Europcar: Rise in European Rental Market

Europcar expects the rental market in Western Europe to grow by 2.5 to 3 percent in 2008, as rising budget air travel and high-speed train traffic boost demand.

Salvatore Catania, managing director of the group owned by Eurazeo since its purchase from Volkswagen in June 2006, recently said in a news conference that the firm aimed to increase its market share.

Europcar expects the United States market to grow by 2 percent a year on average in the period to 2011, against 3 percent in Western Europe and 7 percent in Eastern Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Catania said the continuous development of low-cost airlines and a further rise in high speed rail traffic after a 34 percent increase from 2000 to 2005 would underpin future results.

Fuel price hikes, parking and maintenance charges and city congestion charges would also make rental an attractive alternative to ownership, he said.

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