The next step in Zipcar-Avis Budget buddying-up is technology sharing, with Avis Budget cars expected to get a Zipcar refresh. At least that's the plan.
Six months after Avis Budget acquired Zipcar, the car-sharing service’s fleet is getting younger.
Prior to the acquisition, Zipcar operated each car for 50,000 miles or 24 months, but now Avis Budget is rotating out vehicles when they reach 40,000 miles, said Thomas Gartland, Avis Budget Group’s North America president.
Gartland said Avis Budget has “refreshed” 3,000 Zipcars, with the aim of enhancing the customer experience for Zipcar members.
When companies make acquisitions, they always talk about the cost-cutting and revenue-enhancing synergies.
If you believe Gartland, everything is going according to plan.
Describing the synergies between Zipcar and parent Avis Budget, Gartland said an alpha that’s under way involves a different kind of car-sharing — between Zipcar and Avis Budget.
The test involves 200 vehicles, which are used by Avis Budget on weekdays, and by Zipcar on weekends, matching each company’s peak demand period.
Avis Budget has taken over the tasks of buying Zipcars, handling preventive maintenance, and repairing damaged vehicles, Gartland said.
Avis Budget is “happy with the team, with how things are moving, and we are fully dedicated to achieving the expectations of our shareholders and our board,” Gartland said.
Those expectations include $50 million to $70 million worth of synergies between Zipcar and Avis Budget, said Gartland, who spoke September 26 at the MKM Partners Entertainment & Leisure Conference in New York City.
The integration of Zipcar is readily apparent at 20 of the 21 airports where Zipcar has a presence. That’s because there are Zipcar “pods” within Avis Budget locations at those 20 airports, Gartland said.
It’s all very cozy, and gives travelers a choice of just how they want to roll.
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Photo credit: There are now Zipcar pods within Avis locations at 20 airports. Pictured is a Zipcar MINI Cooper convertible. Zipcar