The Vehicle Rental Industry

          The vehicle rental market is a multi-big sector of america economy. The United States segment of the profession averages about $18.5 billion in revenue annually. Today, you will find roughly 1.9 million rental vehicles that service the united states segment from the market. Additionally, there are lots of rental agencies aside from the industry leaders that subdivide the entire revenue, namely Dollar Thrifty, Budget and Vanguard. Unlike other mature service industries, the rental vehicle market is highly consolidated which naturally puts potential newbies at a price-disadvantage given that they face high input costs with reduced chance of economies of scale. Furthermore, the majority of the profit is generated with a couple of firms including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis. For that fiscal year of 2004, Enterprise generated $7.4 billion as a whole revenue. Hertz arrived second position about $5.2 billion and Avis with $2.97 in revenue.

Degree of Integration

The rental vehicle industry faces a totally different atmosphere of computer did 5 years ago. Based on Business Travel News, vehicles are now being rented until they’ve accrued 20,000 to 30,000 miles until they’re relegated towards the used vehicle industry whereas the turn-around mileage was 12,000 to fifteen,000 miles 5 years ago. Due to slow industry growth and narrow profit, there’s no imminent threat to backward integration inside the industry. Actually, one of the industry players only Hertz is vertically integrated through Ford.

Scope of Competition

There are lots of factors that shape the competitive landscape from the vehicle rental industry. Competition originates from two primary sources through the chain. Around the vacation consumer’s finish from the spectrum, levels of competition are fierce not just since the marketplace is saturated and well guarded by leader in the industry Enterprise, but competitors operate at a price disadvantage together with smaller sized market shares since Enterprise has built a network of dealers over 90 % the leisure segment. Around the corporate segment, however, levels of competition are quite strong in the airports since that segment is under tight supervision by Hertz. Since the industry went through an enormous economic downfall recently, it’s upgraded the size of competition within the majority of the firms that survived. Competitively speaking, the rental vehicle market is a war-zone since many rental agencies including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis one of the major players participate in a fight from the fittest.


In the last 5 years, most firms happen to be working towards enhancing their fleet sizes and growing the amount of profitability. Enterprise presently the organization using the largest fleet in america has added 75,000 vehicles to the fleet since 2002 that really help increase its quantity of facilities to 170 in the airports. Hertz, however, has added 25,000 vehicles and broadened its worldwide presence in 150 counties instead of 140 in 2002. Additionally, Avis has elevated its fleet from 210,000 in 2002 to 220,000 despite recent economic adversities. Through the years following a downturn in the economy, although a lot of companies through the industry were battling, Enterprise one of the industry leaders have been growing continuously. For instance, annual sales arrived at $6.3 in 2001, $6.5 in 2002, $6.9 in 2003 and $7.4 billion in 2004 which converted right into a rate of growth of seven.2 percent annually within the last 4 years. Since 2002, the has began to get back its footing within the sector as overall sales increased from $17.9 billion to $18.2 billion in 2003. Based on industry analysts, the greater times of the rental vehicle industry haven’t yet come. During the period of the following many years, the is anticipated to see faster growth worth $20.89 billion every year following 2008 “which means a CAGR of percent [increase] within the 2003-2008 period.”


In the last couple of years the rental vehicle industry makes a lot of progress to facilitate it distribution processes. Today, you will find roughly 19,000 rental locations yielding about 1.9 million car rentals in america. Due to the more and more abundant quantity of vehicle rental locations in america, proper and tactical approaches are taken into consideration to be able to insure proper distribution through the industry. Distribution happens within two interrelated segments. Around the corporate market, the cars are given to airports and hotel surroundings. Around the leisure segment, however, cars are given to agency owned facilities which are easily located within most major roads and urban centers.

Previously, managers of rental vehicle companies accustomed to depend on gut-feelings or intuitive guesses to create decisions about the number of cars to possess inside a particular fleet or even the utilization level and gratifaction standards of keeping certain cars in a single fleet. With this methodology, it had been tough to maintain an amount of balance that will satisfy consumer demand and also the preferred degree of profitability. The distribution process is rather simple through the industry. To start with, managers must determine the amount of cars that must definitely be on inventory every day. Just because a very noticeable problem arises when a lot of or otherwise enough cars can be found, most vehicle rental companies including Hertz, Enterprise and Avis, make use of a “pool” that is a number of independent rental facilities that share a number of vehicles. Essentially, using the pools in position, rental locations operate more proficiently given that they prevent low inventory otherwise eliminate rental vehicle shortages.

Market Segmentation

A lot of companies through the chain earn profits based of the kind of cars which are rented. The car rentals are classified into economy, compact, intermediate, premium and luxury. One of the five groups, the economy sector yields probably the most profit. For example, the economy segment alone accounts for 37.7 % from the total market revenue in 2004. Additionally, the compact segment taken into account 32.3 % of overall revenue. All of those other other groups covers the rest of the 30 % for that US segment.

Historic Amounts of Profitability

The general profitability from the vehicle rental industry continues to be shrinking recently. In the last 5 years, the continues to be battling much like all of those other travel industry. Actually, between your years 2001 and 2003 the united states market has possessed a moderate decrease in the amount of profitability. Particularly, revenue fell from $19.4 billion in 2000 to $18.2 billion in 2001. Subsequently, the general industry revenue eroded further to $17.9 billion in 2002 a sum that’s minimally greater than $17.7 billion the overall revenue for that year 1999. In 2003, the possessed a hardly noticeable increase which introduced profit to $18.2 billion. Because of the economical downturn recently, a few of the smaller sized players which were highly determined by the air travel industry did a lot of strategy realignments as a means of preparing their companies to handle eventual economic adversities that could surround the. For that year 2004, however, the economical situation on most firms have progressively improved through the industry because most rental agencies have came back much better profits in accordance with the anterior years. For example, Enterprise recognized revenues of $7.4 billion Hertz came back revenues of $5.2 billion and Avis with $2.9 billion in revenue for that fiscal year of 2004. Based on industry analysts, the rental vehicle market is likely to experience steady development of 2.6 % in revenue within the next many years which means a rise in profit.

Competitive Competition Among Sellers

There are lots of factors that drive competition inside the vehicle rental industry. In the last couple of years, broadening fleet sizes and growing profitability continues to be the main focus on most companies inside the vehicle rental industry. Enterprise, Hertz and Avis one of the leaders happen to be growing in sales and fleet sizes. Additionally, competition intensifies as firms are continually attempting to enhance their current conditions and provide more to consumers. Enterprise has nearly bending its fleet size since 1993 to roughly 600,000 cars today. Since the industry runs using such narrow income, cost competition isn’t a factor however, a lot of companies are positively involved with creating values and supplying a variety of amenities from technological gadgets to at no charge rental to fulfill customers. Hertz, for instance, integrates its Never-Lost Gps navigation system within its cars. Enterprise, however, uses sophisticated yield keeper to handle its fleets.

Finally, Avis uses its OnStar and Skynet system to higher serve the customer base while offering free weekend rental if your customer rents a vehicle for five consecutive days Furthermore, the customer lower rental vehicle industry has relatively low to no switching cost. On the other hand, rental agencies face high fixed operating costs including property rental, insurance and maintenance. Consequently, rental agencies are sensitively prices there car rentals simply to recover operating costs and adequately meet their clients demands. In addition, since the industry experienced slow growth recently because of economic stagnation that led to an enormous loss of both corporate travel and also the leisure sector, a lot of companies such as the industry leaders are strongly attempting to reposition their firms by progressively lessening the dependency level around the air travel industry and regaining their footing within the leisure competitive arena.

The Possibility Entry of recent Competitors

Entering the vehicle rental industry puts newbies in a serious disadvantage. In the last couple of years following a downturn in the economy of 2001, most major rental companies have began growing their market shares within the vacation sector of the profession as a means of insuring stability and lowering the amount of dependency between your air travel and also the vehicle rental industry. Although this trend has engendered lengthy term success for that existing firms, it’s increased the competitive landscape for brand new comers. Due to the harshness of competition, existing firms for example Enterprise, Hertz and Avis carefully monitor their competitive radars you may anticipate Sharpe retaliatory strikes against new entrants. Another barrier to entry is produced due to the saturation level of the profession.

For instance, Enterprise has had the very first mover advantage using its 6000 facilities by saturating the leisure segment therefore placing not just high limitations on the most typical distribution channels, but additionally high resource needs for brand new firms. Today, Enterprise includes a rental location within 15 miles of 90 % of america population. Due to the network of dealers Enterprise has built round the nation, it is relatively stable, more recession-proof and more importantly, less dependent on the air travel industry when compared with its competitors. Hertz, however, is employing the entire spectrum of their 7200 stores to secure its position available on the market. Essentially, the emergence of the majority of the industry leaders in to the leisure market not just drives competition, but additionally it varies directly with the amount of complexity of entering the vehicle rental industry.

The specter of Substitute

There are lots of substitutes readily available for the vehicle rental industry. From the technological perspective, renting a vehicle to go all the way for any meeting is really a less attractive alternative instead of interactive video, virtual teams and collaboration software that a business can immediately setup a gathering using its employees everywhere all over the world in a cheaper cost. Additionally, there are more alternatives including going for a cab that is a acceptable substitute in accordance with quality and switching cost, but it might not be as attractively priced like a rental vehicle for the path of each day or even more. While public transit is easily the most inexpensive from the alternatives, it’s more pricey with regards to the process and time that it requires to achieve one’s destination. Finally, because flying offers convenience, speed and gratifaction, it’s a very enticing substitute however, it’s an unattractive alternative when it comes to cost in accordance with renting a vehicle. Around the business segment, vehicle rental agencies convey more protection against substitutes because so many companies have implemented travel policies that establish the parameters of when renting a vehicle or utilizing a substitute is the greatest plan of action.

Based on Tracy Esch, a benefit director of promoting operations, her company rents cars up to and including 200-mile trip before thinking about an alternate. Essentially, the specter of substitute is fairly lower in the vehicle rental industry because the effects the substitute products have don’t pose a substantial threat of profit erosion through the industry.

The Bargaining Power Suppliers

Supplier power is lower in the vehicle rental industry. Due to the accessibility to substitutes and the amount of competition, suppliers don’t have a lot of influence within the conditions and terms of offering the car rentals. Since the car rentals are often bought in bulk, rental vehicle agents have significant influence within the the purchase given that they possess the opportunity to utilize one supplier against another to reduce the sales cost. Take into consideration that reduces supplier power is the lack of switching cost. That’s, buyers aren’t affected from purchasing in one supplier over another and more importantly, altering to various supplier’s products is hardly noticeable and doesn’t affect consumer’s rental choices.

The Bargaining Power Buyers

As the leisure sector has little if any power, the company segment offers a lot of influence within the vehicle rental industry. A fascinating trend that’s presently going ahead through the market is forcing vehicle rental companies to adjust to the requirements of corporate travelers. This trend considerably reduces supplier power or even the rental firms’ power and increases corporate buyer power because the business segment is excruciatingly cost sensitive, knowledgeable concerning the industry’s cost structure, purchase in bigger quantities plus they search on the internet to pressure affordable prices. Vacation buyers, however, tight on influence within the rental terms. Because vacationers are often less cost sensitive, purchase in lesser amounts or purchase more infrequently, they’ve weak bargaining power.

Five Forces

Today the vehicle rental market is facing a totally different atmosphere of computer did 5 years ago. Competitively speaking, the revolution from the five forces round the vehicle rental industry exerts some strong economic pressure which has considerably tarnished the competitive attractiveness of the profession. Because of the economical downturn recently, a lot of companies went under namely Budget and also the Vanguard Group as their business infrastructure was a victim of the untenability from the competitive atmosphere. Today, very couple of firms including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis return a rather above-average revenue when compared with all of those other industry. Realistically speaking, the vehicle rental sector isn’t a very attractive industry due to the competitors, the barriers to entry and also the competitive pressure in the substitute firms.

Proper Group Mapping

Like a moderately concentrated sector, there’s a obvious hierarchy within the vehicle rental industry. From your economic perspective, disparities exist from numerous dimensions including revenue, fleet size and also the market size each firm holds on the market place. For example, Enterprise dominates the having a fleet size roughly 600,000 vehicles and its market size and it is degree of profitability. Hertz is available in second position using its quantity of market shares and fleet volume. Additionally, Avis ranks third into the spotlight. Avis is one kind of among the firms that is getting issues recovering its revenue margins from before the downturn in the economy. For example, in 2000 Avis came back revenues of roughly $4.23 billion. During the period of the following many years following 2000, the revenue of Avis continues to be considerably lower compared to 2000. As a means of reducing uncertainty a lot of companies are progressively lessening the amount of reliance upon the air travel industry and emerging the leisure market. This trend might not be within the welfare of Hertz since its business technique is intricately from the airports.

Key Success Factors

There are lots of key success factors that drive profitability through the vehicle rental industry. Capacity utilization is among the factors that determines success in the market. Because rental firms experience lack of revenue when you will find either too couple of or a lot of cars relaxing in their lots, it’s of vital importance to efficiently manage the fleets. This success factor represents a large strength for that industry because it lowers it not exclusively eliminates the possibly of running low on car rentals. Efficient distribution is yet another component that keeps the lucrative. Regardless of the positive relationship between fleet sizes and the amount of profitability, firms are continually growing their fleet sizes due to the competitive forces that surround the. Additionally, convenience is among the crucial attributes through which consumers select rental firms. That’s, vehicle rental individuals are more vulnerable to renting cars from businesses that have convenient rental and fall off locations. Another key success component that is typical among competing firms may be the integration of technology within their business processes. Through technology, for example, the vehicle rental companies create methods to meet consumer demand by looking into making renting a vehicle a really agreeable ordeal with the addition of the benefit of internet rental among other options. In addition, firms have integrated satnav systems together with roadside help offer customers the bit of mind when renting cars.

Industry Attractiveness

There are lots of factors that change up the appeal of the vehicle rental industry. Since the market is moderately concentrated, it puts new market entrants in a disadvantage. That’s, its low concentration represents an all natural barrier to entering the because it enables existing firm you may anticipate sharp retaliations against new entrants. Due to the risks connected with entering the among additional factors, it’s not a really attractive sector of this marketplace. From the competitive perspective, the leisure marketplace is 90 % saturated due to the active efforts of Enterprise to dominate this sector from the market. However, the airport terminal terminals are heavily guarded by Hertz. Realistically speaking, entry in the market offers low profitability in accordance with the expense and risks connected. For many consumers, the primary figuring out factors of selecting one company over another are cost and convenience. Due to this reason, rental firms are extremely circumspect about setting their rates which generally pressure the industry major players able of offering more towards the consumers at a lower price simply to remain competitive. Hertz, for instance, offers wi-fi to the customers simply to increase the convenience for their departure date. Avis however, offers free weekend specials if your customer rents a vehicle for five consecutive weekdays. In line with the impact from the five forces, the vehicle rental sector isn’t a very attractive industry to potential new market entrants.


The rental vehicle market is inside a condition of recovery. Even though it may appear such as the market is performing well financially, it’s nevertheless progressively regaining its footing in accordance with its actual economic position in the last 5 years. As a means of insuring profitability, besides seeking market shares and stability, a lot of companies through the chain possess a common goal that are responsible for lowering the amount of reliance upon the air travel industry and on your journey to the leisure segment. This condition of movement has engendered some fierce competition among industry competitors because they make an effort to defend their market shares. From the advanced perspective, the greater times of the vehicle rental industry haven’t yet come. As the amount of profitability increases, I have faith that the majority of the industry leaders including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis is going to be bounded through the economic and competitive barriers of mobility of the proper groups and newbies have a better possibility of infiltrating and realizing success within the vehicle rental industry.