Enterprise Rent-a-Car: Largest Rental Car Company in the United States

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  • Topic: Car rental companies, Car rental, Damage waiver
  • Pages : 3 (868 words )
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  • Published : September 22, 2012
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What do you think of when you hear “Enterprise Rent-A-Car”? Do you think of “We’ll pick you up”—the catchphrase that reflects the company’s willingness to come to your door when your car’s in the shop or you’re ready to take a trip? You probably don’t think “largest rental car company in the United States” or “hires more college grads than any other company.” Both of those descriptions are true, however. The company started in St. Louis when Jack Taylor opened a tiny auto-leasing business and named it after the aircraft carrier on which he’d served. When the company transitioned to car rentals, it retained its downtown locations, focusing on leisure rentals and auto insurer referrals rather than the airport business travelers. This unique business model allowed it to grow beyond the notice of competitors like Hertz, which paid little attention to Enterprise until it began advertising nationally in 1989 with images of that car wrapped in brown paper, on its way to a customer pick up.

Enterprise hires 7,000 college graduates a year as management trainees, recruiting from 220 different college campuses. BusinessWeek has included Enterprise in its listing of the 50 best places to launch a career for three years running. One college recruiter sums up what Enterprise looks for in its new hires this way: “The students that fit are highly motivated, positive, energetic, and enthusiastic.” Motivation is key, because the hours are long, and the work isn’t always glamorous. The company describes the standard work week as no more than 49.5 hours, but some employees report a norm that’s closer to 60 hours. And much of that time is spent behind a counter, picking up customers, or washing cars—all while wearing professional business attire. Estimates suggest that about half of the new hires don’t last a year at the company.

But those who stick it out do so for two major reasons: a clear career ladder for promotions and an impressive array of incentives. Management...
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