In the global car rental industry, the big are getting bigger as Enterprise-Rent-A-Car expands its European presence.
New franchisee appointments in Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland have helped Enterprise Rent-A-Car to achieve a major milestone in the development of its European presence: an uninterrupted network that will extend the Enterprise brand across the whole of EU.
These new partnerships bring the company one step closer to realising its goal of offering the Enterprise brand to all car hire customers regardless of where they are travelling in the world, increasing choice and demonstrating the value of the company’s customer service ethos to both domestic renters and international travellers.
As the latest part of its planned programme of expansion, the business has carefully selected two best-in-class businesses to support the network growth.
In Belgium and Luxembourg, General Lease, a division of Groep Boden operates under the “Rent A Car” brand. They are the replacement vehicle market leader in Belgium with a network of 40 branches. General Lease is currently poised to extend its presence to airports and city centres to meet the needs of international and domestic travellers. Auto-Interleasing (AIL) is a family owned business dating back 80 years and is one of Switzerland’s largest fleet management and dealership organisations. AIL’s automotive and market experience will be vital in introducing the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand in key transport hubs throughout the country.
Peter A. Smith, vice president of global franchising at Enterprise, said: “Step by step we are achieving our goal of extending the Enterprise brand across European markets to deliver greater choice and value in some of the world’s busiest travel destinations.
“General Lease and AIL are strong businesses in their respected markets with a well-established reputation for quality service. These are two vital new members to the Enterprise family of businesses and add an important new element to our brand, as they enable us to provide a continuous network of branches that stretches across the heart of Europe.
“These latest franchise agreements are a key moment for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, consolidating our footprint across the continent. The strength of our franchisee relationships has already demonstrated the power to deliver an even better service to our customers, as well as opportunities for all our business partners.”
Philip Boden, CEO of General Lease, said: “In joining the Enterprise network, our aspiration is both to develop as a business within our existing territories and also to play our part in a growing and dynamic network of rental car providers. Right now car hire is opening new opportunities for travellers and home city renters alike. “The Belux region is an important centre for both European politics and business and an international hub for travellers from within and outside the continent. This will enable us to play a key part in growing the Enterprise network within our region. Our strong home city network and experience with replacement vehicle customers provides a strong fit with Enterprise’s own roots as a provider to the insurance and repairer markets.”
Beat Imwinkelried, Chairman and CEO of AIL, said: “Switzerland remains a key destination for business travel, and joining the Enterprise network creates a wonderful opportunity to expand our service, especially to inbound executive travellers.
“We see our experience across the fleet and automotive sectors as a great asset in helping to define and establish the Enterprise network across Switzerland. Understanding the business audience as we do will also be a huge benefit in delivering our mutual mission of providing outstanding customer care. We look forward to the start of a long and successful relationship with one of the world’s most impressive car hire businesses.”
Enterprise Rent-A-Car is part of St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings, the largest car rental service provider in the world. Enterprise operates wholly-owned operations across the UK, Germany, Ireland, France, Spain, the United States and Canada, with over 8,100 offices worldwide. Most recently it has rapidly expanded its branded operations at airports and transport hubs throughout territories across the globe.
Enterprise Holdings also operates the National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands in the Americas, and together with its affiliate Enterprise Fleet Management, offers a total transportation solution. Combined, Enterprise Holdings and Enterprise Fleet Management – which includes extensive car rental and car sharing services, commercial truck rental, corporate fleet management, and retail car sales – accounted for $16.4 billion in revenue, employed 78,000 and operated 1.4 million vehicles throughout the world in fiscal year 2013. Operating through its regional subsidiaries, Enterprise Holdings is the largest car rental company in the world as measured by revenue, fleet, and employees. Enterprise Holdings’ annual revenues also place it near the top of the travel industry, exceeding all other rental car companies, and most airlines, cruise lines, hotels, tour operators and online travel agencies.
General Lease NV is part of Groep Boden, a family business active in the automotive business since 1979 covering dealerships for the Opel and Chevrolet brands and car rental since 1987. The car rental division has a fleet of around 2,000 vehicles to service the assistance/replacement business as well as the local corporate and individual segments in 40 points of sale across Belgium.
AIL Holding is an old-established family business active in the automotive business in Switzerland. One main business area include a number of car dealerships for brands such Opel, BMW, Mini, Citroen, Honda, Morgan and Maserati. One of the subsidiaries, Grosspeter AG, is one of the oldest and largest GM/Opel dealers in Switzerland. The other main businesses include two leasing companies: Auto-Interleasing AG is focused on company car fleet management. EFL Autoleasing AG is dedicated to the consumer finance segment and is one of the few independent leasing companies for private clients.
AIL Holding AG is 100% owned by the Imwinkelried family.
Auto-Interleasing AG is a leading fleet management company in Switzerland with headquarter in Basel. Auto-Interleasing AG was founded 1949 is one of the few fully-independent full-service provider which is focused exclusively on business-to-business customers. It is family-owned and neither related to a bank nor to a car manufacturer or car importer. Auto-Interleasing AG has close to 12’000 vehicles under management and is the number 2 fleet manager in the Swiss market.
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Photo Credit: Jaclyn Waggoner, left, and Jason Gillespie, center, work the counter at a Enterprise Rent-A-Car office in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 30, 2012. Enterprise is expanding across Europe. David Carson / St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT
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