BUDGET Rent-a-Car, a member company of the Liberty Group, has been a leading player in the UAE car rental business for over 30 years. With a substantial market share in daily, weekly and monthly rentals as well as in vehicle leasing, Budget Rent-a-Car today holds about 30 per cent of the market share in car rentals at airport locations.
Looking back at 2011, Salim Damji, senior general manager for Budget Car & Van Rental, Said, “2011 was a good year for Budget Rent a Car with over 20per cent growth in business. Budget UAE won the ‘Franchisee of the Year’ award at the Budget International EMEA Annual Conference in Dublin, Ireland, after beating competing franchisees from over 70 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa.”
“We won the honour on various parameters, including leadership, innovation, marketing initiatives, branding, customer service and network expansion, among others. The evaluation was done by Budget International in all markets of EMEA.”
A major achievement for Budget Rent-a-Car was the substantial growth in a difficult year. “The biggest challenge was to devise smart ways to win customers and retain their loyalty. Budget is continuously adopting modern technology to raise efficiency of operations and enhance standards of service.
This year we will be launching our Arabic website to service our increasing number of Arabic-speaking customers,” added Damji.
He further added that the company is now looking to increase the fleet by 20 per cent. “Further, in response to ongoing recessionary trends and in keeping with changing customer demands, we will be adding more small-size vehicles to our fleet, such as the Chevrolet Spark which can be rented/leased at much lower rates.”
Budget UAE has some of the best trained employees in the business. The Budget team takes great pride in its high standards of customer care and believes in giving accurate advice to individual and corporate customers on rental and leasing options. During Damji said, “2012, we will be introducing a new loyalty programme, packed with value added benefits, for our customers. We have also upgraded our reservation systems which enable customers make reservations through their mobile phones.”
“In January, we moved to our new headquarters located in the Dubai Investments Park, which also houses our large, hi-tech, multi-brand vehicle service and maintenance facility. This dedicated state of the art service centre is equipped with latest diagnostic and repair equipment, manned by highly experienced technicians, designed to dramatically reduce vehicle turnaround time and enable all our vehicles to be serviced under one roof.
“As for network expansion, we plan to move aggressively and add up to ten new locations to our current network of 20 outlets in the UAE.”
Looking at new trends, Damji adds that the latest trend is to opt for short-term rentals starting from a three month lease, rather than long-term leases that stretch for a period of one to three years.
“This is because of the changing requirements of the corporate sector due to current business scenario. Secondly, we have added to our fleet a range of smaller, lower-priced vehicles which enable us to offer more attractive rates.
We expect this move will help us tap a new customer segment and thus give a fresh boost to our vehicle rental business” he added.
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