To preserve competition in the rental car business when No. 2 Hertz wanted to buy No. 4 Dollar Thrifty, U.S. regulators had a fix. Industry veteran Sandy Miller warned them it would blow up. He was right.
Advantage Rent A Car, spun off by Hertz Global Holdings Inc. to win U.S. approval for its purchase of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc., filed for bankruptcy after talks with Hertz over vehicle lease payments broke down.
Eddie Lampert, who has been slicing off pieces of his Sears Holdings Corp. for years, is poised to break off even bigger chunks of the business as he seeks to generate cash to revive the ailing retailer.
The Chinese will buy 16.7 million passenger cars and light commercial vehicles this year, about five million more than consumers in the U.S., according to the most recent research by J.D. Power and Associates. Driven by China’s rising middle class, breakneck development of suburbs and roads, and drastically reduced tariffs on automobile imports since 2001, a torrent of cars is choking Chinese cities in traffic and pollution. Convinced that a market existed for car rentals, Shanghai-born Ray Zhang, the founder and former chief executive officer of logistics software maker Aleph in Emeryville, Calif., returned to China in 2005 and launched eHi Car Rental a year later with $5 million in venture capital, promoting renting as a greener alternative to owning.