Car rental market gets back some 'va va voom'
THE IRISH franchisee of Europcar is accelerating plans to grow the business here. The company, whose main backer is Colm Menton, has just opened a new branch in Navan, Co Meath, and will open in Galway in the coming weeks.
These will add 10 new jobs and bring to 50 the number of positions created by the car hire group over the past couple of months as it gears up to expand.
Europcar is Europe’s biggest car rental group and the franchise here is held by Ormen Group, which is controlled by Menton and took Irish Car Rentals Ltd out of examinership in 2010.
“Over the next couple of months, we’ll be looking to raise the profile of the business in Ireland,” Colm Brady, director of business development, told me.
The car rental market here went through a painful restructuring following the economic crash in 2008, with a number of established names, such as Murrays and Atlas, exiting the market.
It has recaptured some of its va va voom on the past two years as tourism recovered and corporates loosened the purse strings.
Ormen is the parent company of Irish Car Rentals and Executive Trust (which operates the Thrifty and Dollar brands).
Latest accounts show Ormen made a profit of €3.8 million in the year to August 2011.
Brady said Europcar had another good performance in the 12 months to the end of August this year, with the brand outpacing growth in the overall market.
Brady said corporate business is a major focus, with Europcar providing fleets of up to 100 vehicles to companies.
“We see this as a major area of growth for the company.”