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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Car Rental Company

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Official Site: Hertz.com
Wikipedia: The Hertz Corporation

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A car rental company founded in Chicago in 1918.


The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's The Hertz Corporation page on 13 May 2017, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

The Hertz, a subsidiary of Hertz Global Holdings Inc is an American car rental company with international locations in 150 countries worldwide. Hertz is the largest U.S. car rental company by sales. On May 7, 2013, it was announced that Hertz would relocate its corporate headquarters to Estero, just outside Fort Myers in Southwest Florida.

The company was founded by Walter L. Jacobs in 1918, who started a car rental operation in Chicago with a dozen Model T Ford cars. In 1923, Jacobs sold it to John D. Hertz who made it a subsidiary of his Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company and renamed it "Hertz Drive-Ur-Self System".

He sold a controlling interest in the Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company (and hence also 'Hertz Drive-Ur-Self') to General Motors in 1925 who then purchased the remaining shares in 1943.

Hertz arranged for The Omnibus Corporation, which he also owned, to purchase the car rental business back from GM in 1953. He sold all The Omnibus Corporation's public transport interests the same year, changed its name to 'The Hertz Corporation' and floated it on the New York Stock Exchange the following year.

In 1954, the new corporation bought New York truck leasing company, Metropolitan Distributors.

In 1967, The Hertz Corporation became a wholly owned subsidiary of RCA but was operated as a separate entity. In 1985, Hertz joined and was acquired by UAL Corporation. On December 30, 1987, Hertz was sold to 'Park Ridge Corporation', which was then owned by Ford Motor Company and members of Hertz senior management. In 1988, Volvo North America Corporation invested in Park Ridge Corporation.

On June 13, 2005, Ford issued a notice that Hertz would be let loose in an initial public offering. On September 8, 2005 it was announced it was to be sold to private equity companies Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, The Carlyle Group, and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity for $15 billion in cash and debt acquisition. The sale was completed on December 22, 2005. This private equity group took Hertz public on November 16, 2006.

On January 11, 2010, Hertz announced the acquisition of used cars dealer British Car Auctions (BCA) for an undisclosed sum.

In November 2011, Hertz introduced ExpressRent kiosks at a number of locations. This was the first large scale car rental kiosk deployment in the U.S. using a live agent assistant via video chat.

On January 3, 2014 it was reported that Hertz shares had jumped in value by 2.6% after the reported purchase of 30-40 million shares by billionaire Carl Icahn in what was believed to be a hostile takeover attempt. In response to Icahn’s reported share purchase the Hertz Board reportedly stated that it would issue one preferred share for each current share in what is referred to as a “poison pill” response.


Hertz v. New York City (May 9, 1992)
U.S. Court of Appeals - 26008-1-DVD - Hertz v. New York City - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard arguments in the case Hertz v. New York City, which concerned a New York city ordinance that outlawed rental companies from differentiating rates by the area of the rental. Hertz Rental Car Company had previously charged higher rates for renting cars in high crime areas, and filed suit against the city to maintain their policy. Earlier in the year, the U.S. District Court of Southern New York had ruled in favor of the city, and had put the case on a fast track for appeal.
This film is available courtesy of the FedFlix (public domain).
Download Hertz v. New York City (May 9, 1992) from The Internet Archive - 30:39
12 December 2016
14-17349 Janet Sobel v. Hertz Corp.
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Hertz Corporation appeals, and a plaintiff class cross appeals, the district court's judgment in a diversity class action filed on behalf of people who rented cars from Hertz at the Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada airports.
Download 14-17349 Janet Sobel v. Hertz Corp. - 451MB - 41:22

Article Index

21 October 2011Hertz Fires Muslims in Fallout Over Break PolicyVOA News
14 August 2013Hertz Bring Car Rental Into The 21st Century Geoff Maxted, DriveWrite Automotive
14 February 2014Approval and Promulgation of Implementation Plans; Kentucky; Stage II Requirements for the Hertz Corporation Facility at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Boone CountyA. Stanley Meiburg


Type & Item #NameDetails
Die Cast - Shelby Collectibles DC350041966 Shelby G.T. 350H1:18 scale, black w/gold stripes

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