Hertz is the world leader when it comes to car rentals. They operate in approximately 147 different countries and have over 8,100 locations. In addition to their worldwide achievements, Hertz also holds the title as the number one brand when it comes to car rentals in airport locations in the United States. To handle all of their incoming reservations, Hertz created worldwide reservation centers that annually handle approximately 40 million phone calls and 30 million reservations.
Hertz stands apart from their competition through their offerings of customized services for their customers. Some examples of these product and service initiatives include: Hertz #1 Club Gold, NeverLost customized onboard navigation systems, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and a broad selection of unique cars and SUVs. Hertz also created specialized car class categories which include their Prestige, Fun, and Green Collections.
Hertz first opened their doors in September of 1918 when a man named Walter L. Jacobs opened the first location in Chicago, IL. Jacobs was only 22 years old at the time and started the operation with a dozen Model T Fords that he maintained himself. The business was such a success, within five years, Jacobs was able to expand it to the point where he was generating approximately $1 million in annual revenues. Since its first introduction, Hertz has continued its momentum and managed to spread its operations around the globe over the following decades, while still remaining innovative and competitive.
Some company highlights include:
During the 1920s, Hertz became the first coast-to-coast car rental network with the help of their national franchise system.
During the 1930s, Hertz opened the nation’s first airport car rental location at Chicago Midway Airport.
During the 1940s, Hertz introduced the first uniforms in the industry.
During the 1950s, Hertz became the first car rental company with over 1,000 locations and also opened their first European location in France.
During the 1960s, Hertz became the first car rental company to utilize booking systems for travel agents.
During the 1970’s, Hertz introduced their infamous #1 Club and began offering the first nationwide emergency road service.
During the 1980’s, Hertz began offering in-car cellular phones to their customers and launched their #1 Club Gold.
During the 1990’s, Hertz introduced the first on-board navigation system called NeverLost and launched its first website.
During the past decade, Hertz became the first international car rental company to set up operations in China and introduced SIRIUS Satellite Radio to their customers.