Hertz 100 years in the Rent-a-Car business!
Hertz all over the world
With more than 100 years in the car rental business, Hertz has over:
- 600,000 cars and
- 10,000 service locations in 145 countries, in 5 continents.
In September 1918, 22-year-old car rental pioneer Walter L. Jacobs launched a rent-a-car company in Chicago. Starting with a dozen Ford Model Ts, which he repaired and painted himself, Jacobs quickly expanded, and within five years was making more than $1 million a year.
In 1923, Jacobs sold the business to John Hertz, president of the Yellow Cab and Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing Company. Jacobs remained with the company as a Hertz senior executive.
In 1926, the Hertz Drive-Ur-Self System passed into General Motors’ hands, and is now owned by three of the largest private capital investment companies.
Autohellas-Hertz The road to success
Hertz in Greece
The road to establishing Autohellas Hertz as the largest car rental company in Greece and Europe began in 1966 in Crete, where Theodoros Vassilakis signed a partnership agreement to become a Hertz agent. Nowadays, the company continues to lead the way on the Greek and foreign markets.
- In 1974 Hertz Hellas was fully acquired by Theodoros Vassilakis and renamed Autohellas S.A.
- The company is engaged in car rentals and trade, with more than 50 years’ experience in the auto business.
- It is the largest national Hertz franchisee in the world.
- Since 1978, it has consistently been in first place as the largest national Hertz franchisee in the world.
- Its network extends to 8 countries with more than 115 service locations, 51 of which are at airports.
- With investments of nearly €1 billion in the fleet, facilities, networks and technology over the last decade.
Autohellas-Hertz’ strong presence in Europe
Autohellas-Hertz’ investment program extends beyond the Greek borders!
Strong presence in 8 countries
2003 Autohellas buys out Autotechnica Ltd, which is the Hertz national franchisee in Bulgaria and a SEAT car importer/dealer.
2004 Hertz enters the construction equipment rental sector for the first time in Greece.
2005 Autohellas takes over the Hertz franchise in Cyprus.
2007 Autohellas establishes Autotechnica Fleet Services SRL in Romania.
2010 Autohellas enters Serbian market.
2011 Autohellas expands activity to Montenegro.
2014 Autohellas acquires the exclusive right to use all Hertz International brand names (Hertz, Thrifty, Dollar, Firefly).
2015 Autohellas becomes the Hertz franchisee in Ukraine.
2016 Autohellas launches operations in Croatia. In the same year, Autohellas embarks on car imports and trade, after absorbing TECHNOCAR and VELMAR.
Autohellas has been active in the automobile sector since 1974 and has been listed on the Athens Stock Exchange since 1999. It is the original company and a member of the larger Th. Vassilakis Group which operates, inter alia, in the air transport industry through the listed company AEGEAN.
The main pillars on which the Group’s activities are based are:
- Rent a Car (Renting and Operating Leasing)
- International activities (Renting and Operating Leasing and Car Sales)
- Car sales (Importing/Distribution/Retail)
It owns the largest private fleet of vehicles, with more than 48,000 vehicles and over 143 sales points in Greece and abroad. The Group provides integrated and innovative services meeting the needs of every customer, at any moment, and it continues to innovate, always offering new services.
As a company specialising in the provision of services, Autohellas places great importance on its human resources, which now numbers over 1,300 people and is at the core of its business.
Some of the most important milestones in the history of Autohellas can be found here.
Vision & Values
The values of Autohellas express its philosophy, reflecting its character and mirroring the best elements in the Group’s long history. They had, have and will continue to have a central role in realising the Autohellas vision in Greece and abroad.
- INTEGRITY: The Autohellas Group acts honestly, it respects its customers’ needs, offers advice, accepts constructive criticism and acknowledges any mistakes or omissions. It demands the highest ethical standards and quality in the services it offers.
- RESPECT FOR PEOPLE: Our people are the driving force behind the Group’s success. Autohellas has always taken pride in treating its staff with respect and dignity, throughout its history.
- HIGH PERFORMANCE: Autohellas always aims at continuously improving its performance, carefully analysing its results and making sure to never compromise its integrity and respect for people.
- TEAMWORK: Teamwork is an integral part of the Group’s corporate culture. This is why Autohellas believes that it is important to share knowledge, ideas and experiences between colleagues in order to strengthen trust.
Corporate Social Responsibility
From the first day it started operating in the Greek market in 1974, the Autohellas Group has strategically chosen to operate in a responsible manner and to take responsibility for the potential impact on all stakeholders affected by its operations. Within this context, actions are systematically undertaken aiming at:
- The operation of the Group with respect for the environment, its employees, customers and suppliers, local communities and government authorities, as well as for the applicable legal and regulatory framework (both nationally and internationally)
- The growth of Greek tourism
- The promotion of the cultural heritage of Greece
- Supporting and promoting sports
- Supporting education
- Supporting vulnerable social groups