Hertz Global Holdings has launched a car sharing service in New York, London and Paris called "Connect by Hertz." It hopes to capitalize on both consumer demand for alternatives to car
ownership and the current weakness of its rivals, according to Mark Frissora, the company's chairman and CEO.
"People can't buy cars today," Frissora tells AP,
referring to the current lack of consumer credit. Like existing car-sharing companies, rentals are charged hourly; the annual membership fee includes insurance, gas, roadside assistance, maintenance
and use of a universal key card.
Another trend, according to a story by Leslie Mann in the Trib
, is for people to buy smaller, cheaper, more efficient vehicles and rent larger ones for the
special occasions that they needs one -- vacations, hauling a kid's gizmos to college, etc. To catch the trend, Mann writes, some stores are providing vehicles for their customers' use. Most
major home centers -- such as Home Depot and Ikea -- have a few that they rent out by the hour. And real estate agents are also buying trucks to lend to their clients for the price of gas.
Read the whole story at San Jose Mercury News/AP, Chicago Tribune »