive. On the enterprise phase, automotive rental companies have extra safety towards substitutes since many firms have carried out journey insurance policies that set up the parameters of when renting a automotive or utilizing a substitute is the perfect plan of action.

In keeping with Tracy Esch, an Benefit director of promoting operations, her firm rents automobiles as much as a 200-mile journey earlier than contemplating an alternate. Mainly, the specter of substitute in all fairness low within the automotive rental trade because the results the substitute merchandise have don’t pose a big menace of revenue erosion all through the trade.

The Bargaining Energy of Suppliers

Provider energy is low within the automotive rental trade. Due to the supply of substitutes and the extent of competitors, suppliers do not need a substantial amount of affect within the phrases and situations of supplying the rental automobiles. As a result of the rental automobiles are often bought in bulk, rental automotive brokers have vital affect over the phrases of the sale since they possess the flexibility to play one provider towards one other to decrease the gross sales worth. One other issue that reduces provider energy is the absence of switching value. That’s, consumers usually are not affected from buying from one provider over one other and most significantly, altering to completely different provider’s merchandise is barely noticeable and doesn’t have an effect on client’s rental selections.

The Bargaining Energy of Consumers

Whereas the leisure sector has little or no energy, the enterprise phase possesses a big quantity of affect within the automotive rental trade. An fascinating development that’s presently underway all through the trade is forcing automotive rental firms to adapt to the wants of company vacationers. This development considerably reduces provider energy or the rental companies’ energy and will increase company purchaser energy because the enterprise phase is excruciatingly worth delicate, nicely knowledgeable in regards to the trade’s worth construction, buy in bigger portions they usually use the web to pressure decrease costs. Trip consumers, alternatively, have much less affect over the rental phrases. As a result of vacationers are often much less worth delicate, buy in lesser quantities or buy extra occasionally, they’ve weak bargaining energy.

5 Forces

Right this moment the automotive rental trade is going through a totally completely different surroundings than it did 5 years in the past. Competitively talking, the revolution of the 5 forces across the automotive rental trade exerts some sturdy financial stress that has considerably tarnished the aggressive attractiveness of the trade. Because of the financial downturn lately, many firms went underneath specifically Funds and the Vanguard Group as a result of their enterprise infrastructure succumbed to the untenability of the aggressive surroundings. Right this moment, only a few companies together with Enterprise, Hertz and Avis return a barely above-average income in comparison with the remainder of the trade. Realistically talking, the automotive rental sector is just not a really enticing trade due to the extent of competitors, the boundaries to entry and the aggressive stress from the substitute companies.

Strategic Group Mapping

As a reasonably concentrated sector, there’s a clear hierarchy within the automotive rental trade. From an financial standpoint, disparities exist from a variety of dimensions together with income, fleet measurement and the market measurement every agency holds out there place. As an illustration, Enterprise dominates the trade with a fleet measurement of roughly 600,000 autos together with its market measurement and its degree of profitability. Hertz is available in second place with its variety of market shares and fleet quantity. As well as, Avis ranks third on the map. Avis is amongst one of many firms that’s having points recovering its income margins from previous to the financial downturn. As an illustration, in 2000 Avis returned revenues of roughly $four.23 billion. Over the course of the following a number of years following 2000, the income of Avis has been considerably decrease than that of 2000. As a means of decreasing uncertainty most firms are progressively lessening the extent of dependency on the airline trade and rising the leisure market. This development will not be in the perfect curiosity of Hertz since its enterprise technique is intricately linked to the airports.

Key Success Components

There are a lot of key success components that drive profitability all through the automotive rental trade. Capability utilization is likely one of the components that determines success within the trade. As a result of rental companies expertise lack of income when there are both too few or too many automobiles sitting of their heaps, it’s of paramount significance to effectively handle the fleets. This success issue represents an enormous power for the trade because it lowers if not utterly eliminates the presumably of operating quick on rental automobiles. Environment friendly distribution is one other issue that retains the trade worthwhile. Regardless of the optimistic relationship between fleet sizes and the extent of profitability, companies are continuously rising their fleet sizes due to the aggressive forces that encompass the trade. As well as, comfort is likely one of the essential attributes by which customers choose rental companies. That’s, automotive rental customers are extra susceptible to renting automobiles from companies which have handy rental and drop off places. One other key success issue that’s frequent amongst competing companies is the combination of know-how of their enterprise processes. Via know-how, as an example, the automotive rental firms create methods to fulfill client demand by making renting a automotive a really agreeable ordeal by including the comfort of on-line rental amongst different alternate options. Moreover, companies have built-in navigation methods together with roadside help to supply clients the piece of thoughts when renting automobiles.

Trade Attractiveness

There are a lot of components that impression the attractiveness of the automotive rental trade. As a result of the trade is reasonably concentrated, it places new market entrants at an obstacle. That’s, its low focus represents a pure barrier to getting into the trade because it permits current agency to anticipate sharp retaliations towards new entrants. Due to the dangers related to getting into the trade amongst different components, it isn’t a really enticing sector of . From a aggressive standpoint, the leisure market is 90 p.c saturated due to the lively efforts of Enterprise to dominate this sector of the market. However, the airport terminals are closely guarded by Hertz. Realistically talking, entry within the trade presents low profitability relative to the prices and dangers related. For many customers, the primary figuring out components of selecting one firm over one other are worth and comfort. Due to this motive, rental companies are very circumspect about setting their charges and that usually pressure even the trade main gamers within the place of providing extra to the customers for much less simply to stay aggressive. Hertz, for instance, presents wi-fi web to its clients simply so as to add extra comfort to their journey plans. Avis alternatively, presents free weekend specials if a buyer rents a automotive for 5 consecutive weekdays. Primarily based on the impression of the 5 forces, the automotive rental sector is just not a really enticing trade to potential new market entrants.


The rental automotive trade is in a state of restoration. Though it might look like the trade is performing nicely financially, it’s nonetheless progressively regaining its footing relative to its precise financial place throughout the final 5 years. As a means of insuring profitability, apart from in search of market shares and stability, most firms all through the chain have a standard purpose that offers with decreasing the extent of dependency on the airline trade and shifting towards the leisure phase. This state of movement has engendered some fierce competitors amongst trade opponents as they try to defend their market shares. From a futuristic perspective, the higher days of the automotive rental trade have but to return. As the extent of profitability will increase, I consider that a lot of the trade leaders together with Enterprise, Hertz and Avis shall be bounded by the financial and aggressive boundaries of mobility of their strategic teams and new comers can have a greater probability of infiltrating and realizing success within the automotive rental trade.


“Passenger Automobile Rental.” Encyclopedia of International Industries. Dec. 2004. Gale group. 02 Feb 2005.

“Automobile & Truck Rental.” Hoover’s AB&D Firm. Jan. 2005 . Hoovers. 04 Feb 2005. “

Rental automotive foes struggle on one another’s turf.” The Affiliate Press. Fall 2004. The Enquirer. 08 March 2005.

“United States – Automobile Rental.” Knowledge Monitor Trade Market Analysis. Nov. 2004. Gale. 12 March 2005.

“A synthesis of tactical fleet planning fashions for the automotive rental trade.” IIE Transactions. Sept. 2003. Gale. 12 March 2005. [].

“Company journey plans shifting to Internet.” Crain’s Chicago Enterprise. Apr. 2001. ProQuest. 12 March 2005.

“Tracy Esch.” “Automobile rental market leaders make rebound .” Enterprise Journey Information. Might 2002. Gale. 12 March 2005.

“Avis Equips Rental Automobile with Satcomms 1999.” Newsbytes Information Community. Oct. 1999. Gale. 12 March 2005.

“Automobile Rental In america.” Knowledge Monitor Trade Market Analysis. Nov. 2004 . Gale. 13 March 2005.

“International – Automobile Rental.” Knowledge Monitor Trade Market Analysis. Nov. 2004 . Gale. 13 March 2005.

“Company and Journey Traits.” Journey Commerce Gazette. Nov. 2003 . ProQuest. 14 March 2005.

“Automobile rental market leaders make rebound.” Enterprise Journey Information. Might. 2002 . Gale. 14 March 2005.

“Automobile rental market leaders make rebound.” Enterprise Journey Information. Might. 2002 . Gale. 14 March 2005.

“Ovation Journey.” Wall Avenue Transcript. Might. 2002 . LexisNexis. 14 March 2004.

“Avis Provides New Deal for Free Weekends.” Newswire. Feb. 2004 . LexisNexis. 15 March 2004.

Supply by Rodrigue Monestime

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *