By Aimee Chanthadavong

Hertz Corporation has signed a deal to acquire Australian car sharing company Flexicar.

The Melbourne-based company, which operates 90 vehicles and has approximately 200 members, will be integrated into Connect by Hertz car sharing following the closing, which is scheduled for 1 December.

Monique Conheady, Fleixcar CEO told Retailbiz that the acquisition is an exciting step forward for the company.

“It means we will be part of making car sharing mainstream not only in Australian cities but around globe. It also gives our staff who are transferring to Hertz exciting career prospects around the global,” she said.

“Whilst Flexicar was thinking big when it was first formed – with plans to be in several cities across the country – our initial focus was just getting a viable service operating.

“As our vision developed, we really wanted to make car sharing a mainstream public transport option for all inner urban Australians. We felt we weren’t able to reach that simply via organic growth and so decided to explore international partnerships, which is how the Connect by Hertz deal eventuated.”

The acquisition will provide Flexicar members access to in-car technology, including receiving a smart chip-enabled Connect card, which gives keyless entry to any car in the fleet, as well as a hands-free audio kit that connect members to the Member Care Centre.

“We’re excited by the Hertz commitment to car sharing (via their Connect by Hertz operation). When a large organisation like Hertz supports car sharing, you know it’s likely to be here for the long haul,” Conheady said.

“It also means our members will have access to car sharing when they travel – interstate or overseas – which is a great result. It means if you decide to rely on car sharing, it will really be there for you as a complement to active and other public transport.”

As part of the move, Flexicar members will be also granted greater access to cars and locations such as Berlin, London, Madrid, New York and Paris.
Robert Stuart, senior vice president, global sales for the Hertz Corporation, said he saw the acquisition as a natural fit to the company.

“Within two years of launching, Connect by Hertz already has 700 cars, 200 locations, and 20,000 members worldwide. We are aiming to acquire at least half of a global market that we expect to balloon up to $1 billion over the next five years,” he said.