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Hertz on Demand and Zipcar face off over corporate car-sharing leadership


Mar 25, 2013 7:32 am

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Both Hertz and Avis Budget now have their little ride-sharing subsdiaries to play with, and both are positioning themselves to tap into the business travel market.

— Dennis Schaal

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Hertz On Demand Vehicles parked at the Park Ridge, New Jersey designated Hertz on Demand location. Wikimedia Commons

If the big money in the car-sharing sector will eventually be in business travel, then both Hertz on Demand and AvisBudget’s Zipcar are starting to position themselves to cash in.

Herz announced today that its subsidiary, Hertz on Demand, “is now serving as the operator of Lufthansa CarPool for the airline’s employees, making Hertz the leading player in the corporate car-sharing sector.”

To accommodate the new partnership, Hertz on Demand is adding 1,000 cars, increasing its fleet size 62.5% to 2,600 vehicles.

But newly acquired Zipcar, which just started introducing its cars at U.S. airports heavy with business travelers, likely will have something to say about Hertz’s boast as competition between the two heats up.

Hertz on Demand is now operating Lufthansa CarPool for airline employees and supplying the booking system, as well as 1,000 vehicles, including Fiat 500s and Ford Fiestas.

The three-year agreement enables Lufthansa employees at Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg airports to reserve and return the vehicles at any time. They can make reservations on the desktop Web, a mobile site, or through an iPhone app.

Hertz on Demand has been serving New York City airports since April 2011 and allows one-way trips to other airports in Boston and Washington, D.C., for example.

On the corporate front, Hertz on Demand has an agreement — smaller in scope than with Lufthansa — to service employees at London Heathrow.

Hertz on Demand has more than 800 locations, including corporate offices, urban areas and universities, around the world.

Now in the Avis Budget fold, Zipcar intends to roll out its ride-sharing service at U.S. airports throughout 2013.

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