Enterprise Extends European Footprint to Fourth New Country in 12 Months to Reach 85% of the European Car Hire Market
LONDON--(Marketwire) - Enterprise Rent-A-Car today announced the appointment of its second European franchisee, Locauto Rent in Italy, as the next step in a planned programme to establish the company's flagship brand across Europe.
This agreement brings Enterprise Rent-A-Car's European presence to seven countries -- the U.K., Germany, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal and now Italy -- which together represent more than 85 percent of the European car rental market.
As a major European tourist and business destination and the fifth largest market for rental car services, the agreement with Locauto Rent provides Enterprise Rent-A-Car with the next vital building block in its growth strategy. The acquisitions of Citer in France and ATESA in Spain, together with the franchisee arrangements in Portugal and Italy, demonstrate how Enterprise is committed to developing a European network fully able to meet the increasing needs of both domestic and international leisure and business travelers.
With a 30-year-long track record of strong growth and customer service, Locauto Rent is one of Italy's largest domestic car hire specialists, offering both daily and longer term rental solutions. Established in 1979, the company now operates a fleet of 5,000 vehicles through 28 locations, the majority of which are servicing the countries' major airport locations. With the addition of the Locauto network, Enterprise now operates one of the largest European car hire networks with over 1,000 branches and a fleet of well over 100,000 vehicles.
"Daily rental use for Enterprise continues to grow across Europe, both amongst leisure and business travelers from other markets, as well as amongst domestic renters," said Jim Burrell, senior vice president, European operations, for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. "Our focus is on providing the highest levels of service and products that offer outstanding value and flexibility to all our customers. For us, growth is not about size, it is about providing customers with more and better choices at a time when they are increasingly turning to car rental as a primary mode of transport."
Commenting on the agreement, Mario Tavazza, CEO for Locauto Rent, said, "Our agreement to become part of the global Enterprise Rent-A-Car network is an important next step. It will allow us to develop our business from incoming leisure and business travellers as part of the branded Enterprise network, as well as to continue to grow our presence in cities and neighbourhoods. Our local customers will continue to enjoy service from a truly Italian supplier, whilst international visitors will find a business that is at once familiar in terms of brand, value and service, whilst offering what we like to think is a uniquely Italian hospitality and spirit. We share a common culture based on customer care, providing easy and affordable rental solutions which are flexible for customers."
"Italy is the next link in a growth strategy designed to bring Enterprise Rent-A-Car's high value, friendly, customer-service approach to car rental across Europe," said Peter A. Smith, vice president of global franchising, Enterprise. "As demand for our daily rental services grows, there is strong opportunity to extend our reach across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. We are actively talking to potential partners across the continent. For us, the key attributes for a franchise partner are a strong, stable, domestic business, a heritage for customer care and the design to work in partnership to build a brand that is respected as a great service provider and also as an ethical corporate citizen."
Founded in 1957, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is an internationally recognized brand with more than 7,000 neighborhood and airport locations in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Through tremendous leadership and the entrepreneurial spirit of its employees, Enterprise has built the largest car rental brand in North America, known for exceptionally low rates and outstanding customer service. Today, Enterprise offers a wide variety of car leasing, vanpooling, car sharing and hourly rental programs.
Locauto SpA is an Italian owned and managed business with more than 30 years' experience in automotive rental services. It operates through two dedicated brands -- Locauto Long Term and Locauto Rent. Locauto was established in 1979 as a car leasing company, and in 1984 it was among the first to offer long-term rental to the Italian market. In 2006, the Group entered the car rental market with Locauto Rent, whose network counts today for 28 branches, 23 in the main Italian airports, and a fleet of 5,000 vehicles. In recent years, Locauto has grown rapidly its market share in the short term, thanks to the rapid expansion of the network and to a vision based on total service, proximity to customers' needs and customized rental solutions.