Enterprise Cars For Sale Suv – March 9 ( ) – (This March 9 story corrects graphics and monthly US revenue data attributed to Rent-A-Car News, not the American Rent-Car Association)
As the West’s $100 billion rental car industry, cash in on the lucrative pandemic, continues to grow, Chinese-made cars are poised to play a leading role.
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According to a European executive, the electrification could shift fleets by established American and European brands to Asian automakers.
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“Historically, European and American manufacturers have had an advantage, but the transition to electric power is changing the cards,” said Olivier Baldassare, Head of Countries and Operations at rental giant Europcar (EUCAR.PA).
Electric cars from Chinese and Asian manufacturers are comparable in quality to Western models, he said, referring to Great Wall Motors’ Aura line (601633.SS), but generally cost less.
Even small savings are important in a vast rental industry that buys millions of new cars annually—about a tenth of all new cars in the United States alone—and is a leading indicator of broader car trends in society.
Businesses in the region have long resisted the electrification rush due to weak demand for electric vehicles among customers wary of blackouts.
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However, many analysts said now is the best time to start, as companies bolstered their coffers with earnings amid the pandemic, which has emptied public transportation, airports and holidays within driving distance.
According to Car Rental News, US rental car companies saw record monthly revenues of $1,320 per vehicle in 2021. This compares to about $1,000 before the pandemic.
“In the past, companies have buried their heads in the sand,” Nick Mountfield, associate partner at OC&C Strategy Consultants, which advises car rental companies, said of electrification. “Now we’re starting to see people see they have to take action and put plans into action.”
Hertz (HTZ.O) was an early mover last October when it said it planned to buy 100,000 vehicles from US flagship Tesla (TSLA.O), adding pressure from rivals for detailed conversion plans.
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France-based Europcar, meanwhile, has pledged to make 20% of its fleet low-emission electric or hybrid cars by 2024, up from 3% now, which means it will have to buy up to 70,000 cleaner cars. during the next two years. It is restoring its pre-pandemic fleet of 350,000 vehicles.
Leasing companies sold off their fleets as demand fell sharply at the start of the pandemic and struggled to restore volumes amid a global semiconductor shortage that hampered auto production.
Baldassare said Europcar will buy more electric cars from China’s Geely [RIC:GEELY.UL], Great Wall Motors-owned Volvo Cars (VOLCARb.ST), SAIC Motor (600104.SS) and Polestar. Although she was also buying. Traditional partners include Renault (RENA.PA) and Stellants (STLA.MI).
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However, the company’s strategy in China could change if German automaker Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) succeeds in closing a tender for the company in the second quarter.
In the United States, where many customers favor SUVs and pickup trucks that aren’t yet electrified, and public charging infrastructure lags far behind Asia and Europe, Enterprise Holdings is more cautious.
Powering a quarter of Enterprise’s fleet at Orlando Airport — the largest rental location for consumers — will require as much electricity per day as it takes to power more than 1,000 homes, according to Enterprise Innovation, said vice president Chris Hafnerever.
The group currently owns several thousand electric vehicles in North America, Hafnerever said, including Tesla, Nissan, Hyundai (005380.KS), Kia and Polestar. Although the company has said it is in talks with all global automakers, there are no immediate plans to expand the segment.
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“At a high level, we want to allow our customers to guide us in what they are looking for,” he added. “Many rental car companies have historically taken this wait-and-see approach because we are still in the early stages of transformation.”
The sporadic conversion pace and schedule of major fleet repairs mean that petrol-powered vehicles are expected to remain available for purchase for some years. According to the transformation plans of global automakers, electric vehicles will account for at least 40% of sales by 2040.
But the shift may finally be far-reaching for the Chinese automakers’ fortunes in Europe, a crowded and competitive car market dominated by high-end brands that were previously difficult to break into.
Over the years, they have suffered from the perception that China, associated with cheap mass production, cannot compete on quality. But such arguments call into question the new reality that major Western automakers like BMW and Tesla are now producing cars in a country that is both a technological powerhouse and the world’s largest car market.
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Great Wall Motor, one of Europcar’s suppliers, will launch its Ora Cat compact electric car in Europe this year, priced at around €20,000 (US$22,260) and with a range of around 250 miles (400 km), and growth will be included in the growing bid. Many Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers are trying their luck on the mainland. Read more
Mountfield said of OC&C’s strategy: Chinese manufacturers, using the leasing channel to build brand awareness and increase sales, are following the playbook that Kia and Hyundai used in the 1990s to gain a foothold in Western markets.
(This story corrects graphics and monthly US revenue data attributed to Car Rental News, not the American Rental Car Association)
US-based business and financial journalist covering Uber, Lyft, Tesla and major automotive and transportation trends with a focus on electricity, technology, safety and regulation. A data-driven reporter looking at company strategies through data analysis. Previous work has included news from the US legal team and political and corporate coverage from the German bureau.