Abrams Concludes Non-Airport Market Key to Stabilization

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The non-airport market segment is playing an increasingly important role in the U.S. car rental market, according to a newly published report by Abrams Travel Data Services (ATD).

ATD's latest issue of Car Rental Market Scan concludes that the non-airport or neighborhood market is acting as a stabilizing force in an industry challenged by geopolitical unrest, lean corporate earnings, rising unemployment and, most recently, travel fears arising from the SARS virus outbreak.

Car Rental Market Scan also concludes that car rental companies are keeping their fleets at tight levels, which is supporting stable rates in the airport market. Airport rates for midsize cars have been up 10+% during the past few weeks compared to 2002, despite drops in transaction volumes.

According to the report, companies with a large network of non-airport market locations are benefiting from a growing preference by travelers to use rental cars for short-haul trips. Car rental companies such as Hertz Corp. and Cendant Car Rental Group are focusing more on the local/replacement market in their strategic growth plans.

ATD is a business unit of Abrams Consulting Group (www.abramsconsulting.com).

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