Enterprise Holdings Acquiring Mint Cars On-Demand
Enterprise continues to expand world’s largest local car rental network, plans to quickly enhance Mint’s car-sharing fleet in New York City and Boston
ST. LOUIS – May 17, 2012 – Enterprise Holdings has announced that it has acquired the business of Mint Cars On-Demand, a car-sharing company serving more than 8,000 members in New York City and Boston. The acquisition closed today; financial terms of the transaction will not be disclosed.
Enterprise Holdings, the most comprehensive service provider in the car rental industry, operates the flagship Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand as well as the National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands. Founded in 1957, Enterprise has always focused on community transportation needs, renting cars where customers live and work. In fact, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car network – with 5,500 branch offices located within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population – has more than twice as many neighborhood locations as its nearest competitor and is renowned for offering affordable, accessible and flexible local car rental service in towns and cities of all sizes.
Mint’s services will be offered under its current brand name initially. However, the Mint car-sharing vehicles will immediately be incorporated into the local Enterprise car-rental fleets in the New York City and Boston regions – and operated as a natural extension of the Enterprise home-city business model, which already includes a wide variety of car leasing, vanpooling and hourly rental programs.
By year’s end, all of Enterprise’s car-sharing services throughout the country – including WeCar by Enterprise, PhillyCarShare and Mint – will be transitioned to the Enterprise Car Share brand name. “We have been anticipating and meeting local transportation needs for more than 55 years, so underscoring car-sharing’s connection to the Enterprise name and legacy makes perfect sense,” explained Ryan Johnson, assistant vice president for Enterprise Holdings.
Leadership and Strength
“We also intuitively understand what it takes to run a successful and sustainable car-rental operation in a highly competitive marketplace, regardless of whether vehicles are being rented for an hour, a day, a week or longer,” Johnson noted.
Richard Ull, who founded Mint in 2008, agrees. “I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far in the New York and Boston markets in such a short time,” he noted. “But thanks to Enterprise’s industry leadership and financial strength, our business will evolve and jump to the next level – and our car-sharing members will not only have access to a larger and newer fleet, but be supported by a team renowned for its community focus and customer-service excellence.”
Ull, who has more than 10 years experience in the New York parking business grew the Mint network to more than 40 locations across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Boston in just four years. Ull now brings his knowledge forward and will manage Enterprise’s newest car-sharing division, and help the company incorporate Mint’s “best practices” into its existing policies and procedures. This process will be managed carefully for the long term, as Enterprise is known for taking its time with acquisitions and for ensuring that integrations take critical operational, financial and personnel issues into account. Almost all of Mint’s staff members have been offered positions in their respective cities.
Johnson sees today’s acquisition as the beginning of an ideal partnership, since car-sharing services are basically a form of local car rental, only with different technology.
For example, two years ago, a New York Supreme Court Justice found that car sharing “is in 'the trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles' as those words are traditionally and plainly understood." In addition, the judge wrote: "This bargain – use of a car in exchange for a fee – appears little different from ‘traditional rental car’ companies…”
In addition, last year Auto Rental News magazine published an editorial titled “Should Car Sharing Get a Pass on Excise Taxes?” In it, Editor Chris Brown stated: “….I see car sharing as part of the evolution of auto rental, an offshoot of the neighborhood car rental market that took hold in the 1980s. Back then, local communities were looking for transportation solutions that were met by smaller, conveniently located branches. Later, car sharing came along to meet the needs of specific community, urban dwellers, while automating the process. Separating car sharing from car rental will become increasingly harder moving forward. Car sharing is growing out of its original urban core and into university environments, corporate campuses, government fleets, suburbia and even airports – all areas in which traditional car rental is already part of the transportation lexicon.”
Johnson pointed out that this fundamental principle – which makes the Enterprise-Mint partnership so powerful – also means that car-sharing members are subject to unfair car rental taxes. “We have a strong track record on this issue,” he said. “We remain committed as ever to our well-documented fight against discriminatory car rental excise taxes on behalf of car-rental and car-sharing customers everywhere.”
“We likewise remain committed to comprehensive, long-term local transportation planning,” stated Lee Broughton, head of corporate sustainability for Enterprise Holdings. “So strategic acquisitions like this underscore the sustainable nature of our longtime grassroots strategy from a social, environmental and economic perspective.”
For instance, Enterprise’s local car rental branches enable millions of consumers to try late-model, fuel-efficient models and even new technologies, including electric vehicles and hybrids, for consideration of purchase or just out of curiosity. As a result, Broughton said, Enterprise is uniquely positioned to use its unparalleled network and environmentally friendly car rental options as a sort of “petri dish” to promote new alternatives and prove their feasibility in the marketplace.
In addition, Enterprise has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation and the United States Forest Service to plant 1 million trees throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom as part of the Enterprise 50 Million Tree Pledge. The company also has joined forces with the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, the largest independent plant research center in the world, to establish the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels.
“We also often reach out to organizations like the Electrification Coalition, the Transportation Sustainability Research Center, the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities initiative, and the National League of Cities' Sustainable Cities Institute – all of whom help broaden discussions about local mobility and the transportation value chain,” Broughton added.
Enterprise works hard to align the interests of its customers, employees and business partners with the long-term interest of its business. Today, with annual revenues of $14.1 billion and more than 70,000 employees, Enterprise Holdings owns and operates, through its regional subsidiaries, more than 1.2 million cars and trucks, making it the largest car rental company in the world measured by revenue, employees and fleet. Enterprise Holdings also is the only investment-grade company in the U.S. car rental industry. Ranked No. 15 on the Forbes list of America’s Largest Private Companies, Enterprise Holdings is owned by the Taylor family and headquartered in St. Louis.
A typical Enterprise Rent-A-Car branch office makes a significant contribution to the local economy – generating millions of dollars in economic impact each year – by hiring people locally, buying and selling cars locally, paying local taxes and contributing to local charities. “Mint is now part of the Enterprise family and an integral part of our local ‘transportation solution,’” Johnson stated. “We think this is a great fit and completely in sync with our approach to doing business for the long term.”
Note: For more information about Enterprise Holdings’ Corporate Sustainability Report or the company’s environmental stewardship and long-term commitment to the sustainability of its business, visit www.DrivingFutures.com.