This week Hertz unveiled its strategy to redefine the car sharing experience and grow its business by lowering costs, enhancing member benefits, adding new vehicles and locations, and deploying the latest in-car and customer support technology.
Effective immediately, Hertz's car sharing service, formerly Connect by Hertz, is named Hertz On Demand (www.HertzOnDemand.com). According to the company, the move reflects increased customer control over the car sharing experience utilizing industry-leading technology.
In the past few weeks, Hertz has implemented several breakthrough initiatives designed to empower consumers, including: elimination of membership fees; expanded one way service; guaranteed availability Monday through Thursday in New York City, more car and SUV options including the addition of electric vehicles (EV's) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV's) at select locations; a simplified reservation process for booking in any country/city where available; and a continued focus on unparalleled member service including 24/7 live, in-car assistance. The company says it has promised additional program enhancements in the weeks and months ahead.
"Hertz On Demand reflects our commitment to radically improve the car sharing experience and take it to the next level by providing our members with lower costs, greater choices, further simplicity and unequalled customer service," commented Mark P. Frissora, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Hertz Corporation. "Our approach to car sharing reflects a commitment to offer member-centric services, utilizing best-in-class technology, which no competitor is matching, backed by the resources of the leading global car rental company. This really is the future of car sharing available now and nobody else has it."
Hertz On Demand is a pay-as-you-go system, providing members with 24/7 access to vehicles located throughout their city. It has approximately 40,000 members, is available in six countries and on approximately 60 university campuses. Hertz On Demand offers its members products and services including:
- The elimination of all membership and renewal fees in the U.S. and Europe. The company has also introduced membership kiosks in New York City, enabling customers to join free of charge and immediately enjoy Hertz on Demand car sharing experience.
- Guaranteed vehicle availability Monday through Thursday in New York City.
- One-way car sharing rentals between 175 locations in the Northeast U.S.
- An expanded car sharing fleet with new vehicles added to the service. The U.S. fleet has been refreshed to include luxury cars. Approximately 100 vehicles have been added to the New York City fleet, including the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia; and cars suitable for moving, including the Ford Transit Connect and the Nissan Titan pick-up truck. Hertz On Demand also just added the Ford Transit in Germany, and will also add 50 Fiat 500's in the U.S. next month. Additionally, a variety of electric vehicles are available at select locations, including the Chevy Volt, Nissan LEAF, and smart fortwo electric drive. In Europe, Fleet options include: Fiat 500, Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus, Mitsubishi i-MiEV (London) and Ford Transit High Roofs (London and B&Q Countrywide), Opel Meriva and Opel Corsa (Paris), Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta, BMW Mini and Nissan Pixo (Berlin), Toyota Yaris and Toyota Verso (Madrid).
- Simplified reservation process. As part of the launch, Hertz On Demand has a newly redesigned member website, www.HertzOnDemand.com, with a simplified reservation process, including one way map routing and reservations, enhanced search capabilities, faster page load times and enhanced details about car makes and models.
- Unparalleled Member Service. Hertz On Demand's industry leading, proprietary in-car technology provides members a safe and superior car rental experience. Upon enrolling, members receive a smart chip enabled card which gives them keyless entry to any reserved car. In the vehicle, a hands-free audio kit connects members to an in-house Member Care Center representative - available 24/7, 365 days a year - should they have questions, need assistance or need to extend their reservation. Hertz On Demand is able to "communicate" with the vehicle, enabling representatives to unlock, engage and locate vehicles and cars are equipped with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, for hands free driving, as well as EZ Pass transponders.
In Europe, Hertz On Demand signed a three-year agreement with the UK's leading home improvement and garden center retailer, B&Q, to bring short term van rental to customers looking for an alternative delivery option. The Hertz On Demand vans are available at 137 B&Q stores across the UK. Hertz also launched a partnership with Castorama in France in pilot stores, providing short term van rental to Castorama customers.
Hertz says it is ideally positioned to offer companies tailored solutions that are designed to meet the demands of today's businesses. Businesses can reduce expenses and control costs by converting fixed fleet costs into variable costs by only paying for per trip usage. Shared cars can be used for professional purposes, including trips to nearby offices and off-site business meetings. Additionally, businesses can give employees a money-saving perk by offering Hertz on Demand cars at work, making cars available for personal usage. Hertz on Demand is able to place cars on corporate sites and also offer corporate members the added benefit of classic rent a car services. Businesses, government entities with fleet operations, and even companies operating residential buildings, such as apartment blocks, can all benefit by offering employees and tenants car sharing services. Hertz on Demand also serves businesses and organizations including Marriott International, BAA Airports Ltd. and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
Hertz On Demand is the new, global brand identity for Hertz's car sharing club (formerly Connect by Hertz). The rebrand includes a new look, logo and marketing collateral and is a reflection of the company's commitment to evolve and enhance member benefits.