first_imgIn a move signalling its expansion into the Australian and New Zealand market, Hertz today announced the acquisition of budget car rental company Ace Rental Cars and an alliance with Apollo Motorhome Holidays.At a press conference in Sydney, visiting Hertz International president Michel Taride said the two ventures were steps in Hertz’s plans to diversify the company’s brand and product offerings.Despite continuing with its core business, Mr Taride said, “we recognise also that we need to continue refining and developing our product offerings in order to meet the changing requirements of our customers, and to position ourselves for emerging opportunities.”Mr Taride said he was surprised to learn that almost half of the car rental market in New Zealand was in the “second tier” segment and that the aim of the Ace acquisition was to “try to grow the brand further” in Australia and across the Tasman.   “Even in a downturn, people still want to travel and we want to be part of the low cost offerings without diluting the product.”“Companies with a long history like ours have to adapt.”Seeing the growing popularity of campervan and motorhome holidays, Hertz has partnered with the largest privately-owned operator of recreational vehicles in the world, Apollo Motorhome Holidays.According to Mr Taride, the commercial alliance with Apollo will allow Hertz to enter the Australian motorhome market quickly with a ready-made product range. Effective 1 April 2011, motorhome customers will be able to book Apollo vehicles through Hertz websites in Australia and New Zealand or via the Hertz telephone reservations network.Hertz recently acquired Melbourne-based car sharing company Flexicar and partnered with Australia’s Virgin Blue Airlines group and Middle Eastern Etihad. “[These acquisitions and partnerships] are all strategic decisions designed to ensure that we have the travel products and relationships that our customers expect in various market segments,” Mr Taride said.Hertz estimates the value of the Australian rental car market at AUD1.5 billion, a large portion of which Hertz shares in. Michel and Karina Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img

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