Enterprise Rent-A-Car announced Feb. 19 its new franchise partnership with Locauto Rent in Italy as part of its growth strategy to expand the Enterprise brand across Europe. This is the second franchise partnership the company has made in Europe.

(Read more about Enterprise's international franchise plans here.)

With the appointment, Enterprise increased its European network to seven countries including France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, the U.K. and now Italy. The company said this brings the Enterprise brand to 85% of the European car rental market — with Italy counting for the fifth largest market for rental car services.

“As demand for our daily rental services grows, there is strong opportunity to extend our reach across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia,” said Peter A. Smith, Enterprise VP of global franchising. “We are actively talking to potential partners across the continent.  For us, the key attributes for a franchise partner are a strong, stable, domestic business, a heritage for customer care and the design to work in partnership to build a brand that is respected as a great service provider and also as an ethical corporate citizen.”

Locauto Rent now operates a fleet of 5,000 vehicles through 28 locations. The partnership will help Enterprise reach its goal of meeting the needs of both domestic and international leisure and business travelers.

“Our local customers will continue to enjoy service from a truly Italian supplier, whilst international visitors will find a business that is at once familiar in terms of brand, value and service, whilst offering what we like to think is a uniquely Italian hospitality and spirit.” said Mario Tavazza, CEO for Locauto Rent. “We share a common culture based on customer care, providing easy and affordable rental solutions which are flexible for customers.”