Business

First glimmers of Avis-Zipcar acquisition appear at NYC airports

Avis wasted no time putting its new fleet of Zipcars to use.

Just five days after the $500 million deal closed, Zipcars are showing up at New York regional airports. Skift reported this morning that the Avis Car Rental pick-up facilities at JFK, LaGuardia, and Newark now house a handful of Zipcars, available at rates ranging from $12 per hour to $89 per day.

“The availability of Zipcars at airports will provide increased options for members who may not need a full day rental car, or for those who need to travel somewhere not easily accessible by public transit,” Zipcar president Mark Norman said. “We believe this is the first in many new offerings that will enhance the value of Zipcar membership that we can provide thanks to the support of the Avis Budget Group.”

This small expansion to airports is just the beginning. Norman said Zipcars will be available in additional airport locations over the course of the year, marking a departure from Zipcar’s traditional placement in cities and college campuses.

Avis and Zipcar announced the deal on January 2nd, but the papers were officially signed on March 15. Within hours, Zipcar’s CEO Scott Griffith resigned and COO Mark Norman took the job as top dog. Despite Zipcar’s popularity (it was 730,000 members and 1 million customers), the company was never able to turn a profit, losing about $55 million since 2007. The Avis acquisition will help both companies expand their reach and offer greater choice to consumers.  

“By combining with Zipcar, we will significantly increase our growth potential, both in the United States and internationally, and will position our company to better serve a greater variety of consumer and commercial transportation needs,” Avis Budget Group CEO Ronald Nelson said in a statement. “We see car sharing as highly complementary to traditional car rental, with rapid growth potential and representing a scalable opportunity for us as a combined company.”

Zipcar now operates as a subsidiary of Avis. Avis said it expects “to generate $50 to $70 million in annual synergies” in relation to the deal.


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