The envelopes, please ...
The inaugural CarTrawler Car Rental Awards winners were announced in a gala ceremony at Dromoland Castle in County Clare, Ireland, on Oct. 13. The awards were presented in association with media partner Auto Rental News.
The Car Rental Awards are designed to annually recognize auto rental companies worldwide that have demonstrated a superior level of performance and service to their customers in partnership with CarTrawler, a global provider of its next generation car rental distribution system.
The awards are a quality initiative created by the eTrawler Group to promote best practice in the car rental industry. Car rental suppliers worldwide were nominated for prize categories based on fleet size and geographic region, culminating in the selection of three category winners and one overall Car Rental Provider of the Year. The judging criteria included ratio of customer care cases to rentals, fleet size, customer feedback, availability and supply.
The awards are the first to focus exclusively on the car rental sector and on tangible data, according to CarTrawler.
“The success of our business is in no small part down to the effort made by our car rental partners, from HQ right down to the car rental collection desk,” said Niall Turley, director of supply and cofounder of CarTrawler. Our commitment to quality is a shared objective, so together we can set the standard for the car rental industry to follow. For this reason, CarTrawler is proud to sponsor an event which rewards the passion and professionalism of car rental providers around the world.”
And the winners are:
Alamo National Citer, France was named Category 1 (Large Enterprise Fleet) award winner. The Category 2 (Medium Enterprise Fleet) award went to Europcar, South Africa, while the Category 3 (Growing Enterprise Fleet) award went to Niza Car, Spain.
The Overall Car Rental Provider of the Year award went to Alamo National Citer, France.
“How do I feel after having been awarded? The first word that comes to me is pride,” said Gerard Maitre, CEO of Citer. “It's also a great satisfaction for the team in France to see their efforts throughout the year being recognized and rewarded.”
Alamo National Citer, based in Paris and founded in 1968, rents a fleet of 15,000 vehicles from 207 locations. The company is currently embarking on a large-scale green initiative, which includes a carbon-offset plan and a low-emission fleet with a 128 g/km carbon emissions average. Along with a fleet of hybrids, the company has 180 electric cars already on rent.
Europcar South Africa, based in Johannesburg and founded in 1979, has a 16,000-vehicle fleet serving more than 120 locations in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.
“We were thrilled to have won the award; it is such a pleasure working with the CarTrawler team,” said Anne Leonard, channel director international, Europcar, South Africa. “We are all very aware of the business pressures today and it is great to be able to tackle these with such supportive partners.”
Europcar South Africa has also been recognized by World Travel Awards as Best Car Hire Company in Africa, 2006-2010, as well as recognized for service excellence at the 2010 ACSA Feather Awards, for O.R. Tambo, Cape Town and King Shaka International Airports.
Niza Car of Spain, founded in 1968 and based at Malaga Airport, has six airport locations and three downtown offices that are served by a 2,300-vehicle fleet.
“We are proud and honored to win this award,” said Francisco Lucena, director commercial of Niza Cars. “The award is recognition of the daily work of a young team, but with years of experience with customer satisfaction as a priority.”
The event coincided with CarTrawler’s annual supplier event, held this year at Dromoland Castle in southwest Ireland. The castle, now a luxury resort, dates back to the 16th century and is the ancestral home of the O’Brien clan, direct descendants of Brian Boru, the last High King of Ireland.
Nominations for the 2012 Car Rental Awards are now being accepted.