The American Car Rental Association (ACRA) announced in mid-January that, on behalf of its members and the car rental industry, it had successfully ensured the inclusion of language regarding the availability of fleet purchase loans for rental operators in HR 384, a bill designed to reform the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) and ensure the program’s accountability.
“ACRA was concerned the original language was not sufficient to protect our interests and ensure our inclusion in financial assistance,” said Sean Busking, executive director of ACRA.
Frank Colonna, ACRA board member and owner of Triangle Rent A Car, worked with Bob Barton, ACRA president, and Busking to formulate language that identifying the car rental industry as a noted recipient of financing.
Colonna proposed the amended language to Congressman Brad Miller, Colonna’s representative in North Carolina. Miller was able to have the language included in the “Amendment to HR 384 Offered by Congressman, and Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Barney Frank.”
That language has since been approved and is included in the bill. As of this printing, the bill has passed the House of Representatives and is now under review in the Senate Finance Committee.
“This is good that as an industry we were able to work together and accomplish such an important goal,” said Colonna. “However, we still have more to do on this project before it is of any benefit to any of us.”
These latest actions follow a proposal late last year led by Avis Budget Group asking Congress to have the Treasury and Fed buy specific types of debt issued by Avis Budget Group, Hertz Global Holdings, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group and Enterprise. The plan called for the federal government to free up traditional lines of credit accessed by rental car companies to fund their operations. (Enterprise said it will not need to access those funds if a relief plan passes).