Hertz expanding its GSA network
THE Hertz Corporation announced the appointment of Transworld Company as its general sales agent (GSA) in Kuwait to grow outbound car rental reservations to more than 8,800 Hertz locations worldwide in 150 countries.
The new partnership between the world’s largest general use car rental brand and Transworld will build upon the growing number of outbound Hertz car rentals from Kuwait, with the USA, Germany, France and Switzerland topping the list of global destinations for Hertz Kuwait customers in 2012.
Sunita Gomes, commercial director for Hertz, Middle East and Africa said, “After Kuwait, Hertz will also appoint new GSA’s in Jordan to grow car rental reservations to more than 8,650 locations worldwide in 150 countries.”
“These follow the 2012 launch of a dedicated 24/7 English and Arabic customer call centre in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and country domain websites for the two GCC states (www.hertz.com.kw and www.hertz.com.sa),” she added.
Further the company plans to add more country domain Hertz websites in Bahrain and Jordan in 2013.
Also in 2012 Hertz UAE opened a new outlet at MotorCity Dubai as part of its strategic network expansion as the first neighbourhood car rental service available to residents in that particular area of the emirate.
“Currently we have 11 franchisees in the Middle East and 23 in Africa, with a total of 66 locations in the Middle East and 161 outlets in Africa offering a wide range of car rental and leasing services while we are also reviewing a number of business opportunities within the UAE and in other geographical areas.
“We have invested a lot of time and capital last year into enhancing our booking channel platforms to provide customers with unrivalled service at all times. Our business strategy at Hertz MEA has always been driven by customer satisfaction,” Gomes further added.
All these additions have resulted in a very successful 2012 for Hertz with an increase in rentals and monthly sales in the Mena region over 2011 results. The UAE, Kuwait, KSA and Qatar have performed strongly within the region.
“The UAE in particular had a big year because of its status as a major trading hub attracting a large influx of business travellers, followed closely by Saudi Arabia. The increase in travelling expenditure, growing frequency of air travel, and rising number of foreign and regional visitors has influenced growth in these markets,” she added.
Hertz is further looking at extending their GSA network with plans to launch call centres in other countries within the Mena region.
“We will also strengthen our online presence as the region is expected to see a dramatic transition to online bookings and is poised to grow at a rapid pace. This is largely due to the large percentage young people in the population who have grown up with social media and mobile applications which are driving growth in the online space,” said Gomes.
Speaking about trends, Gomes adds that the demand for both budget and high-end cars for outbound and domestic customers in the Mena region is likely to continue in 2013.
“At Hertz, we cater to segments. Our Hertz Prestige Collection is available to discerning customers, offering an impressive selection of luxury cars including Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche.
“Meanwhile, the Hertz acquisition of Dollar Thrifty in 2012 ensures that we have an impressive offering of car rentals across multiple market segments,” she added.
She further added, “There has been a major transition towards booking car rentals online and through call centres, especially in the more mature markets. More people are now doing their research online and buying their products and services online or on the phone.
Another trend picking up in the market is ‘car sharing/pooling’, especially in university and college campuses.
“In addition, a large amount of companies are now providing staff with cash allowances to rent their own vehicles,” she concluded.