Avis Car Rental
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|Founded||Ypsilanti, Michigan, U.S. (1946)|
|Headquarters||Parsippany, NJ, U.S.|
Number of locations
|Larry D. De Shon, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer David B. Wyshner, President and Chief Financial Officer|
|Revenue||$8,502 million (parent company—2015)|
|$888 million (parent company—2015)|
|−US$916 million (2007)|
|Total assets||$17,634 million (parent company—2015)|
|Total equity||$439 million (parent company—2015)|
|Owner||Avis Budget Group|
Number of employees
Avis Budget Group operates the Avis brand in North America, South America, India, Australia, and New Zealand. In 2011, Avis announced it was acquiring Avis Europe plc, which had been a separate corporation licensing the Avis brand.
Avis is a leading rental car provider to the commercial segment serving business travelers 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 1946 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.
The Avis corporate motto of "We Try Harder" was adopted in 1962, during CEO Robert Townsend's tenure. The company aimed to put a positive spin on Avis' status as the second largest car rental company in the United States while also taking a shot at larger competitor The Hertz Corporation. The slogan was used for 50 years before a re-branding in 2012, when Avis unveiled 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:
- 1956: The Amoskeag Company
- 1962: Investment group Lazard Freres
- 1965: ITT Corporation
- 1977: Norton Simon
- 1983: Esmark
- 1984: Beatrice Foods
- 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
- Car rental
- Colin Marshall, British peer and former CEO and COO.
- Robert Townsend, Avis CEO who launched the "We Try Harder" advertising campaign
- "Corporate Facts." Avis Rent a Car System. Retrieved on June 14, 2009.
- Group, Avis Budget. "Avis Budget Group :: Home". www.avisbudgetgroup.com. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
- Nicholson, Chris V. "Avis Budget to Buy Avis Europe for $1 Billion". DealBook. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
- Car-Rental Pioneer Avis Dies at 92, Morning Edition, April 25, 2007
- "Avis Budget Makes $491 Million Offer to Acquire Zipcar". Bloomberg. January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
- Business Superbrands, Editor: Marcel Knobil, Author James Curtis (2000), Superbrands Ltd. ISBN 0-9528153-4-6, p. 18.
- ABG. "Car Rentals from Avis, Book Online Now & Save". Avis - Rent a Car.
- Booth, Darren (August 31, 2012). "Is Avis 'Trying Hard' Enough With New Slogan?". CNBC. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
- ABG. "Historical Chronology". www.avis.com.au. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
- Cole, Robert J. (April 30, 1986). "Wesray Gets Turn at Owning Avis". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
- Michael Kinsley (May 16, 2007). "We Try Harder (but What's the Point?)". The New York Times.
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