Hertz India aims to double turnover in two years

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 24 May 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Cashing in on the growing trend of self-driven taxis, car rental company Hertz India hopes to double its turnover to about Rs 100 crore in the next two years and expects to increase fleet strength to 1,400 cars from the current size of over 600.

"The self-drive segment, which contributes around two per cent to our current revenues of Rs 50 crore, is expected to increase its share to as much as 45 per cent by March 2006 when we expect the turnover to touch Rs 100 crore," Carzonrent CEO Rajiv K Vij told PTI.

Carzonrent India is the sole licencee for global car rental major Hertz in India. It will invest about Rs 46 crore, primarily for buying new cars and expanding reach to newer cities and towns, Vij said.

The organised car rental market in India stands at around Rs 200 crore annually which comprises about 30 players like Avis, Hertz, Travel House and Oris. On the other hand, the traditional taxi business, under the unorganised sector, does an annual estimated business of about Rs 3,000 crore.

Vij said as part of plans to expand reach from eight cities now where it operates to about 24 more, it had tied up with hotel chains and recently signed an agreement with HPCL.

"Currently, Hertz India is providing car rental services to over 450 corporate clients besides premium hotel chains like the Taj Group, Hyatt, J W Mariott and Rennaissance.

"To give a push to our expansion programme, we have signed an MoU with HPCL wherein Hertz will offer self-drive products at HPCL petrol pumps," he said.

Hertz will have presence at Club HP petrol pumps. Also, it will have access to 1.7 million Club HP card holders whom it would tap for further sales. "HPCL will also promote self-drive service to its card holders.

"Joint promotional activities will also be undertaken to promote the concept of self-drive apart from offering holiday packages," Vij said.

He said the self-drive segment was set to take off in a big way with a shift in the lifestyle and attitude of people. "Preferences of people are increasingly shifting from hiring chauffer-driven cars to more of self-driven. These are not only considered to be cheaper but also provide privacy.

"Other factors like change in lifestyle are also making people shift to self-driven cars as they can drive big and the newest cars themselves," he added.

Work was also on to set up hubs at Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad which would act as central control rooms and where cars would be kept for a particular city. "These can be at the existing HPCL petrol pumps or new ones they propose to set up," he added.

Carzonrent India has invested about Rs 36 crore in the last four years of its operations in the country. Apart from Indian promoters, it also has Non-Resident Indians as shareholders.

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