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Avis Car Rental

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Avis Car Rental, LLC
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustryCar rental
Founded1946; 78 years ago (1946) in Ypsilanti, Michigan, U.S.
FounderWarren Avis
HeadquartersParsippany, New Jersey, U.S.
Number of locations
5,500[1] (2019)
Areas served
165 countries[1]
Key people
Joe Ferraro (CEO and president)
RevenueUS$5.3 billion[2] (2019)
ParentAvis Budget Group
Footnotes / references
Avis logo used from 1964 until December 2012
A Dodge Grand Caravan from Avis
Toyota Coaster from Avis

Avis Car Rental, LLC is an American car rental company headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey.[3] Along with Budget Rent a Car, Budget Truck Rental and Zipcar, Avis is a unit of Avis Budget Group.[4]

Avis Budget Group operates the Avis brand in North America, South America, Europe, India, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. In 2011, Avis acquired Avis Europe plc,[5] which had been a separate corporation licensing the Avis brand.

Since the late 1970s, Avis has featured mainly General Motors (GM) vehicles such as Chevrolet, but today also rents other popular brands such as Ford and Toyota.[6][7]

Avis was the first car rental business to be located at an airport,[8] and today is a provider to the commercial segment serving business travelers at major airports internationally, and to leisure travelers 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. In January 2013, the company agreed to acquire Zipcar for $491 million.[9]



The company was founded in 1946 with three cars at Willow Run Airport,[10] Ypsilanti, Michigan, by Warren Avis (August 4, 1915 – April 24, 2007).[8] 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,[11] during CEO Robert Townsend's tenure, who transformed the company. The campaign aimed to put a positive spin on Avis' status as the second largest car rental company in the United States, at the expense of its larger competitor, Hertz. The slogan was used for 50 years before a re-branding in 2012, when Avis unveiled a new slogan—"It's Your Space."[12]

In 1972, Avis introduced Wizard,[13] 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 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.[when?] These include:


  1. ^ a b c "Corporate Profile". Avis Car Rental. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "SEC Filings: 10-K 2019". Avis Budget Group. February 20, 2020. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
  3. ^ "Corporate Facts." Avis Rent a Car System. Retrieved on June 14, 2009.
  4. ^ Group, Avis Budget. "Avis Budget Group :: Home". www.avisbudgetgroup.com. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  5. ^ Nicholson, Chris V. (June 14, 2011). "Avis Budget to Buy Avis Europe for $1 Billion". DealBook. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  6. ^ Kyle Hyatt. "Toyota helps Avis smarten up its operation with 10,000 connected cars". Road Show. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  7. ^ David Silver. "As Car Rental Changes, Avis Bets On Empowering The Customer". Forbes. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Car-Rental Pioneer Avis Dies at 92, Morning Edition, April 25, 2007
  9. ^ "Avis Budget Makes $491 Million Offer to Acquire Zipcar". Bloomberg. January 2, 2013. Retrieved January 2, 2013.
  10. ^ Business Superbrands, Editor: Marcel Knobil, Author James Curtis (2000), Superbrands Ltd. ISBN 0-9528153-4-6, p. 18.
  11. ^ Cross, Mary (2002). A Century of American Icons: 100 Products and Slogans from the 20th-Century Consumer Culture. Greenwood Press. pp. 135–136. ISBN 978-0313314810. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  12. ^ Booth, Darren (August 31, 2012). "Is Avis 'Trying Hard' Enough With New Slogan?". CNBC. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  13. ^ ABG. "Historical Chronology". www.avis.com.au. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  14. ^ Cole, Robert J. (April 30, 1986). "Wesray Gets Turn at Owning Avis". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  15. ^ McDowell, Edwin (July 2, 1996). "HFS Will Acquire Employee-Controlled Avis for $800 Million in Cash and Stock". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  16. ^ "Avis Budget Group". Forbes. Retrieved May 1, 2019.

Further reading