Avis Rent a Car System
|Founded||Ypsilanti, Michigan, U.S. (1946)|
|Headquarters||Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ, U.S.|
|Number of locations||~4900+ (as of 2007)|
|Key people||Naif Bamadhaj
(Chairman) & (CEO)
F. Robert Salerno
(President), (COO) & (Director)
David B. Wyshner
(CFO) & (Executive Vice President)
|Revenue||US$ 5.986 Billion (2007)|
|Operating income||US$ -992 Million (2007)|
|Net income||US$ -916 Million (2007)|
|Total assets||US$ 12.474 Billion (2007)|
|Total equity||US$ 1.465 Billion (2007)|
|Owners||Avis Budget Group|
Avis Rent a Car System, LLC, better known as Avis, is an American car rental company headquartered in Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey, United States. Avis, Budget Rent a Car and Budget Truck Rental are all units of Avis Budget Group.
Avis Budget Group operates the Avis brand in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, India, Australia and, New Zealand. Recently Avis has acquired Avis Europe plc which once was a separate corporation licensing the Avis brand. Avis is the second largest car rental agency in the world preceded by Hertz Corporation.
Avis is a leading rental car provider to the commercial segment serving business travellers at major airports around the world, and to leisure travellers at off-airport locations. Many of the off-airport locations are franchised operations rather than company-owned and -operated, as is the case with most airport locations. Avis was the first car rental business to be located at an airport.
The company was founded in 1948 with three cars at Willow Run Airport, Ypsilanti, Michigan, by Warren Avis (August 4, 1915 – April 24, 2007). It established branch operations across the United States over the next few years, becoming the second largest car rental company in the country by 1953. By its tenth anniversary in 1956 it had opened its first international offices in Europe, Canada and Mexico.
Their corporate motto is "We Try Harder" It was adopted in 1962 (during the tenure of Robert Townsend as its CEO) to make a more positive reference of Avis' status as the second largest car rental company in the United States, at the expense of its larger competitor The Hertz Corporation. The slogan was used for 50 years before a re-branding in 2012, in which Avis received a new slogan, "It's Your Space." In 1972, Avis introduced Wizard, the first computer-based information and reservations system to be used in the United States car rental business; to this day, almost all frequent Avis customers are identified by their unique "Wizard number". In 1981, the company instituted its system of vehicle tracking, that was not coincidentally named Advanced Vehicle Identification System (AVIS).
Avis has been owned by a number of other companies over the years, along with several periods of being a public company. These include:
- 1962 - Investment group Lazard Freres
- 1965 - ITT Corporation
- 1977 - Norton Simon
- 1983 - Esmark
- 1984 - Beatrice
- 1986 - Investment firm Wesray Capital Corporation
- 1987 - Majority ownership under an Employee Share Ownership Plan
- 1989 - General Motors (acquires 29% stake)
- 1996 - HFS Corporation
- 2001 - Cendant
- 2006 - Avis Budget Group
- Robert Townsend, Avis CEO who launched the "We Try Harder" advertising campaign
- Ronald Wild, head of the Avis advertising department over the time the "We Try Harder" campaign was conceived.
- Colin Marshall, British Peer and former CEO and COO.
- "Corporate Facts." Avis Rent a Car System. Retrieved on June 14, 2009.
- Car-Rental Pioneer Avis Dies at 92, Morning Edition, 25 April 2007
- "Avis Budget Makes $491 Million Offer to Acquire Zipcar". Bloomberg. 2 January 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- Business Superbrands, Editor: Marcel Knobil, Author James Curtis (2000), Superbrands Ltd. ISBN 0-9528153-4-6, p. 18.
- Press release
- Michael Kinsley (May 16, 2007). "We Try Harder (but What’s the Point?)". The New York Times.