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Hertz Corporation
"Traded as "NYSEHTZ
Industry "Rental and "Leasing
Founded 1918; 99 years ago (1918)
Founder "John D. Hertz
Headquarters "Estero, Florida, "United States
Area served
Key people
"Kathryn V. Marinello ("CEO)[1]
Owner Hertz Global Holdings
Number of employees
"Divisions "Hertz Car Sales
"Subsidiaries "Donlen Corporation
Hertz office "Livonia, Michigan

Hertz, a subsidiary of Hertz Global Holdings Inc[3] is an American "car rental company with international locations in 150 countries worldwide.[3] Hertz is the second largest U.S. car rental company by sales, locations, and fleet size.[4] It is a successor to corporations that have been engaged in the vehicle rental and leasing business since 1918,[5] and now operates through the Hertz, "Dollar and "Thrifty brands from approximately 9,700 corporate and franchisee locations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, Australia, The Caribbean, the Middle East and New Zealand.[6]



Early years[edit]

The company was founded 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.

The Hertz Corporation[edit]

In 1954, the new corporation bought New York truck leasing company, Metropolitan Distributors.[7]

In 1967, The Hertz Corporation became a wholly owned subsidiary of "RCA but was operated as a separate entity. In 1985, Hertz joined and was acquired by "UAL Corporation. On December 30, 1987, Hertz was sold to 'Park Ridge Corporation', which was then owned by "Ford Motor Company and members of Hertz senior management. In 1988, "Volvo North America Corporation invested in Park Ridge Corporation.[7]

On June 13, 2005, Ford issued a notice that Hertz would be let loose in an "initial public offering. On September 8, 2005 it was announced it was to be sold to "private equity companies "Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, "The Carlyle Group, and "Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity for $15 billion in cash and debt acquisition.[8] The sale was completed on December 22, 2005. This private equity group took Hertz public on November 16, 2006.

On January 11, 2010, Hertz announced the acquisition of used cars dealer "British Car Auctions (BCA) for an undisclosed sum.[9]

In November 2011, Hertz introduced ExpressRent "kiosks at a number of locations. This was the first large scale car rental kiosk deployment in the U.S. using a live agent assistant via "video chat.[10]

On January 3, 2014 it was reported that Hertz shares had jumped in value by 2.6% after the reported purchase of 30-40 million shares by billionaire "Carl Icahn in what was believed to be a hostile "takeover attempt. In response to Icahn’s reported share purchase the Hertz Board reportedly stated that it would issue one preferred share for each current share in what is referred to as a “"poison pill” response.[11]

Key Executives[edit]

Michel Taride in 2015

Hertz Global Holdings Inc[edit]

In April 2010, Hertz and "Dollar-Thrifty Automotive Group announced an agreement under which Hertz was to acquire Dollar-Thrifty for a purchase price of "US$41 per share, subject to shareholder approval, in a mix of cash and Hertz "common stock.[16] Dollar-Thrifty investors in "Tulsa, Oklahoma rejected this "US$1,440,000,000 bid from Hertz on September 30, 2010.[17] Dollar-Thrifty subsequently announced on October 12, 2011 that it had taken itself off the market because it did not receive any proposals that would pass antitrust review.[18] On August 28, 2012, Hertz announced for the second time its intention to acquire Dollar-Thrifty, subject to "FTC approval, in this case for "US$2,300,000,000.[19] This merger would yield combined annual sales of "US$10,200,000,000.[20] The deal was concluded in November 2012 and resulted in a combined 10,400 locations in approximately 150 countries.

Headquarters relocation[edit]

On May 7, 2013, Hertz executives, alongside Florida Governor "Rick Scott, announced the company would be relocating its worldwide headquarters from Park Ridge, New Jersey to Estero, Florida. It will be located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Williams Road and "U.S. Highway 41 (South Tamiami Trail), though some operations will still occur in its old headquarters in Park Ridge.


Hertz office on the island of "Martha's Vineyard

Hertz operates in 145 countries. Outside the US, Hertz has company-operated locations in 18 countries, the rest being franchises. As of December 2012, the Company had approximately 3,210 staffed rental locations in the United States and around 1,215 staffed rental locations internationally.[21]

Overland West is the largest Hertz licensee in "North America, operating 27 "car rental and 4 car sales locations in 8 states.[22] Wilford Gwilliam purchased the Hertz franchise in 1941. He later sold it to Devere J. Sparrow who led the organization until 1976 when he sold it to his son-in-law, Jerry H. Petersen. Jerry grew the business from just a few rental locations and one sales location to what it is today, and still serves as the owner, president and CEO.


The Hertz fleet consists of a wide majority of vehicle manufacturers, with the majority being "GM products. Luxury cars are provided by "Mercedes, "Infiniti, and "Cadillac. Previously, due to Hertz's affiliation with Ford, the rental fleet of most locations consisted of Ford and its brands, such as "Mazda, "Volvo, "Mercury and "Lincoln, along with various others (mostly Korean and Japanese). As of December 2012, the company has over 490,000 cars in the US and a rental fleet in its international operations of over 177,000 cars, exclusive of its licensees' fleet.

Specialty Cars[edit]

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; however, many of them were missing the matching engine. Some customers would rent the car for a weekend and swap out the high-performance engine with a base version 289 cu in (4.7 L) V8. Engine inspections upon return of the rental unit were not common place, so nobody found out until the car was due for service. By that time, there was no way to track down the engine thief. The so-called "rent-a-racer" program in the late-1960s was available in selected locations and the fleet also included "Corvettes, "Jaguar XK-Es, and "AMC AMXs.[23][24]

In 2006, the 40th anniversary of the original GT350H, Hertz introduced the Shelby Mustang GT-H as part of the Fun Collection at select locations. This was followed in 2007 with a convertible version of the GT-H. 2008 saw 500 "Chevrolet Corvettes, badged as "ZHZ", available from selected US airports; the following year 350 convertible ZHZs joined the fleet. Both were finished in Hertz' corporate yellow with a central black stripe.

In 2013, Hertz paired with "Penske and "Ford to manufacture specially-modified black-and-yellow 2013 "Ford Mustang GT Premium "Coupes that were individually numbered for their fleets at select U.S. "airports.

All of Hertz's US specialty cars featured "SIRIUS "satellite radio, Hertz's NeverLost "navigation system, and other features that may not be equipped, or at least may cost extra, on their standard-class vehicles.

Green collection and electric cars[edit]

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.[25] All feature "Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highway fuel efficiency ratings of 28 mpg‑US (8.4 L/100 km; 34 mpg‑imp) or better on the highway.[26] In early 2007, Hertz launched its global hybrid rental program in conjunction with a $1 million donation to the "National Park Foundation.[27]

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.[28]

Hertz 24/7 car sharing[edit]

Hertz 24/7, formerly Hertz on Demand and earlier Connect by Hertz,[29] is the Hertz Corporation’s global "car sharing service, launched in December 2008, and currently operates in outside of the United States in select cities in Europe and in "Sydney, Australia.[30][31][32] Hertz 24/7 shut down its United States operations, including university campuses, in 2015, and had previously shut operations in select cities in years prior to the full shutdown.[32] On university campuses, Hertz 24/7 offered vehicles in the Personal, Social, and Jet Set Collections.[33]

Following the restructuring, the Hertz 24/7 Service now mainly focuses on hourly van hire at retail outlets in the remaining countries, such as IKEA, Homebase, B&Q, and Costco Wholesale. After a recent fleet replacement scheme, the majority of the vehicles are VW Transporter vans in mainland Europe, and Renault Master LWB Vans in the United Kingdom. Hertz 24/7 Remains available as a fleet management service for the likes of local government offices where a fleet of company cars is necessary, and the Hertz car sharing service makes for easier booking, support and management for these large fleets.

After the United States closure of the Hertz 24/7 service, a similar offering remains available within the United Kingdom, located at universities and colleges around the country. A typical example of the university fleet is at Imperial College, London, where a Nissan Leaf 24KWh, Ford Fiesta 1.0 Auto, and Ford Focus 1.0 Manual are available for use by students, staff, and the general public at both hourly and daily rates.

Customers book online at the Hertz 24/7 Website, or using the Hertz 24/7 Android and iOS app, where they can locate available vehicles and reserve them, subject to a 200% pre-authorization on the user's credit or debit card. 5 Minute prior to the booking start time, the customer is allowed access to the vehicle. The access code will be sent by both E-Mail and SMS, which they can input on a PIN Entry panel located on the driver's side of the vehicle windshield. Alternatively, if the user has been issued with one, they can gain access using their RFID Entry pass. The keys to the vehicle are located on a tether beside the steering wheel, and are only used to operate the engine ignition. Locking the vehicle during a booking session continues to be done via the PIN Entry pad, leaving the keys attached to the tether at all times. a fuel card (or Electric Vehicle Charging Card) is located in the sun visor and the cost of gasoline, electricity or diesel is covered by Hertz. The user simply pays the per-mile charge, regardless of how much fuel was purchased. For example, in the United Kingdom there is no electric vehicle mileage charge, a 25p/mile charge in cars, and 30p/mile charge in vans. All users are required to return the vehicle at the end of the booking on time, clean inside and out, empty and with at least a quarter tank of fuel. Failure to do so will result in penalties for the inconvenience to the next user.

Simply Wheelz and Advantage[edit]

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. 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 rebranded as Advantage Rent-a-Car.

On August 26, 2012, Hertz announced that it agreed to sell the US Advantage business to Franchise Services of North America and Macquarie Capital, as a divestiture to receive regulatory approval of Hertz's acquisition of "Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, announced at the same time, and to convert foreign Advantage locations to the Thrifty brand.[34] On December 12, 2012, Advantage Rent A Car was acquired by MacQuarie Capital.


Let Hertz put you in the driver’s seat[edit]

In 1959, the advertising firm of Norman, Craig & Kummel (NCK) was selected as the new advertising agency for Hertz. NCK developed the slogan “Hertz puts you in the driver’s seat,” which was first used commercially in September 1959. NCK quickly changed the wording to “Let Hertz put you in the driver’s seat” by October 1959. Popular a cappella quartet "The Hi-Lo's sang the Hertz song for the commercials. Hertz used the line in the early 1960s in print, signs and television. The series is listed as number 65 in the top 100 advertising campaigns of the 20th century by "Advertising Age magazine.[35]

John F. Kennedy assassination[edit]

Hertz billboard on the "Texas School Book Depository roof in 1969.

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.[36]

O.J. Simpson[edit]

"O.J. Simpson appeared prominently in ads for the company. The company set the trend of hiring black athletes as sponsors of various brands.[37] In 1975, O.J. Simpson became a staple in American households with his Hertz commercials.[37] One spot from the mid-1970s, showed Simpson, former football star as he was, running through an airport terminal (wearing a three-piece business suit and carrying a "briefcase) and leaping over rows of departure lounge seats 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". In later years and through the 1980s, he appeared with golf legend "Arnold Palmer; the pair was joined by the early 1990s by actress "Jamie Lee Curtis. The relationship between Hertz and Simpson ended in 1994, following Simpson's arrest for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.

Low-floor passenger bus[edit]

A low floor Hertz bus at "O'Hare International Airport in Chicago

A 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 U.S. public transportation agencies.

Heavy equipment rental[edit]

Hertz also maintained a heavy equipment rental division known as the Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation, aka HERC until July 1, 2016. HERC started operating in 1965 with its first location in Houston, TX. It was headquartered in "Park Ridge, "New Jersey, United States. In 2014 Hertz announced that they would separate their equipment rental division through a tax free spin off. The split was completed on June 30, 2016 and on July 1, 2016 Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation became an independently publicly traded company called Herc Rentals Inc.[38] HERC has more than 200 branches throughout the United States, "Canada, the "European Union, and "China.


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