Hertz CEO Steps Down After Fraught EV Moves

Scherr appeared in a video with General Motors CEO Mary Barra talking about electric vehicles. 

Hertz Chief Executive Officer Stephen Scherr will retire at the end of the month.

“He’s stepping down after a disastrous move that saw the daily rental company add 100,000 Teslas to its fleet,” according to Headlight News. “The EVs didn’t prove as popular as expected with customers --- but they did wind up experiencing far more repairs than anticipated. Adding insult to injury, Tesla’s big price cuts meant massive losses for Hertz when it tried to sell the vehicles off.”

Hertz doubled down on EVs in the months after Scherr took over, placing big orders with Polestar, the electric-car maker owned by China’s Geely and Sweden’s Volvo Car, and GM.



“Those bets went awry last year, when Tesla slashed prices across its lineup to keep growing vehicle sales,” according to Fortune. “This hammered the resale value of used Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossovers just after Hertz had added tens of thousands of those vehicles to its fleet.”

The rental-car company is set to replace Scherr with Gil West, the former chief operating officer of General Motors Co.’s troubled Cruise robotaxi unit. Before that,  he was chief operating officer of Delta Air Lines. West also will join the board of directors on April 1, according to a statement.

West was one of nine Cruise executives that GM dismissed at the end of last year after California regulators accused the company of withholding information about one of its self-driving vehicles striking and dragging a pedestrian, according to Bloomberg, which originally broke the story about Scherr’s resignation. 

The writing was on the wall for Scherr in January when the company announced it was selling 20,000 of the electric vehicles in its fleet, or about a third of the EVs it owned.

“While the number of EVs bought by American customers surged 40% last year to top 1 million for the first time, there was less demand than some of the traditional automakers had expected as they moved to offer EVs,”  according to CNN.“Tesla, the leader in US EV sales, started a price war for EVs just over a year ago, driving down the value of both new and used EVs, such as those in Hertz’ fleet. And the drop in prices hit Hertz bottom line since it reduced the money it could expect to get from reselling the vehicles.”

Scherr appeared in a video series that launched last summer promoting the EV additions to the fleet. One video featured General Motors CEO Mary Barra, according toMarketing Daily. 

West will  be the company’s fifth boss in just four years, CNN notes. 

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