People who rent cars likely to buy new ones in 12 months, study says

Article by Anita Panait, on July 3, 2013

People who rent cars are much likely to acquire their own vehicles in the next 12 months than the general public, according to a survey conducted by R.L. Polk & Co. and commissioned by Enterprise Holdings, parent of the Enterprise, National and Alamo rental brands. The study shows that people who rent cars usually end up buying the brand they had rented instead of the one that is in their garage.

Kurt Kohler, senior vice president of North American fleet for Enterprise Holdings, remarked that the findings mean that rental fleets are a good way for carmakers to show off their vehicle products to potential buyers. The survey covered 45.9 million rentals by 23.9 million individuals between May 1, 2011, and April 30, 2012.

The study discovered that around 81 percent of the people who rented a non-luxury brand and eventually acquired that same brand were conquest sales. Overall, around 12 percent of respondents in the study acquired a vehicle in the next 12 months, compared with 8 percent of the general public.

Headquartered in the Clayton, Missouri, United States, Enterprise Holdings, Inc. is the private holding company for car rental companies Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car. Enterprise Holdings traces its roots to 1957, when it was founded as Executive Leasing Co. by Jack C. Taylor in St. Louis, Missouri. Around 12 years after in 1969, Executive Leasing was renamed as "Enterprise," in honor of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) where Taylor served during World War II.

Enterprise focused on the local rental car market, providing car rentals to consumers needing a replacement car due to an accident, mechanical repair or theft. It also catered to customers needing a vehicle for special occasions. In 2007, Enterprise acquired Vanguard Automotive Group, which is the the parent company of National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car.

In 2009, Enterprise restructured as Enterprise Holdings, Inc. The new company became the holdings company for its main brands Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the WeCar car-sharing program, as well as its newly acquired brands National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car. Aside from car and commercial truck rentals, Enterprise also offers commercial fleet management and sells used cars.

Piloted in 2008 as an on-campus carsharing program at Washington University in St. Louis, Enterprise introduced WeCar , at University of South Florida in July 2009. As of September 2012, WeCar already has around 100 carsharing programs in over 30 U.S. states and Canada.

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