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A series of firsts
Innovation and acquisition have been driving forces behind the growth of Hertz Global Holdings since company founder Walter Jacobs pioneered the industry in 1918.
In 1925, the company set up the nation’s first coast-to-coast car rental network, using a franchise system.
Among some other firsts:
• 1926: Hertz offers the first advanced reservations and introduces Rail-Drive, which later expands to Fly-Drive and Sail-Drive.
• 1932: It opens the nation’s first airport rental car location at Chicago’s Midway Airport.
• 1933: It’s Rent-It-Here/Leave-It-There option drastically increases rental car use.
• 1978: Hertz introduces the industry’s first nationwide emergency road service.
• 1984: The company offers the first computerized driving directions, outlets that give printed directions to thousands of destinations in more than 100 cities.
• 1995: Hertz introduces the first on-board navigation system, NeverLost.
But the company has never been shy of playing catch-up or buying other companies to add an advantage.
• September 2011: Hertz announced the acquisition of the Donlen Corporation, a provider of fleet and leasing management services.
• March 2012: Hertz Equipment bought Arpielle Equipment Co., a New York City-based rental company in the construction industry. In September it bought Pioneer Rental, an Oklahoma construction and industrial equipment rental provider.
• November 2012: Hertz completed its biggest acquisition yet: Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc., which added the Dollar and Thrifty car rental brands to help Hertz compete across various market segments.
— Steve McQuilkin