Hertz has been a household name in the rental car business for decades. Ever since it was founded in 1918 by Walter L. Jacobs, the company has continued to grow rapidly, and today it operates at close to 8000 locations in 145 countries worldwide.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Hertz Corporation is the second largest US car rental company in terms of sales, as of the end of 2012.
Last May, its executives announced that its corporate headquarters would move from New Jersey to southwest Florida. The company is building a $68 million campus in Estero, but until it is completed in 2015, many of its employees will work from a leased location in Naples, Florida.
Its core business ethic has remained the same over the last century – aiming to deliver a first-class service while keeping its rates competitive and ensuring the company keeps abreast of new trends in technology. Underpinning the Hertz philosophy is its commitment to hard work and securing the loyalty of its customers.
Back in time
At the age 22, Jacobs started his business with a dozen Model T Fords in Chicago. He repaired and painted them himself. Within 5 short years, his enterprise began to generate annual revenue of about $1 million. In 1923, Jacobs sold the business to John Hertz, who was then president of Yellow Cab and Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company. The rental business, later called Hertz Drive-Ur-Self System, was bought out by General Motors Corporation in 1926. It changed ownership several more times, but Jacobs continued to serve as president until his retirement in 1960. Striving to be the best rental car company it could be, today Hertz is constantly on the move. Here are some of the company’s latest perks to make its customers happy.
Not long ago, Hertz announced that it would be adding iPads and other touchscreen devices to 800 of its retail stores and some airports in North America. The initiative is called “Road Trip by Hertz”. The iPad station, equipped with four tablets, is meant to reduce queuing times. In addition, customers can find all the local area information they need; there are pre-loaded travel apps and iPad-powered apps to make reservations by choosing the lowest Hertz rental rates. Kids can play games while they’re waiting for their parents, and the latter can check emails, print boarding passes, recharge their mobile devices, or simple pass the time until their flight. At some locations, iPads are offered for rent, but the general idea is for all global locations to be converted to this format by 2015.
Keeping it green and clean
Always wanted to see what a Tesla Model S electric car felt like, but your wallet was too thin for it?
Do not despair. As of late September 2013, Hertz has added Tesla Model S electric cars to its Los Angeles and San Francisco airport locations. Most likely, soon at a location near you. The prices are still high – $500 per day plus $0.49 a mile after 75 miles, but think about the good you will be doing to our planet. The Tesla cars are part of Hertz’s Dream Cars program and share the upscale top spot along with Lamborghini and Ferrari.
Hertz 24/7 rental plan
In the name of customer convenience, this “game changer” plan, as the company calls it, began rolling out last July. It is meant to make renting a car as easy as picking a sandwich at a local deli. Customers would be able to rent a car 24/7, for as long as they want without the constraints of normal business hours in the standard locations. The plan also includes rapid expansion as Hertz revealed that it intends to have up to 12,000 locations in the US alone – including at parking lots outside Walgreens and Low’s. Cars could be rented via computer or any mobile device with an improved and easy to use booking system. Hertz estimates that, by 2016, “self-service” vehicles will be accessible by the majority of the population.