Avis Offloads Older Fleet by Selling Used-Cars to Ride-Hail Drivers

Avis Budget Group started selling used vehicles to ride-hailing drivers in the first quarter as a strategy to offload its older fleet, David Wyshnerto, president and chief financial officer, said on the company’s earnings call yesterday.

“We benefited from selling more of our used cars through alternative disposition channels,” Wyshner said. “We’ve expanded our direct-to-dealer and direct-to-consumer networks — including bringing more dealers onto our proprietary platform, displaying our used-car inventory on select third-party sites like TrueCar, opening used-car lots in select markets, and beginning to sell used vehicles to ride-hailing drivers.”

Avis, through its subsidiary Zipcar — which it acquired in 2013 — announced a partnership with Uber in February that would allow Boston residents the option of renting a Zipcar to use exclusively as an Uber driver. And in November 2016, Avis announced a partnership with Didi Chuxing, a Chinese mobile transportation platform, which allows Didi Chuxing’s registered users traveling outbound from China to access car rental services outside of the country.

However, it is unclear whether Avis is selling its vehicles to its subsidiary Zipcar or to Didi. Avis also owns France Cars, Payless Car Rental, and Apex Car Rentals.

Avis Budget Group did not respond for comment by press time.

Separately, Avis feels “reasonably good” about its discussions with OEMs so far, in regards to whether Avis expects to receive price breaks from the OEMs for its fleet of vehicles — as off-lease vehicles rise over the next three years, Wyshner said. “In particular, I think we’ll be able to get the cars that we need, but it’s really just too early in the process to know exactly how it’s going to sort out in terms of cost increases or decreases among the various manufacturers,” he said.

There is”nothing unusual” occurring in these discussions at this time, De Shon added. OEMs that are part of Avis’s fleet include Ford, Chevrolet, BMW, Jaguar, Cadillac, Toyota, and more.

Parsippany, N.J.- based Avis is  also preparing to pilot its first connected city later this year, with a fleet comprised entirely of connected cars, De Shon said. Avis did not specify which OEM is providing the fleet or what fleet financing partnership is in place. “This [pilot] will allow for a better understanding of the efficiencies of a fully connected fleet, and will help identify specific areas where investments may be worthwhile,” he said, adding that advantages include automated maintenance notification, real-time inventory counts, and mileage management.

To learn more about the evolution of transportation, join us at the second annual Auto Finance Innovation 2017 conference, May 17-18 at the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego. Visit www.autofinanceinnovation.com to register or learn more. To request a media pass, contact Skylar Taylor at staylor@royalmedia.com.

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