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Briefs: Avis rolls out new models; Enterprise expands in Europe

In recent news from the rental car industry, Avis has started deploying new 2013 models around the U.S.; Enterprise will expand its brand to 350 more locations in Europe; Budget adds a new hotel partnership and grows in Spain; and Hertz offers mobile Wi-Fi in Italy.

  • Avis renters will have a huge variety of vehicle types to select from as the company adds new 2013 models to its U.S. fleet. The company announced that its 2013 equipment will include cars made by Chrysler, Kia, Toyota, Nissan and Volkswagen. Also joining the fleet will be the 38-m.p.g. Chevrolet Spark subcompact; the redesigned Chevy Malibu; the new Cadillac XTS and the Cadillac Escalade SUV; crossovers like the Volvo XC60 and the Infiniti JX35; and in Avis’ Cool Car collection, two hybrids from Ford—the Ford C-MAX and Ford Fusion Hybrid—and the BMW Z4 roadster and 740i sedan.

  • Enterprise Holdings, the parent company of Enterprise, National and Alamo, said it will put the Enterprise brand name onto 350 rental locations in Europe effective February 1, 2013. The locations are currently branded as Citer SA in France and ATESA in Spain. Enterprise Holdings acquired those two companies last winter. The company said Citer and ATESA staff will be trained in “Enterprise’s unique customer service approach, as well as management techniques designed to give branch employees greater autonomy to meet the needs of their local customers.” At the same time, Enterprise said it has entered into its first-ever franchise agreement, turning Portugal’s Guerin Car Rental Solutions into Enterprise Rent-A-Car outlets.

  • Budget Car Rental has signed a multi-year agreement with the Best Western lodging group that enables members of the latter’s Best Western Rewards loyalty program to earn points when they rent from Budget. The tie-in applies for Budget rentals in the U.S., Canada, Europe, New Zealand and Puerto Rico. In other news, Budget said it has embarked on a major expansion program in Spain that added 60 new rental locations there in the first half of 2012, giving it a total of 99, and that it expects to add 25 more by the end of this year. Budget also recently opened a new rental location at Singapore’s Changi Airport.

  • Hertz, which offers its customers the option of mobile Wi-Fi service in the U.K., Spain, Australia and New Zealand, has added Italy to that list. Teaming up with a vendor called Wind Mobile, Hertz said that for 8 euros a day, renters in Italy can get a pocket-sized mobile Wi-Fi device that will give them round-the-clock connectivity at speeds of up to 21 Mbps, with unlimited data traffic for uploading and downloading. It’s currently available at airport locations in Rome Fiumicino, Milan Malpensa, Bergamo, Pisa and Catania, and will be rolled out at other Italian locations in the coming months.

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