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Zipcar

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Zipcar
Car Rental Company

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Official Site: Zipcar.com
Wikipedia: Zipcar

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The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Zipcar page on 16 June 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Zipcar is an American car-sharing company, a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group. Zipcar provides automobile reservations to its members, billable by the hour or day. Zipcar members pay a monthly or annual membership fee in addition to car reservations charges. Zipcar was founded in 2000 by Cambridge, Massachusetts residents Antje Danielson and Robin Chase.

On March 14, 2013, Avis Budget Group purchased Zipcar for about US$500 million in cash. Zipcar operates as a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group. Scott Griffith, who had run the company for the previous 10 years, resigned the day after the acquisition closed, and passed the reins to a new company president, Mark Norman. In early 2014, Kaye Ceille took over as Zipcar's North American President.

As of June 2015, the company had more than 900,000 members and offers nearly 10,000 vehicles throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Austria and Turkey, making Zipcar one of the world's leading car rental networks.

Members can reserve Zipcars with Zipcar's mobile app, online or by phone at any time, immediately or up to a year in advance. Zipcar members have automated access to Zipcars using an access card which works with the car's technology to unlock the door, where the keys are already located inside. Zipcar also offers an iPhone or Android application that allows members to honk the horn to locate a Zipcar and unlock the doors. Zipcar charges a one-time application fee, an annual fee, and a reservation charge. Fuel, parking, insurance, and maintenance are included in the price.

In the third quarter of 2007, Zipcar merged with Seattle-based rival Flexcar to create a nationwide car rental company. The company's IPO was in April 2011. Zipcar common stock traded on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "ZIP" until it was acquired by Avis.

Zipcar was co-founded by Antje Danielson and Robin Chase based on existing German and Swiss companies in January 2000. In June 2000, the first Zipcars hit the road around Boston, Massachusetts. In September 2001, the Washington, D.C. office opened, with the branch in New York City following in February 2002. In February 2003, Scott Griffith replaced Robin Chase as CEO. In July 2005, Zipcar secured $10 million in funding led by Benchmark Capital. In August 2005, San Francisco office opened. In May 2006, the Toronto office opened. In May 2006, General Electric's Commercial Finance Fleet Services (NYSE: GE) gave Zipcar $20 million in lease line financing. In September 2006, Toronto market was named fastest growing new market in company history. In November 2006, London office opened. In April 2007, Vancouver office opened. In October 2007, Zipcar and Flexcar executives announced a merger of the two companies, with the Zipcar brand and headquarters replacing that of Flexcar.

On January 23, 2008, the merged Zipcar/Flexcar canceled service for the Southern California cities of Los Angeles and San Diego without providing advanced notice to customers in those areas. Southern California college operations were left intact. On July 11, 2008, Zipcar announced it doubled membership in past year, including the Flexcar members it acquired, and now had 225,000 members. On August 28, 2008, Rice University announced the introduction into the program in their goal of achieving as low of a carbon footprint as possible while providing additional transportation options for employees that carpool. In June 2009, the company announced an iPhone application at the Apple World Wide Developer Conference. The application is capable of honking the horn and unlocking some Zipcars.

Following impressive third-quarter results, previous CEO Scott Griffith announced that 2012 would mark Zipcar's "first full year of profitability on a US GAAP basis".


Multimedia

Zipcar: Rent A Car by the Hour
Duration: 3:08
March 14, 2008
By Vincent Makori for Voice of America News
With the cost of owning a car in the U.S. soaring, many Americans are looking for others ways to get around. One car company is offering its customers an alternative to owning a car, a concept that is gaining popularity in a several large American cities. VOA's Vincent Makori has more.
Download Zipcar: Rent A Car by the Hour (Large Version) - 5.8MB
Download Zipcar: Rent A Car by the Hour (Small Version) - 934KB


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
13 February 2013New Shared Fleet Program To Save County $250,000 In First YearOffice of the Cook County Board President
6 January 2015Zipcar Bring the Urban Mobility Debate to Connected Fleets Europe 2015TU-Automotive
11 May 2016Zipcar President Kaye Ceille to Keynote at TU-Automotive Detroit 2016TU-Automotive




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