Enterprise Rent-A-Car said it will not need to access funds under a relief proposal to the federal government put forth by the major car rental companies last month.
Enterprise, including National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car, joined Avis Budget Group, Hertz Global Holdings and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group in signing a letter sent to Congress on Dec. 8 asking the federal government to free up traditional lines of credit accessed by rental car companies to fund their operations.
“This issue is clearly a deep concern for our competitors as a number have financing challenges as disclosed by the companies themselves and financial analysts,” Pat Farrell, Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s vice president of communications and corporate responsibility, told Auto Rental News. “Enterprise participated in this process because we agree with it, but at the same time, we don’t need money.”
Farrell maintains that Enterprise has adequate access to capital and a banking facility in place until 2012.
Farrell said that some published news reports have confused the auto rental industry’s request with the direct federal aid going to the Detroit automakers contained in the original $700 billion bailout package.
Though the request involves funds already existing in the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), it does not involve direct loans to car rental companies, Farrell said.
“The industry is not seeking a bailout,” Farrell said. “Viable businesses need to be able to borrow money as they did before the credit crisis ensued. Members of the industry are simply seeking access to traditional forms of capital or credit that have been frozen as a result of the current banking crisis.”
The TARP bill has passed the House of Representatives and is now under review in the Senate Finance Committee.