Hertz Bets Big on EVs and Tesla

Has the time for electric vehicles (EV) finally arrived? After all, EV automobiles are not a new concept and have been sold for many years by a number of auto manufacturers. But they have not yet taken off into a mass consumer market.

But now, EV sales are certainly growing with a large purchase of 100,000 Tesla cars by Hertz for a reported price of $4.2 billion. Showing support for the purchase is Uber, which committed to renting up to half of that order for its drivers. Consumers often state that a positive rental experience made them consider purchasing the model as well. The market for Hertz is not only current Tesla owners who want to rent Tesla when they travel, but also consumers who have wanted to test drive an EV Tesla for an extended period of time.

Current global market estimates are that EV market growth will go from roughly $246 billion in 2020 to $1.3 trillion by 2028. The growth is fueled in part by  the requirement to lower carbon emissions, as well as increasing fuel prices. However, a limiting factor is the low number of charging stations; mileage between charges continues to be a factor impacting sales.

A bonus for Tesla (aside from a sticker-price buy) is the advertising that Hertz will do for the rentals. Hertz is planning an advertising campaign with quarterback Tom Brady to promote EV rentals. The company will also install thousands of EV chargers at it locations globally.

Tesla famously does not purchase advertising, instead relying on its store-fronts, word-of-mouth, and the strong social media presence of Elon Musk  who has 54 million followers on Twitter.

Hertz also gains from the deal. It filed for bankruptcy in May 2020, but emerged from bankruptcy a few months ago, just as travel started to grow again in the U.S. After shedding old inventory during bankruptcy, the company is now poised to be one of the newest and most relevant car rental agencies.

Ready to rent?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. View the Hertz news release: https://newsroom.hertz.com/2021-10-25-Hertz-Invests-in-Largest-Electric-Vehicle-Rental-Fleet-and-Partners-with-Seven-Time-Super-Bowl-Champion-Tom-Brady-to-Headline-New-Campaign
  2. A news video is available: https://youtu.be/gr6nLPUqzW0
  3. Discuss how to build and use a SWOT analysis grid: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (internal and external factors).
  4. For Hertz car rentals, break students into teams and have each team build a SWOT analysis grid.
    1. Strengths: What is the company good at?
    1. Weaknesses: What needs work?
    1. Opportunities: What is going on in marketplace?
    1. Threats: What should company be wary of?
  5. You might repeat the SWOT exercise using Tesla. What are the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
  6. Based on the analysis, what are the issues and risks that might occur for Hertz with its purchase of Tesla cars?
  7. Same question for Tesla: What are the issues and risks?

Source: Assoc. Press; CNBC; Fortune Business Insights; New York Times; Tech Crunch; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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