Avis Europe Plc wants to capitalize on the increasingly popular car-sharing schemes by offering an hourly rental program throughout Europe this 2011, the company’s chief executive officer, Pascal Bazin, said in an interview last Tuesday.
Bazin said that through the program, one can rent vehicles hourly in the city, and if needed over the weekend, one can also go out of the city. For this matter, the company will probably add more stations that offer the hourly rental throughout 2012, twice the existing 45, Bazin disclosed.
The company, which is the second largest vehicle rental in Europe, is taking advantage of the trend led by car sharing schemes such as BMW's 'DriveNow' and Daimler AG's 'car2go' that allow hourly rental of vehicles mainly to those in the urban areas.
Avis Europe, the majority of which is owned by Belgian automobile dealer D'Ieteren SA, is also planning to expand in Indian and Chinese markets that are growing at a faster rate than in Europe.
In China, reservations are increasing at a rate of at least 10 percent. According to Bazin, the company plans to have 100 outlets in China by 2012 from the current number of 40. He added that the Chinese market is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world for the company.
On the other hand, he disclosed that the poor road conditions in India are hampering the company’s expansion in that country. The company’s rental income increased 5.2 percent in the first four months of 2011 compared with the same period the previous year, led by gains in insurance and corporate hires, according to a company statement.