History of Enterprise Rent A Car


Enterprise Rent-A-Car History - 1957 -1970

Enterprise Rent-A-Car started operations in St Louis in 1957 with the name Executive Leasing, by Jack Taylor, with a seven-vehicle fleet for leasing.

Initially, the company focused on long-term leases, but the company entered car rental field in 1962.

Taylor handed the new rental operations over to an assistant named Don Holtzman.

Holtzman looked for a niche away from the airports to settle into and discovered that insurance companies had a need for rental cars for clients whose cars had been damaged or stolen.

The company directed the rental car efforts at this market, and offered more competitive rates for the niche than the bigger rental companies.

Later, in 1969 Taylor renamed the company Enterprise Leasing Company in honor of the U.S.S. Enterprise aircraft carrier on which he served in World War II.

1969 also saw the company's expansion of operations outside of the Saint Louis home base, with openings of offices in Georgia, Florida, and Texas.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car History - 1970 - 1980

The company is credited with the innovation of pick-up programme that provided customers with a free ride to the rental office.

This feature was developed in 1974 by one of the company's rental managers in Orlando.

The difficult economic conditions for rental car companies thanks to the energy crisis of 1974 pushed the company to diversify it's revenues.

This led to the purchase of Keefe Coffee Company, a company that provided in-room coffee service to hotel guest rooms. Also acquired were Monogramme Confections, Courtesy Coffee, and Crawford Supply.

These acquisitions started what became Enterprise Capital Group.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car History - 1980 - 1990

The company expanded very quickly in the 1980s, averaging 27 percent annually between 1984 and 1990.

By the end of the 1980s the company had over 800 locations nationwide, with a fleet of 100,000 vehicles and $500 million in revenue.

However, the core business of the company received increased competition in the 1980s, when Hertz and National entered the home-city rental market.

In 1987 the non-rental part of Enterprise, Enterprise Capital Group, purchased a cellular telephone company, which was named Enterprise Cellular.

Despite the diversification, in 1989, the company changed its name to Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company to reflect the core part of the company, rentals of vehicles.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car History - 1990 - 2000

The founder Jack Taylor's son, Andrew, became chief executive officer in 1991.

The next year, 1992, revenues surpassed $1 billion for the first time.

The company experienced fast growth during the 1990s, aided by an international expansion starting with the first international location in Windsor, Ontario, in 1993, followed by an office in Reading, England.

The company also expanded into new sectors of car rental business, opening its first on-airport location at the Denver International Airport in 1995.

This rapid airport expansion led the company to renting vehicles at 95 of the top 100 airports in the United States by late 1990s.

A major milestone was reached in 1996, when the company surpassed Hertz as the number one car rental company in the United States in terms of fleet size and no. of offices.

In 1999, Enterprise's nonautomotive businesses was split into a separate company called Centric Group.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car History - 2000 - present

Since the year 2000, Enterprise has expanded rapidly in international markets, and has more than 63,000 rental vehicles in Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Germany.

The company has also been able to withstand fluctuations in the holiday and business travel car rental markets better than competition, thanks to the company's large market share in the replacement niche.

During turbulent times, Enterprise has continued focusing on two crucial ingredients for the company: good customer service and hiring and keeping outstanding employees.

According to recent data, the company has some 6,900 locations worldwide, a fleet of over 879,000 vehicles and over 64,500 employees with over 3,400 in the U.K and over 190 in Ireland.

In addition to that fleet, in 2007, Enterprise acquired Vanguard, operator of Alamo and National Car Rental companies.


From History of Enterprise Rent A Car page to Car Rental Directory index