Last updated: 08:50 AM ET, Wed April 22 2015

Travvy Awards Winners Spotlight: Enterprise Holdings

Car Rental & Rail | Enterprise Rent-A-Car | Rich Thomaselli | April 21, 2015

Travvy Awards Winners Spotlight: Enterprise Holdings

Enterprise Holdings is fond of saying that its 6,000 combined domestic locations are within 15 minutes of 90 percent of the U.S. population. It is that kind of accessibility and availability among its three major networks that earned the company the 2015 Travvy Award for Best Domestic Car Rental Company.

Enterprise is a family-owned business that has grown into a behemoth — accounting for $17.8 billion in revenue, 83,000 employees, and 1.5 million vehicles in fiscal year 2014 — yet somehow manages to retain a small-town feel that has endeared itself to travel agents across the country.

It’s a culture that has been perpetuated since day one, as chairman Andy Taylor explains in this video.

The company’s three brands — Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, and Alamo Rent A Car — ranked first, second, and tied for third in the annual J.D. Power North American Rental Car Satisfaction Study in 2014, with the Enterprise brand receiving the highest score for the ninth time in the last 11 years.

That’s not done by mistake.

That’s done by due diligence.

"Receiving not just one but two Travvy Awards is a testament to our high standard of customer service and our disciplined, long-term approach to managing our business, both at the airport and in thousands of local neighborhoods," Pam Nicholson, president and chief executive officer at Enterprise Holdings, said in a statement.

It’s not just its relationship with customers that has forged Enterprise’s reputation. The company has the largest fleet of any domestic car rental business, and it purchases more than 1 million cars every year in an ever-flowing tide of acquisition and replacement. Enterprise’s fleet of cars is believed to be one of the youngest in the industry, with an average odometer reading of less than 16,000 miles and an average car age of eight months.

That makes the company’s relationship with auto manufacturers so vital.

“That is critically important when it comes to delivering award-winning customer service and meeting the expectations of individual consumers and our corporate partners,” said Susan Lombardo, Enterprise Holdings’ vice president of vehicle acquisition.

It is under the purview of Lombardo, a near 30-year veteran of the company, to acquire those 1 million cars, vans, SUVs, and luxury vehicles every year. The U.S. car rental industry's 5 percent yearly growth, and Enterprise’s relationship with the automakers “represents a strategic channel for exposing the best vehicles and best technology to consumers over time,” she said. “Manufacturers have discovered that car rental — regardless of whether it’s for an hour, a day, a week, or longer — is a significant link in the automotive value chain. That means we can help automakers maintain and even grow market share.”

Need another reason why Enterprise is a Travvy winner as best domestic car rental company? It has one of the best management trainee programs, and was named by Business Week as one of the best companies to launch a career.

And, earlier this month, Enterprise’s CarShare division announced at the 2015 International Car Rental Show that it has joined the CarSharing Association, a not-for-profit organization committed to advancing cooperation between urban mobility providers, cities, and public transit.

Alan Woodland, executive director of the CarSharing Association, said in a statement “Enterprise CarShare is a well-established player in the industry and we’re glad to have their help in expanding support for sustainable urban mobility in communities around the world.”

“At its core, car sharing is a car rental transaction, whether you rent for an hour or a week, and whether you do it in person or digitally,” said Kyle Sabie, corporate rental manager for Enterprise CarShare. “Car rental companies like Enterprise are applying the technology many of us associate with car sharing to make picking up a car accessible and seamless for anyone, not just car-sharing members.”

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