The Hertz Corporation

The Hertz Corporation
Hertz Corporation
Type Public
Traded as NYSEHTZ
Founded 1918
Founder(s) John D. Hertz
Headquarters Park Ridge, New Jersey, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Key people Mark P. Frissora, CEO
Owner(s) various shareholders, including a private equity group
Employees 29,350[1]
Hertz office Livonia, Michigan

Hertz Global Holdings Inc[2] is an American car rental company with international locations in 145 countries worldwide.[2]



Early years

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

In 1954, the new corporation bought New York truck leasing company, Metropolitan Distributors.[3]

In 1967, The Hertz Corporation became a wholly owned subsidiary of RCA but was operated as a separate entity. In 1985, Hertz joined 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.[3]

On June 13, 2005, Ford issued a notice that Hertz would be let loose in an initial public offering. On September 13, 2005 it was announced it was to be sold to a private equity group for $5.6 billion in cash and debt acquisition. The sale was completed on December 22, 2005.

This private equity group took Hertz public on November 16, 2006 and is now available on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol 'HTZ'.

On January 11, 2010, Hertz announced the acquisition of used car dealer British Car Auctions (BCA) for an undisclosed sum.[4] On April 26, 2010, Hertz announced the acquisition of rival Dollar-Thrifty Automotive Group for a purchase price of $41.00 per share, in a mix of cash and Hertz common stock.[5] Investors in Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Dollar Thrifty rejected the $1.44 billion bid from Hertz on Sept. 30.[6]. Dollar Thrifty announced on Oct. 12, 2011 that it had taken itself off the market because it did not receive any proposals that would pass antitrust muster. [7]

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).

The Hertz Corporation's Data Center is located in Warr Acres, and its Worldwide Reservations Center is located in The Village; both are cities in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma

Specialty Cars

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. 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.[8]

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.

Green collection and electric cars

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.[9] 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.[10] In early 2007, Hertz launched its global hybrid rental program in conjunction with a $1 million donation to the National Park Foundation.[11]

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.[12]

Car sharing

"Hertz on Demand", formerly known as "Connect by Hertz",[13] is the Hertz Corporation’s global car sharing service, launched in December 2008, and currently operates in Berlin, London, Madrid, New York City, and Paris, as well as numerous universities campuses worldwide.[14][15] Connect by Hertz offers vehicles in the Personal, Social, and Jet Set Collections which are available for online reservation.[16]

As part of Hertz Global EV initiative, Connect by Hertz will offer for hour rental several electric cars at selected locations in the US, the UK, and China. The plug-in electric vehicles that will be available include the Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Tesla Roadster, Smart ED, Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid and Coda Sedan . As of May 2011 the Smart ED, the Chevy Volt, and the Nissan Leaf are available in New York City.[17] Later in 2011 plug-in cars will be introduced in San Francisco and Washington D.C.[18][19] In April 2011 the Mitsubishi i MiEVs began to be offered in London for rental to Connect by Hertz members.[20]

Low-floor passenger bus

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.

John F. Kennedy assassination

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.[21]

O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson appeared prominently in ads for the company for years in the 1970s and 1980s (many times appearing with golf legend Arnold Palmer; the pair was joined by the early 1990s by actress Jamie Lee Curtis). In one spot from the mid-1970s, which became iconic, Simpson, former football star as he was, leapt over rows of departure lounge seats, running through an airport terminal (wearing a three-piece business suit and carrying a briefcase) 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".

The relationship with Hertz and Simpson ended in late 1992 when reports of domestic abuse surfaced.

Equipment rental

Hertz also maintains a heavy equipment rental division known as the Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation, aka HERC. It is headquartered in Park Ridge, New Jersey, United States.[22] HERC has more than 300 branches throughout the United States, Canada, the European Union, and China.

Subbrands: Simply Wheelz and Advantage

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.

Criticism and controversies

The company was ranked the 9th worst place to work in America, according to a survey in 2009.[23]


  1. ^ "Hertz says over 4,000 jobs to go". BBC News. 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  2. ^ a b Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. Company Profile Yahoo! FINANCE
  3. ^ a b "Hertz History". Hertz. 
  4. ^ "Hertz acquires used car dealer BCA". 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  5. ^ "Hertz Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Dollar Thrifty". 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  6. ^ "Avis May Have to Sell Assets to Get Thrifty Proposal". 2010-11-15. Retrieved 2010-11-15. 
  7. ^ "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 
  8. ^ Nolan, Bruce. "1968 AMC AMX - Hertz Rent A Racer". Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  9. ^ Grant, John (2009). The Green Marketing Manifesto. Wiley. ISBN 9780470687314. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  10. ^ Hopf, Leo; Welter, William (2010). Rethink, Reinvent, Reposition: 12 Strategies to Renew Your Business and Boost Your Bottom Line. Adams Media. p. 19. ISBN 9781605500249. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  11. ^ Nazzaro, Robin (2009). National Park Service: Donations and Related Partnerships Benefit, but Management Refinements Could Better Target Risks and Enhance Accountability. United States Government Accountability Office, document 09-386. p. 26. Retrieved 22 May 2011. 
  12. ^ "Hertz to provide electric cars for rent". The Seattle Times. The Associated Press. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 8 February 2011. 
  13. ^ Eric Loveday (2011-07-20). "Hertz on Demand is a bit like ZipCar without membership fees". AutoblogGreen. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  14. ^ Belson, Ken (2008-12-16). "Hertz Will Try to Connect With the Carless". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  15. ^ "Connect by Hertz Expands in Key European Capitals of Berlin and Madrid". 2009-12-02. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  16. ^ "Connect by Hertz Drives Onto University of Maryland Campus". 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  17. ^ "Hertz Installs EVs in NYC Car Sharing Club". Auto Rental News. 2011-05-06. Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  18. ^ Motavalli, Jim (2010-12-07). "Hertz Puts Electric Cars on the Fast Track, Starting in New York". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  19. ^ "Hertz Details Hourly Electric Car Rentals Including Nissan, Chevy, Mitsubishi, Tesla, Smart, and Coda". 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  20. ^ Eric Loveday (2011-04-20). "Hertz offering Mitsubishi i-MiEV rentals in UK". AutoblogGreen. Retrieved 2011-05-22. 
  21. ^ Moore, Jonathan. "Open Window to History: A look back at the improbable conservation of the Texas School Book Depository". Texas Society of Architects. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 
  22. ^ "Corporate Governance Overview." The Hertz Corporation. Retrieved on June 14, 2009.
  23. ^ "List of top U.S. places to work: survey". 2009-12-16. Retrieved 2011-09-30. 

External links

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