Hertz Global Holdings has signed an agreement to buy Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group in a move officials said will help Hertz grow its global footprint and become the second largest vehicle-rental company in the U.S..
Hertz is paying approximately $1.2 billion in cash and stock to acquire Dollar Thrifty.
"Having Dollar Thrifty under the Hertz family of brands, products and services will allow us to expand our global presence, boost our market position and realize the financial benefits from substantial synergies from between the two companies," Hertz chairman and chief executive officer Mark Frissora said during a conference call Monday.
Frissora said the company hasn't had any "officials discussions" with the Federal Trade Commission yet, but suggested that Hertz remains "very confident" the transaction will gain approval.
"We feel pretty good about our position there. We've certainly been advised by a great team of lawyers and so has Dollar Thrifty," he noted. "Based on that review, we feel highly confident the transaction will pass the muster.
"I think it's fair to say we wouldn't have embarked on this transaction unless we had a high degree of confidence that it would be approved," Frissora continued.
In an official statement, Dollar Thrifty president and chief executive officer Scott Thompson talked about how the landscape of the rental market has changed over the last few years, and how joining Hertz will be beneficial.
"Being associated with a larger company that has a broader base of revenues and access to greater technology will allow the Dollar and Thrifty brands to grow at a much more rapid pace than as a stand-alone company," Thompson noted.
"Enterprise's acquisition of Alamo and National a few years ago certainly changed the industry and our competitive position," he explained further. "Our relative size compared to the big three in the industry (Enterprise, Avis and Hertz) made an offer to join a larger company compelling."
Farmers Insurance Group® cooperated with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Florida Department of Financial Services, and National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) in an eight-month investigation involving staged vehicle crashes and insurance fraud in Hillsboro County.
"Operation Crash for Cash" resulted in arrest warrants for 22 people, and search warrants at two medical clinics in Hillsborough County. Thirty-two suspects have already been charged with staging crashes. Detectives began to round up suspects and serve the search warrants Friday, April 23. The suspects include clinic employees, massage therapists and participants in staged crashes. The criminal charges range from Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO), a first-degree felony, to staging vehicles crashes.
he Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Alliance), Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM) and the Automotive Service Association (ASA) jointly urge Pennsylvania legislators to reject HB 2410, the so-called "Right to Repair" bill.
ASA president Ron Pyle stated, "The so-called 'Right to Repair' Act is a solution in search of a problem. Automakers already provide affordable access to the necessary information to diagnose and service vehicles. All automakers maintain service information websites and make factory scan tools available to the independent repair community. The information is the same as that provided to franchised dealers and the tools are capable of performing the same functions. By investing in proper equipment and training and subscribing to service information providers, repair shops can gain access to everything they need to repair a motor vehicle of any make or model."
In a troubled economy, where the price of collision repairs and auto insurance are rising along with the Consumer Price Index, the CAPA Part Certification program provides collision repairers with the opportunity to keep cars repairable without compromising quality. Leading collision repairers on CAPA’s Board of Directors are speaking out on why CAPA is important to them.
When CAPA certified parts are used as alternatives to increasingly expensive car company brand parts, then insurers are less likely to “total” vehicles. “If a repairable vehicle is totaled – I’ve lost business,” said Mike West, owner of Southtowne Auto Rebuild, located in Tukwila, Washington. West is a former ASA Collision Division Operations Committee member, Collision Division Director of ASA-Washington, and a member of CAPA’s Board of Directors. “Totals are bad for my customer, my shop, and for the thousands of collision repairers struggling to cope with the rising costs of operating a business.”
Shop owner, industry trainer and consultant Mike Anderson has sold his collision repair business, Wagonwork Collision Center in Alexandria, VA to Pohanka Collision Centers. Anderson says he will now focus on spending more time with family and running his consulting business and website CollisionAdvice.com.
The acquisition gives Pohanka nine shop locations in Virginia and Maryland.
Pennsylvania Senator John C. Rafferty Jr. (R) has introduced Senate Resolution 254 calling on the state’s insurance commissioner to investigate the practice of steering by insurers in the collision repair industry and report his findings back to the legislature.
In what can only be called a remarkable turnaround since last year’s bankruptcy procedings, both GM and Chrylser have rewarded the faith of “bailout” proponents with strong first quarter results reflecting better vehicle sales buoyed by a thawing economy and improved consumer spending.
General Motors announced it has repaid loans from the U.S. government, five years ahead of schedule. GM completed the repayment of its loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments by paying the outstanding balances of $4.7 billion and $1.1 billion respectively.
In addition, Chrysler announced an operating profit for the first quarter of 2010, so may soon be in a position to start to repay its government loans as well. Chrysler posted a $143-million operating profit in the first quarter and was on track to at least break even this year on an operating basis with a stronger cash position. Chrysler owes the U.S. government nearly $7 billion in loans. Payments on principal are not due until 2011 and full repayment is not expected until 2014.
Chrysler Group issued its financial results on April 21 for first quarter (Q1) 2010.
In Q1 2010, Chrysler Net Revenues increased to $9,687 million representing a 3 percent increase over the prior quarter. Chrysler ended Q1 2010 with an Operating Profit of $143 million.
“This positive operating result in the first quarter is a concrete indication to our customers, dealers and suppliers that the 2010 targets we have set for ourselves are achievable. We are also generating cash to finance the investments being made in our product portfolio and brand repositioning,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, Chrysler Group.
Just hours before industry trainer Toby Chess was to make another presentation about non-OEM bumper and structural parts at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) in Atlanta on April 15, Chess said he was threatened with a lawsuit if he did so. He declined to reveal who threatened the legal action but said because he had not had a chance to consult with an attorney, he chose to forego making his presentation at the meeting. Chess has since said that the original party who made the threat has denied making it, making the intent of the original threat even more obscure.
In presentations at the previous two CIC meetings in November and January, Chess showed potential problems with a number of non-OEM bumper parts, including apparent significant differences in the material and structure of the parts. That has led at least four insurers to pull back from the use of such parts; it has also led parts suppliers to develop tracking and recall programs for the parts , and to the launch of several testing and certification programs for such parts.
Chess was clearly frustrated by the threat of legal action against him, saying he never portrayed the demonstrations as scientific research but merely as a way to “bring light” to a potential problem.
Toyota Motor Sales announced on April 16 that it will launch a voluntary Safety Recall involving approximately 600,000 first- and second-generation Sienna 2WD minivans sold in the United States to address potential corrosion in the spare tire carrier cable.
This condition may appear on certain 1998 through 2010 model year Siennas that have been operated in cold climate areas with high road salt use. Continued prolonged exposure to road salts may cause excessive corrosion of the carrier cable in some of these vehicles. In the worst case, the carrier cable may fail and the spare tire could become separated from the vehicle, a road hazard for following vehicles that increases the likelihood of a crash.