To kick off this week’s annual International Car Rental Show, Enterprise Holdings’ Vice President of Vehicle Acquisition, Susan Lombardo, is joining four other panelists in the opening keynote session today.
During the panel discussion, speakers will offer a holistic view of the U.S. auto rental industry and highlight essential disciplines in today’s competitive marketplace, including fleet acquisitions and disposal, operational issues, franchise and manufacturer relations, and legislative challenges. Chris Brown, editor of Auto Rental News magazine, is moderating.
Lombardo oversees the acquisition of more than a million cars every year for Enterprise Holdings, the largest car rental company in the world. In this role, Lombardo is responsible for supplying the company’s entire U.S. fleet on behalf of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands.
Still a family-owned company, Enterprise Holdings operates a network of more than 6,000 fully staffed neighborhood and airport offices from coast to coast – almost 70 percent more than its nearest U.S. competitor – and all located within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population. The company’s extensive network is uniquely positioned to offer a wide range of consumers unmatched access to new automotive technologies and provide approximately a million “extended test drives” with late-model vehicles every week.
In total, the annual revenues of Enterprise Holdings and its affiliate, Enterprise Fleet Management, rank near the top of the travel industry, ahead of many airlines and most cruise lines, hotels, tour operators and online travel agencies. Enterprise Holdings also accounts for the largest airport market share in the U.S.
In addition, Enterprise Holdings’ domestic fleet accounts for more than half of all rental vehicles in the U.S. “That includes both car rental and car sharing,” notes Lombardo, whose 29-year career was highlighted on Fortune.com last year. “We believe our fleet is one of the newest in the industry, with an average odometer reading of less than 16,000 miles and an age of eight months. That is critically important when it comes to delivering award-winning customer service and meeting the expectations of individual consumers and our corporate partners.”
Another critical priority for Enterprise Holdings is maintaining strong partnerships with automotive manufacturers. “With the U.S. car rental industry growing at a rate of more than 5 percent a year, it represents a strategic channel for exposing the best vehicles and best technology to consumers over time,” Lombardo says.
“Manufacturers have discovered that car rental – regardless of whether it’s for an hour, a day, a week or longer – is a significant link in the automotive value chain,” she stresses. “That means we can help automakers maintain and even grow market share. As a result, we continue to look for ways to collaborate and communicate with our manufacturing partners every day.”
Lombardo stresses that Enterprise Holdings’ relationship with automakers has always been and will always be mutually beneficial: “Our partnership with the manufacturers is based on a shared interest and commitment to providing the best possible transportation options to American consumers for the long term.”