The Hertz Corporation has signed an agreement to acquire Flexicar, a Melbourne, Australia-based car sharing company.
Flexicar provides car sharing services to members throughout Melbourne and Sydney. The company will be integrated into Connect by Hertz, the car rental company's global car sharing club, following closing, which is scheduled for Dec. 1, 2010.
"Connect by Hertz is an integral part of Hertz's overall strategy to provide total mobility solutions to our customers," commented Hertz Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mark P. Frissora. "The Flexicar acquisition, Connect's first foray into the Australian market, will further strengthen our global car sharing footprint, enabling us to reach a greater audience and to provide our worldwide members access to car sharing vehicles in a sixth country."
Founded in 2005, Flexicar began on the belief that Australia's inner city residents needed an affordable and sustainable alternative to car ownership. The company operates 90 vehicles and has approximately 2,500 members throughout Melbourne and Sydney.
"There are three common factors that drive consumers to join a car sharing club: cost savings, convenience and its environmental benefits," said Robert Stuart, senior vice president, global sales for Hertz. "The Australian car sharing market closely mirrors the markets in which Connect serves, including residential, college campuses and the business community. With a growing membership base and strong car utilization rate, Flexicar provides Connect with immediate access to these key markets."
Flexicar will ultimately operate under the Connect by Hertz brand, with Flexicar founder Monique Conheady retaining her leadership position as director of Australian car sharing operations. The acquisition will benefit Flexicar members by offering sophisticated in-car technology, as well as greater access to cars and locations. Flexicar members will also be able to use Connect services in Berlin, London, Madrid, New York and Paris.
"We're excited that we will be joining the Connect by Hertz family," said Flexicar CEO Conheady. "Hertz's infrastructure will enable Flexicar to tap into a wider array of resources, including its state-of-the-art technology, while providing members with greater products and services to enhance their overall experience."
Operationally, the businesses will benefit from Hertz's access to a wide variety of cars as well as its in-car Eileo technology, while Flexicar's regional presence and brand awareness will enable expansion throughout the country. After closing and for the remainder of the year, the companies will begin transitioning Flexicar into Connect by Hertz.