Gregory Francois understands the ever-present need for car rental companies to keep costs down while maximizing revenue opportunities. That’s why he founded Gas Reclaimers Systems (GRS) – a company that removes the fuel from late model vehicles sitting in auction.
With over 20 years of experience in the car rental industry, Francois’ product is patent-pending and fully compliant with the strict air quality standards of local and state governments. He says he provides fast, friendly, courteous service while improving the customer’s bottom-line.
As general manager of over 10,000 rental cars at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Francois says that 80 percent of his cars were going back to the manufacturer full of gas. That meant he was losing close to 80,000 gallons a year. At $2 a gallon, LAX was losing at least $160,000 annually.
“When you are laying off people, that type of savings can save quite a few workers,” Francois says.
Based in Granada Hills, Calif., GRS is now operating in more than 20 cities nationwide and has extracted over three million gallons of gasoline – saving their customers a total exceeding three million dollars.
“Every location we open we meet with the local authorities – we have incorporated many of their suggestions into our design,” says Francois. “The thought is, if one person asks for it, others probably will also.”
Early in the development process of the gas reclaiming device, Francois says his team realized there was a serious barrier to making this idea a reality. Auto makers had developed technology that prevents anyone from entering the fuel tank through the filler neck. In order to reclaim the gas in the most efficient way, GRS had to create a method that would bypass these anti-siphon devices.
After several thousand dollars and hundreds of research hours, according to Francois, GRS developed a proprietary technique for safely removing the fuel, saving car rental companies thousands of dollars.
In March 2003, GRS began first servicing car rental companies at LAX. However, Francois began his research and development in April of 2002. He says it took him and his team a full year to design the reclamation machine and sell the concept to car rental companies.