Avis and sister brand Budget are respectively the #2 and #3 vehicle rental services worldwide behind Hertz. Avis is positioned in the premium segment, targeting an audience of corporate and "upscale leisure travellers", and has the larger system, comprising around 5,450 locations worldwide. Budget offers a more value-oriented service geared towards cost-conscious renters, and operates a global network of around 3,925 locations. The two businesses operate as separate brands, but share the same back-office structure. Regional ownership of the brands was split for more than 25 years between two separate companies: Avis Budget Group, mainly in the Americas and Australasia; and Avis Europe primarily in EMEA. The two entities agreed to merge once again in 2011 and the group has continued to selectively acquire others among its remaining international licensees. At the beginning of 2013, the enlarged group also agreed to acquire car-share service Zipcar; followed in 2015 by Maggiore of Italy. Larry De Shon is CEO. Revenues for 2017 were $8.8bn, from some 39m rental transactions. It is the third largest rental company by total revenues behind Enterprise and Hertz. Warren Avis established what is thought to be America's first airport car rental office in 1946 in Detroit. However the business struggled to keep up with market leader Hertz and went through several different owners. Its fortunes changed during the 1960s as a result of an iconic advertising campaign devised by New York's Doyle Dane Bernbach, which turned that #2 position into a badge of honour, claiming "We Try Harder". In 1996 the business was acquired by a forerunner to what would become the diversified conglomerate Cendant, and was combined with Budget six years later.
Capsule checked 30th October 2018
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