TORONTO — Enterprise Holdings, which owns the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands, has a new President in charge and a renewed focus on growth and innovation at the start of the year. The future looks bright indeed, but this doesn’t mean the family-owned company has forgotten about its past and how family has played an integral role to its success.
In this week’s Friday Five, we sit down with Ian Dale, Assistant Vice President of Business Rental Development – Canadian Operations for Enterprise Holdings, to talk about the company’s new leadership, its lasting legacy and new initiatives for 2019 that will help the travel agent community.
1. Enterprise welcomed a new President and COO in December. Does new leadership also mean a new direction for the company?
The promotions of Chrissy Taylor to President and Chief Operating Officer and Carolyn Kindle Betz to President of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation mark another milestone for the rising third generation of family ownership of our company. In Chrissy’s new role, she will direct the company’s global business operations and oversee its product development and technology innovation efforts, with a special emphasis on ensuring that any new technology the company deploys supports its commitment to deliver a superior customer experience and workplace excellence. As President of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, Carolyn will continue to play a key role in developing our philanthropic strategies and ensure that we are an engaged and responsible corporate citizen in the communities where we do business. She will also develop and oversee execution of the Foundation’s philanthropic strategies.
2. Enterprise is a third-generation, family-owned company. Tell us how this family focus impacts daily operations at the company.
We continue to live by the values that our founder, Jack Taylor, instilled in our company – taking excellent care of our customers, encouraging and supporting each other and giving back to our communities. We take an active role in our community, not only because it’s smart for our business, but because we believe in making the world a better place for future generations.
Our guiding principles, and humble beginning, revolve around personal honesty and integrity. We believe in strengthening our communities, serving our customers as if they were our family, and rewarding hard work. These things are as true today as they were when we were founded in 1957.
3. Tell us about the growth you’re seeing in key markets. What would you attribute this growth to?
Enterprise Holdings continues to experience significant growth throughout our business. This includes our airport and neighbourhood locations, all three of our brands and our other business lines including Enterprise Truck Rental, Enterprise CarShare, and the Enterprise Exotic collection. Although we have seen consistent year-round growth, summers offer the greatest opportunity of the year. This has been further fueled within the last few years by a lower Canadian dollar, which is attractive to visitors and also drives more inter-Canadian travel. Our key growth strategy remains as it always has been – an unwavering commitment to providing excellent customer service.
4. What can you tell us about Canadian travel trends? Are Canadians renting cars as much as they used to? Where are they renting? And for how long?
Consumers have an increasing variety of transportation options these days. That’s why, as a total transportation provider, Enterprise Holding’s serves the needs of a variety of businesses, consumers, government agencies, and organizations by providing a comprehensive portfolio of transportation solutions. In fact, we continue to experience growth through these offerings, as well as through our loyalty programs that provide consumers more options and incentives to travel.
With our loyalty programs Enterprise Plus and National’s Emerald Club, members can redeem points and make their travel more efficient. With every qualifying rental, Enterprise Plus members earn points they can redeem anytime on free rentals of any available vehicle throughout Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s network. While National expedites the rental process for Emerald Club members by providing access to the “Emerald Aisle,” an exclusive section of the lot where members can select any vehicle as long as they reserve a mid-sized car. And travel agents also enjoy the benefits of Cash-in-Club, with availability to book client travel at all three brands, and awards through Visa pre-paid cards.
5. What’s new for Enterprise in 2019? And how do you plan on working with travel agents?
Enterprise is incredibly excited for what’s in store for 2019. As an industry leader in mobility and technology, we’re constantly striving to innovate and grow. By prioritizing technology and innovation, we have formed partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to ensure that our fleet is equipped with the best, cutting-edge technology for our customers. For example, we recently announced a partnership with General Motors to significantly increase the number of connected vehicles in the company’s fleet to 100,000 by the end of 2019.
Enterprise Holdings’ acquisition and corporate venture-capital strategy continues to focus on technologies and business models that not only can accelerate industry-leading transportation solutions, but also customer satisfaction in a rapidly changing marketplace. Since 2008, Enterprise has spent almost $2.4 billion making acquisitions and corporate-venture capital investments or commitments in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Ireland, Spain, Brazil and China.
In addition, we’ve just extended our corporate Partnership with The Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA), clearly demonstrating our commitment to supporting the best interests of travellers and the travel agent community. We are pleased to continue working closely with ACTA through ongoing education for Canadian travel agents, including information about how Enterprise Holdings’ global network can bring value to their customers.