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  1. Major trends of car-rental companies
    1. History
    2. Demography
    3. Transport
    4. Technologies
    5. Environment
  2. Growth of the company
    1. History of the creation
    2. Development of the company
    3. Marketing aspects
    4. Technologies
    5. Consumers
  3. Survey
    1. Introduction
    2. Results
  4. Competitors
    1. Competitors in general
    2. Specifics Zipcar's competitors
  5. Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats
    1. Strengths and weaknesses
    2. Opportunities
    3. Threats


Our subject is a growing company which is developing in the face of global competition. This company uses new technologies and the internet to be more successful and to have a sustained growth in the future. We chose this company because we are very interested by environmental issues.

We are going to study how the environment has affected the growth of this company, and then we will talk about the growth of Zipcar. After that, we will present the survey that we conducted in the street; study the different competitors of Zipcar and finally, we will expose the strength, weaknesses opportunities and threats of Zipcar.

I. Major trends of car-rental companies

Since the beginning of the rental car business, a lot of things have changed in our world. Several different trends have significantly affected the market. These include changes in the demography, the economy, transport, technologies and the environment. Firstly, there has been a drastic change in demography in the last few years. The population had expanded very fast, so that the rate of expansion is now 1.14%, which accounts for more than 200 000 more people in the world. Moreover, urbanization is transforming demography too. For example, in the last 30 years, one third of the population has migrated from the country to the city, and the cities have now become bigger.

The effects of this growing urbanization led to the launch of the first car-rental company in 1918, by a company called Hertz. Initially they offered 12 Ford T cars for hire. Subsequently car-rental companies became popular because of the evolution of the population. For instance, it became difficult and increasingly expensive to own a garage in New York City. For instance, people who did not need a car every day were often the first users of the service. Thus a secretary in New York who could not afford buy a car rented on to visit during the holidays.

The growth of car-rental companies were also fuelled by the growth of the economy. 1929 saw the biggest crisis of the century. A lot of people lost their jobs and were not able to buy a car, as they were not able to pay for the oil and insurance. When they needed a car they preferred to rent. In 1973 and 1979, there was the oil recession. Oil became too expensive, and only a minority of the population was able to buy a car. The price for renting a car was more attractive, and companies like Hertz or Avis grew. The last economic crises was in 2008 when oil prices doubled

Development of new types of transport also affected the market. Indeed, the train network in US has never been very well developed, and people must have a car or borrow one in order to travel. Moreover, flights have become less and less expensive over last 30 years, so that more and more people have access to this way of traveling. Yet, when they arrive at the airport, they often have to rent a car, which is why companies invented the fly drive.

The new way of the 21st century is to be concerned about environmental problems. It is better to have a small car with low fuel consumption to reduce pollution. Some car-rental industries like Zipcar have responded to these issues by offering to rent more hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius. Today, 10% of the cars Zipcar offers are hybrid cars . Nowadays, renting a car is very common. Everybody can have access to a Rental car, but it is vital to respect the environment.

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