Illinois Institute of Art
Principles of Marketing
Bay FM 130
Marketing Plan: Hertz
The concept of car rental in North America has grown rapidly since Chicago native, Walter L. Jacobs, founded the first service in 1918, later known as Hertz Corporation (Hertz.com). Starting with only a dozen Ford Model T cars, Jacobs sold his operation in 1923 to John D. Hertz, president of Yellow Cab and Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company, who renamed it, Hertz Drive-Ur-Self System. The company has passed through a number of hands over the years, since its founding, including General Motors (1925-1953), The Omnibus Corporation (1953-1967), also owned by Hertz, who renamed the company Hertz Corporation, RCA (1967-1985), United Airlines (1985-1987), and then by Ford Motor Company who sold it to a group of private investors in 2005 (Newman, U.S. News). The private equity group took the company public a year later in 2006. Currently, its among the leading car rental brands in the world and controls about 25 percent of the market. Hertz Corp., has built its global brand on five basic beliefs: Treat the customer honestly and ethically; treat employees with the same dignity and respect as customers; provide the highest level of customer service and quality of vehicles; create differentiation through innovation; and use profits and market share to measure how efficiently goals are achieved (Hertz.com). Hertz is the longest running car rental company in the industry. It's been growing and expanding for over ninety years and has set the standards in terms of customer service, car quality, and price. It handles more than 30 million rentals, annually, worldwide, with the combined assets of Dollar and Thrifty brands, and has approximately 10,400 locations. In 1932, Hertz opened its first location at Chicago's Midway Airport. Later that same year, to further facilitate the world's adjustment to travel by air, Hertz introduced the first Fly/Drive car rental program so that the customer could have a vehicle readily available to drive as soon as his flight landed. In 1933, Hertz's revolutionary Rent-It-Here/Leave-It-There option drastically increased the use of rental cars. In 1978, Hertz introduced the first Nationwide Emergency Road Service. In 1984, Hertz introduced Computerized Driving Directions (CDD) and became the first car rental company to offer this service. CDD was made available at more than 100 airports and downtown locations throughout the U.S. The directions were available at customer rental locations through easy-to-use, self-service, touch-screen terminals (Hertz.com). Hertz Instant Return, introduced in 1987, further streamlined the return side of the car rental transaction. At the car return lot, the Hertz agent meets the returning customer with the Instant Return hand-held computer. Today, Hertz has more than 100 locations offering this service around the world. In 1989, in the U.S., Hertz redefined the car rental business with its #1 Club Gold Service, which became an international symbol for "fast service." This premium, expedited rental service, which is available in more than 800 locations today, provides car rental customers with the ultimate in speed and quality. With #1 Club Gold, customers have no unnecessary paperwork at the time of rental and no long lines. Members also gain points they can redeem for future rentals or exchange for miles with many of Hertz' travel partners including AAA, Southwest Airlines, Virgin American, United Airlines, etc. (Hertz.com). In 1997, Hertz launched its new website, hertz.com. The site featured facts and figures on the Hertz fleet, including a visual vehicle guide, corporate information and details on Hertz services, promotions and partnerships. The interactive portion of the site offers rate quotes as well as booking, confirmation and cancellation capabilities for customers and travel agents. In June 2001, Hertz launched a new level of...
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