|Headquarters||Clayton, Missouri, United States|
|Key people||Pamela Nicholson, President & CEO
Andrew C. Taylor, Executive Chairman
Donald A Ross, Vice Chairman
|Parent||Enterprise Holdings, Inc.|
Enterprise Rent-A-Car is a car rental company headquartered in Clayton, Missouri, United States in Greater St. Louis. In addition to car rental, Enterprise also oversees commercial fleet management, used car sales, and commercial truck rental operations.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car was established in St. Louis, Missouri in 1957 by Jack C. Taylor. Originally known as "Executive Leasing Company", in 1962 Taylor renamed the company "Enterprise" after the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, which he served on during World War II. In 2009, Enterprise became a subsidiary of Enterprise Holdings, Inc., following the company's 2007 acquisition of Vanguard Automotive Group, the parent company of National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car. The resulting company was 21st on the 2008 Forbes list of "Largest Private Companies in America."
Enterprise Rent-A-Car is the largest rental car company in the United States, and has more than 5,400 “home city” locations, and 419 airport locations. According to Detroit News, Enterprise purchases seven percent of all new automobiles sold in the United States.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s primary focus is the local rental car market, specializing in car rentals to consumers who need a replacement car as the result of an accident, mechanical repair, theft, or who require a vehicle for a special occasion such as a short business or leisure trip. In the late 1990s, Enterprise Rent-A-Car also began expanding its operations to include the airport market, and now serves airports in the United States, Canada, the UK, Germany and Ireland. The company's initial entry into Europe came in 1994.
By 2005, Enterprise Rent-A-Car's customer service has been recognized seven times by J.D. Power and Associates as highest in customer satisfaction for rental car companies at or near airports. The company was named ninth on Business Week's top 25 companies customer service list in 2007.
In 2006, Business Week listed Enterprise among the top ten places to begin a career. Although the company's pay for management trainees was among the lowest on the list (at an average $34,000), "those who catch on" quickly get a chance to run a branch office with the responsibility to generate a profit. There are certain requirements and qualifications to become promoted to an Assistant Manager, and many of these qualifications may depend on the employee's sales. According to BusinessWeek's list of "Best Places to Launch a Career," Enterprise was in the top 15. Within five years, a successful manager may take positions at headquarters or become an area manager responsible for multiple branches.
Fleet management controversy
During model years 2006-2008, 66,000 of the Chevrolet Impalas the company ordered were purchased without side-curtain airbags, saving the company $11.5 million ($175 per vehicle), even though the airbags were standard in retail models. The practice, which the company notes does not "violate any federal mandate", came to national attention when cars being retired from their rental fleet were sold with claims that side-curtain air bags were included. About 5,000 Chevrolet Cobalts and Buick LaCrosses were also purchased with the side air bags omitted. Enterprise admitted that it inaccurately advertised and sold 745 Chevrolet Impalas—model years 2006 through 2008—that were identified online as having side air bags, when in fact they did not. A company spokesman said that it would inform customers who had bought the cars, and offer to buy them back from the customers. According to Safety Research and Strategies, a safety research firm that regularly works with the automotive industry, it is a highly unusual practice to delete safety features. "I’ve never seen a standard safety feature removed from a vehicle. I’ve been doing this work for 17 years and, until now, had yet to see this happen,” said Sean Kane of Safety Research & Strategies. Contrary to this, some sources have noted that buying fleet without normally standard features does occur, as auto manufacturers offer this option to fleet buyers.
In 2008, Enterprise piloted its first on-campus carsharing program at Washington University in St. Louis. The program, called WeCar, was introduced at University of South Florida in July 2009. As of September 2012[update], WeCar has 100 carsharing programs in more than 30 American states and Canada, and the service offers almost 100 electric cars and plug-in hybrids, including the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt.
Mergers and acquisitions
A planned acquisition of Citer SA was announced in November 2011; this includes the acquisition of subsidiary Atesa. This acquisition would add 30,000 vehicles to the Company's fleet and provide entry into the French and Spanish markets.
Types of vehicles available to rent
- Economy: Chevrolet Spark, Fiat 500 or Kia Rio
- Compact: Nissan Versa, Hyundai Accent, Ford Fiesta, or Toyota Yaris
- Intermediate: Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze,
- Standard: Chrysler 200, Dodge Avenger, Kia Soul
- Standard Special: Volkswagen Jetta, Nissan Juke
- Standard Hybrid: Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
- Full-Sized: Nissan Altima, Volkswagen Passat, Dodge Charger, Chevrolet Malibu, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, Mazda 6, Ford Fusion
- Premium: Nissan Maxima, Hyundai Genesis, Buick Regal
- Premium Special: Chrysler 300, Ford Taurus, 2014 Chevrolet Impala
- Luxury: Cadillac CTS, Lincoln MKZ, Cadillac ATS
- Sport: Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger or Ford Mustang
- Minivan: Chrysler Town and Country Dodge Grand Caravan, Toyota Sienna, Kia Sedona
- Intermediate SUV: Ford Escape, Jeep Liberty, Nissan Rogue, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Patriot, Chevrolet Captiva, Jeep Compass, Volkswagen Tiguan, Kia Sportage, Toyota Rav-4, Jeep Cherokee (KL)
- Standard SUV: Jeep Grand Cherokee, Nissan Pathfinder, Chevy Equinox, Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Explorer, Ford Edge, GMC Terrain, Dodge Journey, Nissan Murano, Mazda CX-9
- Full Size SUV: Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon, Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Traverse
- Premium SUV: Chevrolet Suburban, Ford Expedition XL or Toyota Sequoia
- Luxury SUV: Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln Navigator
- Specialty SUV: Porsche Cayenne
- Pickup Truck: Chevrolet Colorado or Nissan Frontier
- Standard Pickup: Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge Ram or Ford F150
- Cargo Van: Chevrolet Express or Ford E Series
In Germany, Enterprise rents cars manufactured by Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Citroën, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar, Mini, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Porsche, Renault, Seat, Škoda, Smart, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo. The smallest car is the Smart fortwo, and the biggest available vehicle is the 3.5 ton Volkswagen Crafter.
When Enterprise is through renting a car, it is sold through their Enterprise Car Sales division.
- Louis, St. (August 3, 2009). "Enterprise launches new holding company". Retrieved 2009-08-17.
- America's Largest Private Companies: #21 Enterprise Rent-A-Car, from Forbes
- "Frequently Asked Questions." Enterprise Rent-a-Car. Retrieved on June 14, 2009.
- "Clayton city, Missouri." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on June 13, 2009.
- Hathaway, Matthew. "KC Star: Enterprise didn’t tell buyers cars lacked side air bags." St. Louis Post-Dispatch. August 17, 2009. Retrieved on August 18, 2009.
- List Of Car Rental Companies
- Volkman, Kelsey (21 Nov 2011), "Enterprise to buy Citer, enter France and Spain", St. Louis Business Journal, bizjournals.com, retrieved 21 Dec 2011
- "Enterprise Rent-A-Car ranks highest on J.D. Power survey" - St. Louis Business Journal
- "Customer Service Champs" - Business Week - March 5, 2007
- "The Customer Service Elite" - Business Week - March 5, 2007
- "No. 5 Enterprise: A clear road to the top". Business Week. September 18, 2006.
- "Investigation finds Enterprise Rent-A-Car sold Chevy Impalas without standard side air bags". The Kansas City Star. August 15, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
- "USF joins Enterprise WeCar sharing program". Tampa Bay Business Journal. July 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-17.
- Jim Motavalli (2012-09-21). "In Greenville, S.C., the First Shoots of an E.V. Ecosystem". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
- Enterprise Holdings official website
- Enterprise Rent-a-Car official website
- Enterprise Careers
- WeCar official website