“CONNECT BY HERTZ” EXPANDS IN KEY EUROPEAN CAPITALS OF BERLIN AND MADRID
· Global car sharing club expands worldwide fleet – building on success of London, New York and Paris operations
· Thousands of members worldwide across five countries
· Flexible scheme for consumers and businesses seeking cheaper, lower-emission travel
Connect by Hertz (www.connectbyhertz.com), the only global car sharing club, today announced the expansion of its service to Berlin, Germany and Madrid, Spain, adding to its list of international locations which include London, New York City and Paris. Members can book and drive a Connect by Hertz club car on a pay-as-you-go basis – an economical, convenient and socially-conscious alternative to car ownership. Members also have the option to use the service at any Connect by Hertz city. Launches in further cities are planned for 2010 and beyond.
Robert Stuart, Senior Vice President of Global Sales, Hertz Corporation, said: “In a market that is expected to expand to three million customers across Europe in the next ten years, today’s launch demonstrates our long-term commitment to growing the global car sharing business internationally. With aggressive plans for ongoing expansion, Connect by Hertz reflects Hertz’s ambition to provide unique transportation solutions across the spectrum of customer needs.”
“Flexible mobility solutions which are both economic and environmentally-friendly have never been more popular in Europe,” added Michel Taride, President, Hertz Europe. “With Connect by Hertz, members simply ‘Click. Book. Drive’ – it’s that simple. The car sharing club is an easy-to-use, paperless service that works across multiple markets and integrates the very latest technology to meet the dynamic needs of our customers. Based on the success of Connect by Hertz Europe in Paris and London, I’m confident that our Berlin and Madrid operations will be very well received.”
As the first car sharing operator to launch into Madrid, Connect by Hertz opens up the world of car sharing to urban dwellers there, marking a significant milestone for the city. In Berlin, Connect by Hertz offers a competitive service for new and existing car club members. The launch into Madrid and Berlin also connects existing members in London, New York City, and Paris to exciting new destinations.
Connect by Hertz provides members with 24/7 access to a centrally located fleet of environmentally friendly vehicles. Members can choose from a wide range of cars depending on their needs. The signature MINI Cooper with built-in satellite navigation and i-Pod connectivity and the unique Fiat 500 are just two of the flagship vehicles which make up the fleet. Once enrolled with Connect by Hertz, members receive a smart chip enabled Connect Card, which gives them keyless entry to any car in the fleet that the member reserves.
The competitive hourly rates for Connect by Hertz include insurance, fuel, roadside assistance, maintenance and cleaning. The Connect by Hertz service is backed by a multilingual member care centres for Europe and the U.S. Annual membership fees may apply according to country rate plans.
All Connect by Hertz vehicles are chosen based on a set of aggressive standards. In Europe, the fuel emissions of the majority of Connect by Hertz club cars are less than 120 g/km CO2 maximum output, and all are less the voluntary target of a 140 g/km CO2 maximum output, set by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. In addition, all Connect by Hertz cars in the US are EPA SmartWay certified, indicating high quality environmental performance.
Connect by Hertz also provides a viable option for companies to manage the fixed costs associated with business travel. The Company helps promote public transportation usage and car pooling, reducing congestion and parking problems while helping the environment. Businesses can reduce expenses and control costs by converting fixed fleet costs into variable costs by only paying for per trip usage. Shared cars can be used for professional purposes, including trips to nearby offices and off-site business meetings. Additionally, businesses can give employees a money-saving perk by offering Connect cars at work, making cars available for personal usage.
Since its inception in December 2008, Connect by Hertz has formed successful partnerships with a number of companies and organisations around the world including Brunel University in the UK and Marriott International, USAA, Ohio State University, Pepperdine University and University of North Carolina in the US. In France, Connect by Hertz has partnerships with several companies based outside of the city whose employees can easily drive around Paris with Connect cars based at railway stations such as Montparnasse and Gare du Nord. Connect by Hertz is already in talks to form partnerships with organisations and universities in Berlin and Madrid.
For more information, visit www.connectbyhertz.com.
The Hertz Corporation, a subsidiary of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HTZ), is the world’s largest general use car rental brand, operating from approximately 8,000 locations in 145 countries worldwide. Hertz is the number one airport car rental brand in the U.S. and at 42 major airports in Europe, operating both corporate and licensee locations in cities and airports in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, the Company has license locations in cities and airports in Africa, and the Middle East. Product and service initiatives such as Hertz #1 Club Gold®, NeverLost® customized, onboard navigation systems, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and unique cars and SUVs offered through the company’s Prestige, Fun and Green Collections, set Hertz apart from the competition. In 2008, the Company launched Connect by Hertz, entering the global car sharing market in London, New York City and Paris. Hertz also operates one of the world’s largest equipment rental businesses, Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation, offering a diverse line of equipment, including tools and supplies, as well as new and used equipment for sale, to customers ranging from major industrial companies to local contractors and consumers through approximately 350 branches in the United States, Canada, China, France, and Spain.
Connect by Hertz background information
The fleet of Connect by Hertz is carefully chosen based on a set of aggressive standards established in the categories of manufacturing/maintenance quality, environmental sustainability, safety, and a blend of fun and functionality. The fleet includes: MINI Cooper D, Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus (London), MINI Cooper D, Opel Meriva and Opel Corsa (Paris), Toyota Prius (New York City), MINI Cooper D, Toyota Yaris, Toyota Verso (Madrid) and MINI Cooper D and Nissan Pixo (Berlin).
Connect by Hertz adapts the latest in end-to-end telematics to further provide superior customer service. Upon making a reservation, each member receives an email confirmation on bookings as well as a SMS alert indicating the reserved car’s license plate and location. To unlock and engage the vehicle, members simply need to sweep their card over the car’s radio-frequency identification (RFID) reader.