Market Overview

The automobile rental business is a multi-billion greenback sector of the US financial system. The US phase of the business averages about $18.5 billion in income a yr. At the moment, there are roughly 1.9 million rental automobiles that service the US phase of the market. As well as, there are numerous rental companies in addition to the business leaders that subdivide the full income, specifically Greenback Thrifty, Price range and Vanguard. Not like different mature service industries, the rental automobile business is extremely consolidated which naturally places potential new comers at a cost-disadvantage since they face excessive enter prices with lowered risk of economies of scale. Furthermore, a lot of the revenue is generated by just a few companies together with Enterprise, Hertz and Avis. For the fiscal yr of 2004, Enterprise generated $7.Four billion in whole income. Hertz got here in second place with about $5.2 billion and Avis with $2.97 in income.

Stage of Integration

The rental automobile business faces a very totally different atmosphere than it did 5 years in the past. In response to Enterprise Journey Information, automobiles are being rented till they’ve collected 20,000 to 30,000 miles till they’re relegated to the used automobile business whereas the turn-around mileage was 12,000 to 15,000 miles 5 years in the past. Due to sluggish business progress and slim revenue margin, there is no such thing as a imminent risk to backward integration inside the business. Actually, among the many business gamers solely Hertz is vertically built-in by means of Ford.

Scope of Competitors

There are a lot of components that form the aggressive panorama of the automobile rental business. Competitors comes from two primary sources all through the chain. On the holiday client’s finish of the spectrum, competitors is fierce not solely as a result of the market is saturated and effectively guarded by business chief Enterprise, however rivals function at a price drawback together with smaller market shares since Enterprise has established a community of sellers over 90 % the leisure phase. On the company phase, then again, competitors could be very robust on the airports since that phase is beneath tight supervision by Hertz. As a result of the business underwent a large financial downfall lately, it has upgraded the dimensions of competitors inside a lot of the corporations that survived. Competitively talking, the rental automobile business is a war-zone as most rental companies together with Enterprise, Hertz and Avis among the many main gamers have interaction in a battle of the fittest.


Over the previous 5 years, most companies have been working in direction of enhancing their fleet sizes and growing the extent of profitability. Enterprise at present the corporate with the most important fleet within the US has added 75,000 automobiles to its fleet since 2002 which assist enhance its variety of services to 170 on the airports. Hertz, then again, has added 25,000 automobiles and broadened its worldwide presence in 150 counties versus 140 in 2002. As well as, Avis has elevated its fleet from 210,000 in 2002 to 220,000 regardless of latest financial adversities. Through the years following the financial downturn, though most corporations all through the business have been struggling, Enterprise among the many business leaders had been rising steadily. For instance, annual gross sales reached $6.three in 2001, $6.5 in 2002, $6.9 in 2003 and $7.Four billion in 2004 which translated right into a progress charge of seven.2 % a yr for the previous 4 years. Since 2002, the business has began to regain its footing within the sector as total gross sales grew from $17.9 billion to $18.2 billion in 2003. In response to business analysts, the higher days of the rental automobile business have but to come back. Over the course of the subsequent a number of years, the business is predicted to expertise accelerated progress valued at $20.89 billion every year following 2008 “which equates to a CAGR of two.7 % [increase] within the 2003-2008 interval.”


Over the previous few years the rental automobile business has made quite a lot of progress to facilitate it distribution processes. At the moment, there are roughly 19,000 rental areas yielding about 1.9 million rental automobiles within the US. Due to the more and more plentiful variety of automobile rental areas within the US, strategic and tactical approaches are taken under consideration with a view to insure correct distribution all through the business. Distribution takes place inside two interrelated segments. On the company market, the automobiles are distributed to airports and resort environment. On the leisure phase, then again, automobiles are distributed to company owned services which can be conveniently positioned inside most main roads and metropolitan areas.

Prior to now, managers of rental automobile corporations used to depend on gut-feelings or intuitive guesses to make choices about what number of automobiles to have in a selected fleet or the utilization stage and efficiency requirements of protecting sure automobiles in a single fleet. With that methodology, it was very tough to take care of a stage of steadiness that might fulfill client demand and the specified stage of profitability. The distribution course of is pretty easy all through the business. To start with, managers should decide the variety of automobiles that should be on stock every day. As a result of a really noticeable drawback arises when too many or not sufficient automobiles can be found, most automobile rental corporations together with Hertz, Enterprise and Avis, use a “pool” which is a bunch of impartial rental services that share a fleet of automobiles. Principally, with the swimming pools in place, rental areas function extra effectively since they cut back the danger of low stock if not get rid of rental automobile shortages.

Market Segmentation

Most corporations all through the chain make a revenue primarily based of the kind of automobiles which can be rented. The rental automobiles are categorized into financial system, compact, intermediate, premium and luxurious. Among the many 5 classes, the financial system sector yields essentially the most revenue. As an illustration, the financial system phase by itself is chargeable for 37.7 % of the full market income in 2004. As well as, the compact phase accounted for 32.three % of total income. The remainder of the opposite classes covers the remaining 30 % for the US phase.

Historic Ranges of Profitability

The general profitability of the automobile rental business has been shrinking lately. Over the previous 5 years, the business has been struggling identical to the remainder of the journey business. Actually, between the years 2001 and 2003 the US market has skilled a reasonable discount within the stage of profitability. Particularly, income fell from $19.Four billion in 2000 to $18.2 billion in 2001. Subsequently, the general business income eroded additional to $17.9 billion in 2002; an quantity that’s minimally larger than $17.7 billion which is the general income for the yr 1999. In 2003, the business skilled a barely noticeable enhance which introduced revenue to $18.2 billion. Because of the financial downturn lately, among the smaller gamers that have been extremely depending on the airline business have performed quite a lot of technique realignments as a method of making ready their corporations to deal with eventual financial adversities which will encompass the business. For the yr 2004, then again, the financial state of affairs of most companies have regularly improved all through the business since most rental companies have returned far higher earnings relative to the anterior years. As an illustration, Enterprise realized revenues of $7.Four billion; Hertz returned revenues of $5.2 billion and Avis with $2.9 billion in income for the fiscal yr of 2004. In response to business analysts, the rental automobile business is predicted to expertise regular progress of two.6 % in income over the subsequent a number of years which interprets into a rise in revenue.

Aggressive Rivalry Amongst Sellers

There are a lot of components that drive competitors inside the automobile rental business. Over the previous few years, broadening fleet sizes and growing profitability has been the main focus of most corporations inside the automobile rental business. Enterprise, Hertz and Avis among the many leaders have been rising each in gross sales and fleet sizes. As well as, competitors intensifies as companies are always attempting to enhance their present situations and provide extra to customers. Enterprise has almost doubled its fleet measurement since 1993 to roughly 600,000 automobiles in the present day. As a result of the business operates on such slim revenue margins, worth competitors shouldn’t be an element; nevertheless, most corporations are actively concerned in creating values and offering a spread of facilities from technological devices to even free rental to fulfill clients. Hertz, for instance, integrates its By no means-Misplaced GPS system inside its automobiles. Enterprise, then again, makes use of subtle yield administration software program to handle its fleets.

Lastly, Avis makes use of its OnStar and Skynet system to higher serve the patron base and provides free weekend rental if a buyer rents a automobile for 5 consecutive days Furthermore, the patron base of the rental automobile business has comparatively low to no switching value. Conversely, rental companies face excessive fastened working prices together with property rental, insurance coverage and upkeep. Consequently, rental companies are sensitively pricing there rental automobiles simply to get better working prices and adequately meet their clients calls for. Moreover, as a result of the business skilled sluggish progress lately as a consequence of financial stagnation that resulted in a large decline in each company journey and the leisure sector, most corporations together with the business leaders are aggressively attempting to reposition their companies by regularly lessening the dependency stage on the airline business and regaining their footing within the leisure aggressive enviornment.

The Potential Entry of recent Opponents

Coming into the automobile rental business places new comers at a critical drawback. Over the previous few years following the financial downturn of 2001, most main rental corporations have began growing their market shares within the trip sector of the business as a method of insuring stability and reducing the extent of dependency between the airline and the automobile rental business. Whereas this development has engendered long run success for the prevailing companies, it has heightened the aggressive panorama for brand new comers. Due to the severity of competitors, current companies equivalent to Enterprise, Hertz and Avis rigorously monitor their aggressive radars to anticipate Sharpe retaliatory strikes in opposition to new entrants. One other barrier to entry is created due to the saturation stage of the business.

For instance, Enterprise has taken the primary mover benefit with its 6000 services by saturating the leisure phase thereby inserting not solely excessive restrictions on the most typical distribution channels, but additionally excessive useful resource necessities for brand new companies. At the moment, Enterprise has a rental location inside 15 miles of 90 % of the US inhabitants. Due to the community of sellers Enterprise has established across the nation, it has grow to be comparatively steady, extra recession proof and most significantly, much less reliant on the airline business in comparison with its rivals. Hertz, then again, is using the complete spectrum of its 7200 shops to safe its place within the market. Principally, the emergence of a lot of the business leaders into the leisure market not solely drives rivalry, but additionally it varies straight with the extent of complexity of coming into the automobile rental business.

The Menace of Substitute

There are a lot of substitutes obtainable for the automobile rental business. From a technological standpoint, renting a automobile to go the gap for a gathering is a much less engaging different versus video conferencing, digital groups and collaboration software program with which an organization can instantly setup a gathering with its workers from anyplace world wide at a less expensive value. As well as, there are different alternate options together with taking a cab which is a passable substitute relative to high quality and switching value, however it is probably not as attractively priced as a rental automobile for the course of a day or extra. Whereas public transportation is essentially the most value environment friendly of the alternate options, it’s extra expensive when it comes to the method and time it takes to succeed in one’s vacation spot. Lastly, as a result of flying provides comfort, pace and efficiency, it’s a very attractive substitute; nevertheless, it’s an unattractive different when it comes to worth relative to renting a automobile. On the enterprise phase, automobile rental companies have extra safety in opposition to substitutes since many corporations have carried out journey insurance policies that set up the parameters of when renting a automobile or utilizing a substitute is one of the best plan of action.

In response to Tracy Esch, an Benefit director of selling operations, her firm rents automobiles as much as a 200-mile journey earlier than contemplating an alternate. Principally, the specter of substitute within reason low within the automobile rental business because the results the substitute merchandise have don’t pose a major risk of revenue erosion all through the business.

The Bargaining Energy of Suppliers

Provider energy is low within the automobile rental business. Due to the supply of substitutes and the extent of competitors, suppliers would not have quite a lot of affect within the phrases and situations of supplying the rental automobiles. As a result of the rental automobiles are normally bought in bulk, rental automobile brokers have important affect over the phrases of the sale since they possess the power to play one provider in opposition to one other to decrease the gross sales worth. One other issue that reduces provider energy is the absence of switching value. That’s, consumers aren’t affected from buying from one provider over one other and most significantly, altering to totally different provider’s merchandise is barely noticeable and doesn’t have an effect on client’s rental selections.

The Bargaining Energy of Patrons

Whereas the leisure sector has little or no energy, the enterprise phase possesses a major quantity of affect within the automobile rental business. An fascinating development that’s at present underway all through the business is forcing automobile rental corporations to adapt to the wants of company vacationers. This development considerably reduces provider energy or the rental companies’ energy and will increase company purchaser energy because the enterprise phase is excruciatingly worth delicate, effectively knowledgeable in regards to the business’s worth construction, buy in bigger portions and so they use the web to pressure decrease costs. Trip consumers, then again, have much less affect over the rental phrases. As a result of vacationers are normally much less worth delicate, buy in lesser quantities or buy extra occasionally, they’ve weak bargaining energy.

5 Forces

At the moment the automobile rental business is going through a very totally different atmosphere than it did 5 years in the past. Competitively talking, the revolution of the 5 forces across the automobile rental business exerts some robust financial stress that has considerably tarnished the aggressive attractiveness of the business. Because of the financial downturn lately, many corporations went beneath specifically Price range and the Vanguard Group as a result of their enterprise infrastructure succumbed to the untenability of the aggressive atmosphere. At the moment, only a few companies together with Enterprise, Hertz and Avis return a barely above-average income in comparison with the remainder of the business. Realistically talking, the automobile rental sector shouldn’t be a really engaging business due to the extent of competitors, the boundaries to entry and the aggressive stress from the substitute companies.

Strategic Group Mapping

As a reasonably concentrated sector, there’s a clear hierarchy within the automobile rental business. From an financial standpoint, disparities exist from a lot of dimensions together with income, fleet measurement and the market measurement every agency holds available in the market place. As an illustration, Enterprise dominates the business with a fleet measurement of roughly 600,000 automobiles together with its market measurement and its stage of profitability. Hertz is available in second place with its variety of market shares and fleet quantity. As well as, Avis ranks third on the map. Avis is amongst one of many corporations that’s having points recovering its income margins from previous to the financial downturn. As an illustration, in 2000 Avis returned revenues of roughly $4.23 billion. Over the course of the subsequent a number of years following 2000, the income of Avis has been considerably decrease than that of 2000. As a method of decreasing uncertainty most corporations are regularly lessening the extent of dependency on the airline business and rising the leisure market. This development is probably not in one of the best curiosity of Hertz since its enterprise technique is intricately linked to the airports.

Key Success Components

There are a lot of key success components that drive profitability all through the automobile rental business. Capability utilization is without doubt one of the components that determines success within the business. As a result of rental companies expertise lack of income when there are both too few or too many automobiles sitting of their tons, it’s of paramount significance to effectively handle the fleets. This success issue represents an enormous energy for the business because it lowers if not fully eliminates the probably of operating quick on rental automobiles. Environment friendly distribution is one other issue that retains the business worthwhile. Regardless of the optimistic relationship between fleet sizes and the extent of profitability, companies are always rising their fleet sizes due to the aggressive forces that encompass the business. As well as, comfort is without doubt one of the essential attributes by which customers choose rental companies. That’s, automobile rental customers are extra liable to renting automobiles from companies which have handy rental and drop off areas. One other key success issue that’s widespread amongst competing companies is the combination of know-how of their enterprise processes. By way of know-how, as an illustration, the automobile rental corporations create methods to satisfy client demand by making renting a automobile a really agreeable ordeal by including the comfort of on-line rental amongst different alternate options. Moreover, companies have built-in navigation techniques together with roadside help to supply clients the piece of thoughts when renting automobiles.

Trade Attractiveness

There are a lot of components that impression the attractiveness of the automobile rental business. As a result of the business is reasonably concentrated, it places new market entrants at an obstacle. That’s, its low focus represents a pure barrier to coming into the business because it permits current agency to anticipate sharp retaliations in opposition to new entrants. Due to the dangers related to coming into the business amongst different components, it isn’t a really engaging sector of {the marketplace}. From a aggressive standpoint, the leisure market is 90 % saturated due to the energetic efforts of Enterprise to dominate this sector of the market. Then again, the airport terminals are closely guarded by Hertz. Realistically talking, entry within the business provides low profitability relative to the prices and dangers related. For many customers, the principle figuring out components of selecting one firm over one other are worth and comfort. Due to this motive, rental companies are very circumspect about setting their charges and that usually pressure even the business main gamers within the place of providing extra to the customers for much less simply to stay aggressive. Hertz, for instance, provides wi-fi web to its clients simply so as to add extra comfort to their journey plans. Avis then again, provides free weekend specials if a buyer rents a automobile for 5 consecutive weekdays. Primarily based on the impression of the 5 forces, the automobile rental sector shouldn’t be a really engaging business to potential new market entrants.


The rental automobile business is in a state of restoration. Though it could look like the business is performing effectively financially, it’s nonetheless regularly regaining its footing relative to its precise financial place inside the final 5 years. As a method of insuring profitability, in addition to searching for market shares and stability, most corporations all through the chain have a standard objective that offers with reducing the extent of dependency on the airline business and transferring towards the leisure phase. This state of movement has engendered some fierce competitors amongst business rivals as they try and defend their market shares. From a futuristic perspective, the higher days of the automobile rental business have but to come back. As the extent of profitability will increase, I consider that a lot of the business leaders together with Enterprise, Hertz and Avis can be bounded by the financial and aggressive boundaries of mobility of their strategic teams and new comers can have a greater likelihood of infiltrating and realizing success within the automobile rental business.


“Passenger Automotive Rental.” Encyclopedia of International Industries. Dec. 2004. Gale group. 02 Feb 2005.

“Automotive & Truck Rental.” Hoover’s AB&D Firm. Jan. 2005 . Hoovers. 04 Feb 2005. “

Rental automobile foes conflict on one another’s turf.” The Affiliate Press. Fall 2004. The Enquirer. 08 March 2005.

“United States – Automotive Rental.” Information Monitor Trade Market Analysis. Nov. 2004. Gale. 12 March 2005.

“A synthesis of tactical fleet planning fashions for the automobile rental business.” IIE Transactions. Sept. 2003. Gale. 12 March 2005. [].

“Company journey plans transferring to Internet.” Crain’s Chicago Enterprise. Apr. 2001. ProQuest. 12 March 2005.

“Tracy Esch.” “Automotive rental market leaders make rebound .” Enterprise Journey Information. Might 2002. Gale. 12 March 2005.

“Avis Equips Rental Automotive with Satcomms 1999.” Newsbytes Information Community. Oct. 1999. Gale. 12 March 2005.

“Automotive Rental In america.” Information Monitor Trade Market Analysis. Nov. 2004 . Gale. 13 March 2005.

“International – Automotive Rental.” Information Monitor Trade Market Analysis. Nov. 2004 . Gale. 13 March 2005.

“Company and Journey Traits.” Journey Commerce Gazette. Nov. 2003 . ProQuest. 14 March 2005.

“Automotive rental market leaders make rebound.” Enterprise Journey Information. Might. 2002 . Gale. 14 March 2005.

“Automotive rental market leaders make rebound.” Enterprise Journey Information. Might. 2002 . Gale. 14 March 2005.

“Ovation Journey.” Wall Road Transcript. Might. 2002 . LexisNexis. 14 March 2004.

“Avis Presents New Deal for Free Weekends.” Newswire. Feb. 2004 . LexisNexis. 15 March 2004.

Source by Rodrigue Monestime