The Automobile Rental Business

Market Overview

The automobile rental business is a multi-billion greenback sector of the US economic system. The US section of the business averages about $18.5 billion in income a yr. As we speak, there are roughly 1.9 million rental automobiles that service the US section of the market. As well as, there are various rental businesses moreover the business leaders that subdivide the overall income, particularly Greenback Thrifty, Funds and Vanguard. In contrast to different mature service industries, the rental automobile business is very 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 corporations together with Enterprise, Hertz and Avis. For the fiscal yr 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.

Stage of Integration

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

Scope of Competitors

There are numerous elements that form the aggressive panorama of the automobile rental business. Competitors comes from two fundamental sources all through the chain. On the holiday shopper’s finish of the spectrum, competitors is fierce not solely as a result of the market is saturated and nicely guarded by business chief Enterprise, however rivals function at a value drawback together with smaller market shares since Enterprise has established a community of sellers over 90 % the leisure section. On the company section, however, competitors could be very robust on the airports since that section is underneath tight supervision by Hertz. As a result of the business underwent a large financial downfall lately, it has upgraded the size of competitors inside a lot of the firms that survived. Competitively talking, the rental automobile business is a war-zone as most rental businesses 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 corporations have been working in direction of enhancing their fleet sizes and rising the extent of profitability. Enterprise at the moment the corporate with the most important fleet within the US has added 75,000 automobiles to its fleet since 2002 which assist enhance its variety of amenities to 170 on the airports. Hertz, however, has added 25,000 automobiles 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. Over time following the financial downturn, though most firms all through the business have been struggling, Enterprise among the many business 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 % a yr for the previous 4 years. Since 2002, the business has began to regain its footing within the sector as total gross sales grew from $17.9 billion to $18.2 billion in 2003. Based on business analysts, the higher days of the rental automobile business have but to return. Over the course of the subsequent a number of years, the business 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 automobile business has made a substantial amount of progress to facilitate it distribution processes. As we speak, there are roughly 19,000 rental places yielding about 1.9 million rental vehicles within the US. Due to the more and more considerable variety of automobile rental places within the US, strategic and tactical approaches are taken under consideration as a way to insure correct distribution all through the business. Distribution takes place inside two interrelated segments. On the company market, the vehicles are distributed to airports and resort environment. On the leisure section, however, vehicles are distributed to company owned amenities which can be conveniently situated inside most main roads and metropolitan areas.

Previously, managers of rental automobile firms used to rely luxury car rentals in Los Angeles on gut-feelings or intuitive guesses to make selections about what number of vehicles to have in a selected fleet or the utilization degree and efficiency requirements of holding sure vehicles in a single fleet. With that methodology, it was very troublesome to take care of a degree of steadiness that may fulfill shopper demand and the specified degree of profitability. The distribution course of is pretty easy all through the business. To start with, managers should decide the variety of vehicles that should be on stock each day. As a result of a really noticeable downside arises when too many or not sufficient vehicles can be found, most automobile rental firms together with Hertz, Enterprise and Avis, use a “pool” which is a bunch of unbiased rental amenities that share a fleet of automobiles. Mainly, with the swimming pools in place, rental places function extra effectively since they scale back the danger of low stock if not eradicate rental automobile shortages.

Market Segmentation

Most firms all through the chain make a revenue primarily based of the kind of vehicles which can be rented. The rental vehicles are categorized into economic system, compact, intermediate, premium and luxurious. Among the many 5 classes, the economic system sector yields essentially the most revenue. For example, the economic system section by itself is liable for 37.7 % of the overall market income in 2004. As well as, the compact section accounted for 32.three % of total income. The remainder of the opposite classes covers the remaining 30 % for the US section.

Historic Ranges of Profitability

The general profitability of the automobile rental business has been shrinking lately. Over the previous 5 years, the business has been struggling similar to the remainder of the journey business. In truth, between the years 2001 and 2003 the US market has skilled a average discount within the degree of profitability. Particularly, income fell from $19.four billion in 2000 to $18.2 billion in 2001. Subsequently, the general business income eroded additional to $17.9 billion in 2002; an quantity that’s minimally greater than $17.7 billion which is the general income for the yr 1999. In 2003, the business skilled a barely noticeable enhance which introduced revenue to $18.2 billion. On account of the financial downturn lately, among the smaller gamers that have been extremely depending on the airline business have executed a substantial amount of technique realignments as a manner of making ready their firms to deal with eventual financial adversities that will encompass the business. For the yr 2004, however, the financial scenario of most corporations have progressively improved all through the business since most rental businesses have returned far larger income relative to the anterior years. For example, 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 yr of 2004. Based on business analysts, the rental automobile business is predicted to expertise regular progress of two.6 % in income over the subsequent a number of years which interprets into a rise in revenue.

Aggressive Rivalry Amongst Sellers

There are numerous elements that drive competitors throughout the automobile rental business. Over the previous few years, broadening fleet sizes and rising profitability has been the main focus of most firms throughout the automobile rental business. Enterprise, Hertz and Avis among the many leaders have been rising each in gross sales and fleet sizes. As well as, competitors intensifies as corporations are consistently attempting to enhance their present circumstances and supply extra to shoppers. Enterprise has almost doubled its fleet measurement since 1993 to roughly 600,000 vehicles at present. As a result of the business operates on such slender revenue margins, worth competitors will not be an element; nonetheless, most firms are actively concerned in creating values and offering a variety of facilities from technological devices to even free rental to fulfill prospects. Hertz, for instance, integrates its By no means-Misplaced GPS system inside its vehicles. Enterprise, however, makes use of refined yield administration software program to handle its fleets.

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

The Potential Entry of recent Opponents

Getting into the automobile rental business 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 business as a manner of insuring stability and reducing the extent of dependency between the airline and the automobile rental business. Whereas this pattern has engendered long run success for the prevailing corporations, it has heightened the aggressive panorama for brand new comers. Due to the severity of competitors, current corporations corresponding 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 business.

For instance, Enterprise has taken the primary mover benefit with its 6000 amenities by saturating the leisure section thereby inserting not solely excessive restrictions on the commonest distribution channels, but additionally excessive useful resource necessities for brand new corporations. As we speak, Enterprise has a rental location inside 15 miles of 90 % of the US inhabitants. Due to the community of sellers Enterprise has established across the nation, it has grow to be comparatively secure, extra recession proof and most significantly, much less reliant on the airline business in comparison with its rivals. Hertz, however, is using the complete spectrum of its 7200 shops to safe its place within the market. Mainly, the emergence of a lot of the business leaders into the leisure market not solely drives rivalry, but additionally it varies instantly with the extent of complexity of coming into the automobile rental business.

The Risk of Substitute

There are numerous substitutes obtainable for the automobile rental business. From a technological standpoint, renting a automobile to go the gap for a gathering is a much less engaging various versus video conferencing, digital groups and collaboration software program with which an organization can instantly setup a gathering with its workers from wherever all over the world 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, but it surely is probably not as attractively priced as a rental automobile 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 when it comes to 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 attractive substitute; nonetheless, it’s an unattractive various when it comes to worth relative to renting a automobile. On the enterprise section, automobile rental businesses have extra safety towards substitutes since many firms have carried out journey insurance policies that set up the parameters of when renting a automobile or utilizing a substitute is the most effective plan of action.

Leave a Reply

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