The car rental industry is really a multi-billion dollar sector of the US economy. The US segment of the averages about $18.5 billion in revenue a year. Today, there are approximately 1.9 million rental vehicles that service the united states segment of the market. Furthermore, there are lots of rental agencies besides the industry leaders that subdivide the total revenue, namely Dollar Thrifty, Budget and Vanguard. Unlike other mature service industries, the rental car industry is highly consolidated which naturally puts potential newbies at a cost-disadvantage since they face high input costs with reduced possibility of economies of scale. Moreover, almost all of the profit is generated by a few firms including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis. For the fiscal year of 2004, Enterprise generated $7.4 billion in total revenue. Hertz came in second position with about $5.2 billion and Avis with $2.97 in revenue.
Level of Integration
The rental car industry faces a totally different environment than it did five years back. According to Business Travel News, vehicles are being rented until they have accumulated 20,000 to 30,000 miles until they are relegated to the car or truck industry whereas the turn-around mileage was 12,000 to 15,000 miles five years back. Because of slow industry growth and narrow profit margin, there is no imminent threat to backward integration within the. In fact, on the list of industry players only Hertz is vertically integrated through Ford.
Scope of Competition
There are numerous factors that shape the competitive landscape of the car rental industry. Competition comes from two main sources throughout the chain. On the vacation consumer?s end of the spectrum, competition is fierce not only as the market is saturated and well guarded by industry leader Enterprise, but competitors operate at a cost disadvantage along with smaller market shares since Enterprise has generated a network of dealers over 90 percent the leisure segment. On the corporate segment, however, competition is very strong at the airports since that segment is under tight supervision by Hertz. Because the industry underwent an enormous economic downfall recently, it has upgraded the scale of competition within almost all of the companies that survived. Competitively speaking, the rental car industry is really a war-zone because so many rental agencies including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis among the major players take part in a battle of the fittest.
Over the past five years, most firms have been working towards enhancing their fleet sizes and increasing the amount of profitability. Enterprise the company with the largest fleet in the US has added 75,000 vehicles to its fleet since 2002 which help increase its number of facilities to 170 at the airports. Hertz, however, has added 25,000 vehicles and broadened its international presence in 150 counties instead of 140 in 2002. Furthermore, supercar rental miami has increased its fleet from 210,000 in 2002 to 220,000 despite recent economic adversities. Through the years following the economic downturn, although most companies throughout the industry were struggling, Enterprise on the list of industry leaders had been growing steadily. For instance, annual sales reached $6.3 in 2001, $6.5 in 2002, $6.9 in 2003 and $7.4 billion in 2004 which translated into a growth rate of 7.2 percent per year for the past four years. Since 2002, the industry has started to regain its footing in the sector as overall sales grew from $17.9 billion to $18.2 billion in 2003. In accordance with industry analysts, the higher days of the rental car industry have yet to come. Over the course of another several years, the industry is expected to experience accelerated growth valued at $20.89 billion each year following 2008 “which equates to a CAGR of 2.7 % [increase] in the 2003-2008 period.?
Over the past couple of years the rental car industry has made a great deal of progress to facilitate it distribution processes. Today, you can find approximately 19,000 rental locations yielding about 1.9 million rental cars in america. Because of the increasingly abundant amount of car rental locations in america, strategic and tactical approaches are taken into account so as to insure proper distribution throughout the industry. Distribution takes place within two interrelated segments. On the corporate market, the cars are distributed to airports and hotel surroundings. On the leisure segment, however, cars are distributed to agency owned facilities that are conveniently located within most major roads and urban centers.