At the Women’s Industry Network (WIN) Educational Conference in May, Susan Lombardo, senior vice president of vehicle acquisition for Enterprise Holdings, shared her vision for the car rental and collision repair sectors.
Lombardo’s session “Guess Who’s One of the Most Strategic Links in the Automotive Value Chain?” focused on how both car rental and collision repair are undergoing changes through urbanization and technology.
“Many drivers experience new automotive technologies for the first time in rental vehicles — we call them ‘extended test drives,’ ” Lombardo said. “As manufacturers move further down the line with self-driving vehicles, I have no doubt that the U.S. car rental industry will be an early adopter and will be able to help introduce autonomous driving technology to millions of consumers … just as we have done with anti-lock braking, stop-start technology, hybrid electric vehicles and all of the other new technologies that are introduced every year.”
She also highlighted the role of collision repair companies for autonomous vehicles, explaining that there will be a high demand when autonomous cars are introduced to the general public as these vehicles still won’t be able to repair themselves.
Through these changes, Lombardo noted women in leadership positions are a strategic link in the automotive value chain. As consumers’ tastes change in favor of more advanced and technologically complex vehicles, Lombardo explained that women are well positioned to lead.
“Women have been particularly good at navigating through transition, with our focus on listening, finding creative solutions and powering through problems,” she said.