An industry adage held that “there are two types of rental car companies: those that lose money and Enterprise.” The company that would become Enterprise Rent-A-Car was started in 1957 in St. Louis, Missouri, by Jack Taylor. Taylor set up Enterprise offices in neighborhoods rather than at airports because he believed that Americans would welcome a local option for renting cars when their own vehicles were being repaired. In 2010 Enterprise had more than 6,000 rental locations in the United States and a fleet of 850,000 cars in service. Its parent, Enterprise Holdings (comprising Enterprise, National, and Alamo brands) accounted for nearly half of the car rental market and was more than twice the size of Hertz, the number two competitor. Enterprise's competitive advantage was the result of the combination of its practices in hiring, training, compensation, organization, customer service, IT, and fleet management, among others.
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Kellogg School of Management
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