Advertorial: Hertz – Driving to the beat of the Black ‘n Yellow drum

Wils Raubenheimer, CEO of Hertz Rent A Car, told Business Traveller in April 2013 that, going forward, the company’s key focus was its business and core activities – not those of its competitors. Progressive strategies implemented since then continue to result in phenomenal growth across-the-board. “Our vision is to focus on what works for us, we have been marching to the beat of our own drum and not been overly distracted by car rental market activities around us,” says Raubenheimer. “It’s a strategy that has more than paid off as can be seen by our significant successes over the past 16 months. Since Hertz’s new Exco team came on board, we have been successful in growing market share month-on-month and have a very clear objective of where we want to be by 2015. “Six new locations have opened in the past 12 months with a further five to follow in the year ahead. These have been situated in locations where Hertz did not previously have a footprint and I’m pleased to report that all are currently profitable. In addition and in order to meet customers’ needs, enhance their experiences and the level of service offered, we have identified a number of outlets that will be moving to sites with better facilities. An example of this is our Hertz Edenvale agency which is relocating to a Unitrans Automotive dealership in Boksburg and will now be a fully-fledged branch,” he adds. “In fact, our expansion plans are forging ahead. A brand new facility has just come on stream at East London airport and in Jet Park, Gauteng, we have acquired a property that will house our new turnaround facility and enable us to keep pace with our increased fleet. Double the size of our current facility, it will incorporate technologically-advanced electronic support systems and processes designed to enhance and expedite throughput.” In late November 2013, the Hangala group acquired an interest in Hertz Namibia and Raubenheimber reports that “the relationship with our Namibian partner is progressing well and I’m proud to say that our brand new turnaround facilities are reaching completion at the Hosea Kutako International Airport located 45kms east of Windhoek. “Our aim is to grow and expand our activities in Namibia, serve our customers and contribute to the economic growth of the country. Hertz is well positioned to achieve these aims in Namibia and provide tourists, corporate and government customers, the best service ordinarily associated with the Hertz brand. We pride ourselves on being well-positioned to provide solutions for every renter’s needs – from one day to monthly or more – whatever they might require in locations throughout South Africa and Namibia.” In the past 12 months, Hertz has increased its revenue stream by more than 20% most of which has emanated from the corporate sector. Raubenheimer adds that despite “challenging economic conditions”,  the  company  has  grown its fleet by the same percentage and at the same time, “maintained a highly acceptable utilisation percentage. “Our Chauffeur Drive service offering has shown solid growth and plans are afoot to launch a new, value proposition service within this division. We are also in the process of expanding our self-drive luxury fleet to include an über offering catering for our high profile corporate clientele nationally. At the other end of the scale, our van/bakkie rental fleet has undergone significant growth to cope with the demand from our client base. By year-end, Hertz Rent A Car’s capital investment in fleet will exceed the R1-billion mark.” “Hertz invested heavily in training and development in 2013 and following on from the success of our first learnership programme completed earlier this year, we already have a second programme up and running,” comments Sherl Camera, general manager, business development at Hertz. “Following on from a robust programme implemented to reduce unnecessary spending and curtail costs at every level of our business, in November last year, we devised an internal H3 Factor (Head- Heart-Hands) competition. The objective was to provide equal opportunity for all Hertz staffers to voice their opinions in respect of improving efficiencies and effecting cost savings throughout the company.  It was a great success and the winner will shortly be taking up her travel prize to our Hertz offices in the UK and Ireland to enjoy a well-earned work/ leisure experience.” On the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment front Raubenheimer reports that Hertz is working hard towards attaining Level 3 compliance status. “On that note, I’m also proud to say that Hertz is in the process of forming alliances with two empowerment partners to assist them with the start-up and growth of their own car rental enterprises,” he adds. “The relationship between our holding company Unitrans Automotive and Hertz International – the world’s largest car rental service provider and one of the most prominent and distinctive brands in the world – is stronger and healthier than ever and we are introducing international best practices into the local business on a continuing basis. A very strong bond and level of trust has been established between every member of our management team and I am confident that each will deliver what is expected of them.”