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Found 8 results

  1. Most Luxury dealerships offer a loaner car when a customer brings their vehicle in for service. But Audi is offering something different for new owners of 2019 or newer Audi vehicles. Audi owns the rental car company Silvercar, a firm that exclusively offers silver Audis as their rental fleet. The new program called "Always Audi" allows purchasers of a new Audi seven days rental at no additional cost. Customers can choose from the Audi A4, A5 Cabriolet, Q5, or Q7 from one of their 20 locations around the US. All Audis at Silvercar come with GPS, Wifi, and SiriusXM at no additional cost. Of course, there are a few catches. The rental days must be used within the first 3 years of ownership, and drivers are still responsible for fuel, airport fees, taxes, tolls, optional insurance, and other options. Now Audi owners can take "their" Audi along on vacation with them.
  2. Most Luxury dealerships offer a loaner car when a customer brings their vehicle in for service. But Audi is offering something different for new owners of 2019 or newer Audi vehicles. Audi owns the rental car company Silvercar, a firm that exclusively offers silver Audis as their rental fleet. The new program called "Always Audi" allows purchasers of a new Audi seven days rental at no additional cost. Customers can choose from the Audi A4, A5 Cabriolet, Q5, or Q7 from one of their 20 locations around the US. All Audis at Silvercar come with GPS, Wifi, and SiriusXM at no additional cost. Of course, there are a few catches. The rental days must be used within the first 3 years of ownership, and drivers are still responsible for fuel, airport fees, taxes, tolls, optional insurance, and other options. Now Audi owners can take "their" Audi along on vacation with them. View full article
  3. GM Yields Sales Crown to FORD, or Did They? Motley Fool Report Interesting read, Ford won the month of May due to dumping a ton of auto's on the rental fleet market. GM had higher ATP than Ford, taking out rental sales, GM was the leader in North America. Some interesting takes on inventory on hand and how each company is dealing with the slow down. Read and sound off
  4. G. David Felt Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com Mazda CX-9, 812 miles, 5 adults, 8 days, 7 nights, Grade = D- 25 years of Marriage is what started this lovely 8 days, 7 nights week for the family. Wife wanted to celebrate with the kids in a warm place. Answer was to trade in our time share condo for a time share condo on Kona at Aston Shores at Waikoloa (http://www.astonshoresatwaikoloa.com/). With the wife asking for a perfect week, I went ahead and got our place, made a reservation for a full size SUV, which sadly I could not get with Enterprise or Hertz as they both were out of stock, crazy but being married on Dec 24th does make auto rental in desirable places like the Hawaiian islands hard to find. I was able to reserve one with Budget rental who said they had a full size available for our trip. We arrived flying in on a direct flight with Alaska Airlines from Seattle to Kona, got our baggage and then off to Budget at 10pm to pick up our auto rental. Upon arriving, was met by a polite nice young woman, who checked me in, told me I would have a Mazda CX9. Due to my past experiences with Asian auto's, I did ask if they had an American suv? Sadly for Kona Budget uses Mazda as their only SUV's, so CX9 it would be. We walked out to the auto, it was the only one left in the SUV section, loaded up our luggage, got into the auto and I hit my head as I got in and off to our condo for the week. The next morning, as everyone was unpacking as we just crashed after our flight and slept, I went out to check out the Mazda. Realized that Budget does a terrible job of cleaning the auto's. Garbage was left in the center arm rest, the back door pockets had garbage in it and the interior clearly needed a wipe down. Off I went to get some paper towels and cleaned up the auto before the wife and kids saw it. Once the interior was all cleaned up, I went back in see if everyone was ready to head off to Costco to buy staples for the week when we just chill around the resort versus exploring the island. First thing I noticed is that my hitting of the head last night when we arrived was not just me being tired on a 6 1/2 hr flight. But was a piss poor design by Mazda on the CX9. My wife who is 5'8" tall had to do the same thing as me, face away from the car, place your butt in the seat and partially bent over swing into the auto. After you get past the A pillar you can sit up straight and there is plenty of head room. In fact everyone that sat in the front seats except Kay my sons girlfriend of 4 years had to do the same thing. My son and Daughter are also both 5'8" tall compared to Kay who is only 5'2" tall. Next thing is that what I thought was someone turning down the dash lights was actually not it at all but Mazda not putting any lights in the door lock or all the window buttons. Only a single light dot was on the drivers window. At night on an island that does not have bright street lights to allow the view the space to show up, finding your door locks or windows buttons is a pain. I know every maker puts basic controls on either side of the steering wheel, but Mazda really has a strange layout compared to GM, Ford or Dodge. Yes everyone has a different take on this but after all these years, some things should be consistent across all auto's. Example is the windshield wipers and rear window wiper, which should be first on the stick? I say front windshield wipers and yet Mazda felt rear should be. After checking the lights, getting myself all set for driving, we loaded up to head out for our first day of fun. The Radio / Nav system has a Bluetooth option. My son said he would connect his phone so I could hear the navigation for where we were going first for breakfast and to stream Pandora. Sadly their Bluetooth SUCKS! takes about 1 1/2 to 2 miles of driving before the system is sync'd and working, was this way all week, at least it did work once it sync'd. I did think maybe this was an Apple to Mazda issue, but after testing it with my wife's and my own Android phones, experience was the same. Sucky Bluetooth connection and reading of the device. Pandora was actually better being streamed from my sons phone than from the auto system as there was much delay and pause on the auto system but everything played fine on the cell phone. Off and driving around Kona, first thing noticed by the family was the auto let allot of wind and road noise in. Definitely not my Trailblazer for sure which is much quieter inside. Observation was that while once the radio / Nav was up and working, the angle of it in the auto in a very sunny place makes the screen pretty much useless unless you use your hand or some other item to shade the display. Backup camera worked fine, very reliable but their fish-eye lens really distorts the view. Using your shoulder checks shows two blind spots in the rear making you want to check the camera but again distorted, so was cautious of backing out, pretty much always backed into places so I could easily get out of them. Corners, I have always prided myself on knowing my corners of an auto, yet this design of the Mazda really sucks for your corners, after a day of driving, I did figure out just how far I had to be to be in tight but not hit anything. Lucky for me, I never caused damage on any of the auto. Rain, WOW, So by our resort we were in the mid to upper 80's and sunny the whole time, from about 4000 to 9000 feet the island would have rain on and off and boy was it heavy. Two things noticed that the wife was not happy about nor was I, was that even on the fastest speed the windshield did not clear the rain away very well, bothered her more than me, after all heavy rain, but even in lite rain this other really bothered me and is a safety fail. The way the design of the auto is with the side mirrors, the rain makes the side mirrors unusable. I could see nothing out the mirrors as the water comes off the front windshield and smears across the side mirrors and pretty much makes those little mirrors useless. Not a good design at all. Seats, after our first day in the CX9, the kids let me know that the back seat was hard and not comfy for more than an hour of driving. The front bucket seats while having good side support and for a person as big as me was fine, for my more petite wife, she and the kids when they sat in the front all felt like they were sitting in a Toilet falling through. Very uncomfortable bucket seat. On top of this, only the drivers seat has full electronic control so I could have it go down to the floor, the front passenger seat was set very high and so you only had back and forth and low back support. Very limited, why not have the front seat equal to the drivers. Made no sense and the one time I tried to sit in the front, it was impossible, the setting of the seat was too high for me. All around failure. 3rd row seat was nice folding flat into the floor, but two poor designs, again head rest were manual as they had to be folded down and then you had to pull the 2nd row seats forward to allow you to put up or down the third row seat. Kay said it was the same comfort as the second row and for her plenty of space but then she is only 5'2" tall and very petite. Engine, WOW, Yes on Kona you have 3 mountains, 1 that is spewing lava, very cool to visit and see, above 9000 feet they had snow after snow storm so was able to snorkel / scuba in the morning and ski in the afternoon. Why do I bring this up, simple the engine really leaves a ton to be desired. average for the week was 16.8 mpg in a FWD CUV. Sucky no way to put it for this auto, worse yet was unless you kept it revved above 4500 rpm, any minor hill caused you to loose speed fast. Driving up to the Observation scopes was very tricky as it was a dirt road with snow and traction just sucked. Not what I was expecting. So according to Mazda this is a 227HP motor on regular gas or 250 on premium. I only used regular the whole time and should have gotten 22/28/25 average of City/Highway/Combined and yet did not matter, 16.8 is what the auto reported to me as average MPG. I was filling up every other day, plus who ever thought hiding the fuel filler door release on the left side of the drivers seat under the seat was cool is an idiot. Not easy to get too. Lighting, Interior left much to be desired as places I would expect lights to be the auto had none, places that should be easy to read where not, only the drivers dash and nav system would give you clear visible displays, otherwise even the overhead lights left allot to be desired. Mazda says they have key-less illumination entry system, but it never worked on our auto unless the pathetic light they had on each rear view mirror that put out barely any light is what they consider to be this system. Exterior, the headlights are OK, they give you enough light to see the road, but when no other auto's were around I did use the high beams to see the curves better in the road. Door Locks, Mazda says they have speed-sensing auto locking, not sure what it is, but the double click to unlock the auto was slow and most times a third press of the button was needed. Center console, comfy for my arm rest, strange with the dual split opening in the center, you had to open both sides to store anything in it, so not sure why they decided to split such a small center storage arm rest into what is about two 2 1/2 inch wide doors. A single door would be much better. USB ports, sad that all would allow connection to the NAV system but only 1 port in the center arm rest would charge your device and even then only android, apple could not get a charge off the port. Really weird cheap implementation of the USB ports. End Result - The auto was reliable and got us all over the island for 812 miles. Other than that, I really could not find any exciting point that would make me recommend the auto to anyone. My family was happy with our trip, wished we had a better auto. Next time I will reserve much earlier.
  5. January 2, 2013 By Drew Dowdell Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com Avis Budget Group and Zipcar, Inc. have announced an agreement where Avis Budget will aquire Zipcar for $12.25 a share or about $500 million total. Zipcar has about 760,000 members (including yours truly) across 20 metro markets in the U.S., Canada and Europe with locations at over 300 university campuses. Car sharing is now a $400 million per year business in the U.S. market alone. Avis Budget expects to gain $50 million to $70 million in savings by combining the two companies. Zipcar gains access to Avis Budget's fleet to supplement their own in times of high demand while Avis Budget gains an increased utilization of its fleet. From my own perspective, I believe this is a good move for both companies. As a frequent Zipster, I regularly run into times when no Zipcars are available for the time slot I need. Having more cars available as well as additional locations is a win for the Zipcar's customers. Press Release on Page 2 Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @cheersngears Avis Budget Group To Acquire Zipcar For $12.25 Per Share In Cash - Combined company will be the global leader in car sharing and mobility solutions. - Combination expected to produce $50-70 million in annual synergies. - Transaction targeted to close in spring 2013. - Avis Budget re-affirms its prior estimates of full-year 2012 results. Jan 2, 2013 PARSIPPANY, N.J. and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Avis Budget Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAR) and Zipcar, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZIP), the world's leading car sharing network, today announced that Avis Budget Group has agreed to acquire Zipcar for $12.25 per share in cash, a 49% premium over the closing price on December 31, 2012, representing a total transaction value of approximately $500 million. The transaction is subject to approval by Zipcar shareholders and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2013. The Boards of Directors of both companies unanimously approved the transaction, and Zipcar shareholders representing approximately 32% of the outstanding common stock have agreed to vote their shares in support of the transaction. Car sharing has grown to be a nearly $400 million business in the United States and is expanding rapidly in major cities around the world. Zipcar has led this industry, leading in innovation and world-class service. Zipcar now has more than 760,000 members, known as Zipsters, with a market-leading presence in 20 major metropolitan areas in the United States, Canada and Europe, and fleet positioned at over 300 college and university campuses. Zipcar has combined leading-edge technology, an outstanding customer experience, and clear brand messaging to develop strong loyalty and advocacy among its customers. "By combining with Zipcar, we will significantly increase our growth potential, both in the United States and internationally, and will position our Company to better serve a greater variety of consumer and commercial transportation needs," said Ronald L. Nelson, Avis Budget Group chairman and chief executive officer. "We see car sharing as highly complementary to traditional car rental, with rapid growth potential and representing a scalable opportunity for us as a combined company. We expect to apply Avis Budget's experience and efficiencies of fleet management with Zipcar's proven, customer-friendly technology to accelerate the growth of the Zipcar brand and to provide more options for Zipsters in more places. We also expect to leverage Zipcar's technology to expand mobility solutions under the Avis and Budget brands." Avis Budget expects to generate $50 to $70 million in annual synergies as a result of the transaction. In particular, Avis Budget expects significant cost reductions across the fleet life cycle (from procurement to operations and maintenance to disposition, as well as financing), in addition to savings from eliminating Zipcar's public-company costs. Avis Budget also plans to achieve substantial cost savings by increasing fleet utilization across the two companies. Significant revenue growth opportunities exist, including by leveraging Avis Budget's fleet to meet more of Zipsters' weekend demand, which is currently constrained by fleet availability. These synergies, combined with the expected growth and rising profitability of Zipcar, are expected to make the transaction accretive to Avis Budget's earnings per share in the second year following the acquisition, excluding certain items and purchase-accounting effects. "We are delighted to announce our intention to join the Avis Budget Group family of companies, and we believe this combination is a win across the board for our members, shareholders and employees. We will be well positioned to accelerate enhancements to the Zipcar member experience with more offers and additional services as well as an expanded network of locations," said Scott Griffith, chairman and chief executive officer of Zipcar. "As the leading global provider of car sharing services, with a brand that is synonymous with the category, we remain committed to the values and vision that have driven us forward for many years, grounded by our passion for delivering a superior experience to every member for every trip, every day. By combining Zipcar's expertise in on-demand mobility with Avis Budget Group's expertise in global fleet operations and vast global network, we will be able to accelerate the revolution we began in personal mobility." "Avis Budget's existing infrastructure, scale and experience with managing multiple brands make us uniquely positioned to accelerate the growth and profitability of Zipcar," Mr. Nelson added. "At the same time, we are committed to retaining the elements of the Zipcar brand and culture that have allowed Zipcar to achieve such rapid growth and success over the last twelve years." Following the acquisition, Zipcar will operate as a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group and will continue with its planned move to new headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. Avis Budget anticipates that key members of the Zipcar management team, including Mr. Griffith and Mark Norman, president and chief operating officer, will continue to set the overall direction and run day-to-day operations of Zipcar. Avis Budget Group expects to fund the purchase price primarily with incremental corporate debt borrowings, as well as available cash. As of September 30, 2012, Avis Budget Group had cash and marketable securities of approximately $554 million, and Zipcar had cash and marketable securities of approximately $82 million, or approximately $2 per Zipcar share. Citigroup is acting as financial advisor, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal counsel, to Avis Budget Group. Morgan Stanley is acting as financial advisor, and Latham & Watkins LLP is acting as legal counsel, to Zipcar.
  6. January 2, 2013 By Drew Dowdell Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com Avis Budget Group and Zipcar, Inc. have announced an agreement where Avis Budget will aquire Zipcar for $12.25 a share or about $500 million total. Zipcar has about 760,000 members (including yours truly) across 20 metro markets in the U.S., Canada and Europe with locations at over 300 university campuses. Car sharing is now a $400 million per year business in the U.S. market alone. Avis Budget expects to gain $50 million to $70 million in savings by combining the two companies. Zipcar gains access to Avis Budget's fleet to supplement their own in times of high demand while Avis Budget gains an increased utilization of its fleet. From my own perspective, I believe this is a good move for both companies. As a frequent Zipster, I regularly run into times when no Zipcars are available for the time slot I need. Having more cars available as well as additional locations is a win for the Zipcar's customers. Press Release on Page 2 Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @cheersngears Avis Budget Group To Acquire Zipcar For $12.25 Per Share In Cash - Combined company will be the global leader in car sharing and mobility solutions. - Combination expected to produce $50-70 million in annual synergies. - Transaction targeted to close in spring 2013. - Avis Budget re-affirms its prior estimates of full-year 2012 results. Jan 2, 2013 PARSIPPANY, N.J. and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Avis Budget Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAR) and Zipcar, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZIP), the world's leading car sharing network, today announced that Avis Budget Group has agreed to acquire Zipcar for $12.25 per share in cash, a 49% premium over the closing price on December 31, 2012, representing a total transaction value of approximately $500 million. The transaction is subject to approval by Zipcar shareholders and other customary closing conditions, and is expected to be completed in the spring of 2013. The Boards of Directors of both companies unanimously approved the transaction, and Zipcar shareholders representing approximately 32% of the outstanding common stock have agreed to vote their shares in support of the transaction. Car sharing has grown to be a nearly $400 million business in the United States and is expanding rapidly in major cities around the world. Zipcar has led this industry, leading in innovation and world-class service. Zipcar now has more than 760,000 members, known as Zipsters, with a market-leading presence in 20 major metropolitan areas in the United States, Canada and Europe, and fleet positioned at over 300 college and university campuses. Zipcar has combined leading-edge technology, an outstanding customer experience, and clear brand messaging to develop strong loyalty and advocacy among its customers. "By combining with Zipcar, we will significantly increase our growth potential, both in the United States and internationally, and will position our Company to better serve a greater variety of consumer and commercial transportation needs," said Ronald L. Nelson, Avis Budget Group chairman and chief executive officer. "We see car sharing as highly complementary to traditional car rental, with rapid growth potential and representing a scalable opportunity for us as a combined company. We expect to apply Avis Budget's experience and efficiencies of fleet management with Zipcar's proven, customer-friendly technology to accelerate the growth of the Zipcar brand and to provide more options for Zipsters in more places. We also expect to leverage Zipcar's technology to expand mobility solutions under the Avis and Budget brands." Avis Budget expects to generate $50 to $70 million in annual synergies as a result of the transaction. In particular, Avis Budget expects significant cost reductions across the fleet life cycle (from procurement to operations and maintenance to disposition, as well as financing), in addition to savings from eliminating Zipcar's public-company costs. Avis Budget also plans to achieve substantial cost savings by increasing fleet utilization across the two companies. Significant revenue growth opportunities exist, including by leveraging Avis Budget's fleet to meet more of Zipsters' weekend demand, which is currently constrained by fleet availability. These synergies, combined with the expected growth and rising profitability of Zipcar, are expected to make the transaction accretive to Avis Budget's earnings per share in the second year following the acquisition, excluding certain items and purchase-accounting effects. "We are delighted to announce our intention to join the Avis Budget Group family of companies, and we believe this combination is a win across the board for our members, shareholders and employees. We will be well positioned to accelerate enhancements to the Zipcar member experience with more offers and additional services as well as an expanded network of locations," said Scott Griffith, chairman and chief executive officer of Zipcar. "As the leading global provider of car sharing services, with a brand that is synonymous with the category, we remain committed to the values and vision that have driven us forward for many years, grounded by our passion for delivering a superior experience to every member for every trip, every day. By combining Zipcar's expertise in on-demand mobility with Avis Budget Group's expertise in global fleet operations and vast global network, we will be able to accelerate the revolution we began in personal mobility." "Avis Budget's existing infrastructure, scale and experience with managing multiple brands make us uniquely positioned to accelerate the growth and profitability of Zipcar," Mr. Nelson added. "At the same time, we are committed to retaining the elements of the Zipcar brand and culture that have allowed Zipcar to achieve such rapid growth and success over the last twelve years." Following the acquisition, Zipcar will operate as a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group and will continue with its planned move to new headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. Avis Budget anticipates that key members of the Zipcar management team, including Mr. Griffith and Mark Norman, president and chief operating officer, will continue to set the overall direction and run day-to-day operations of Zipcar. Avis Budget Group expects to fund the purchase price primarily with incremental corporate debt borrowings, as well as available cash. As of September 30, 2012, Avis Budget Group had cash and marketable securities of approximately $554 million, and Zipcar had cash and marketable securities of approximately $82 million, or approximately $2 per Zipcar share. Citigroup is acting as financial advisor, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal counsel, to Avis Budget Group. Morgan Stanley is acting as financial advisor, and Latham & Watkins LLP is acting as legal counsel, to Zipcar. View full article
  7. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 7, 2012 New legislation introduced into the House and Senate this week aims to end rental car companies renting or selling vehicles that are under recall. The legislation, co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) want to prohibit the rental of vehicles under a safety recall. The bill was introduced after two people were killed in 2004 when their unrepaired recalled Chrysler PT Cruiser,rented from Enterprise, caught fire and crashed. Rental car companies have been under immense pressure for some time to make these rules standard. Earlier this year, Boxer sent a letter out to several rental car firms urging them to stop renting recalled vehicles. Only Hertz agreed to stop. Enterprise, Avis and Dollar Thrifty say they repair their vehicles whenever it is practical to do so and park vehicles when a manufacturer recommends it. They argue some recalls are for only minor issues and with vehicles parked, it would disrupt their business. General Motors and Chrysler have told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that only about 30% of cars sold to rental companies were repaired within 90 days of a recall and more than 50% were repaired within a year. Source: The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  8. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 7, 2012 New legislation introduced into the House and Senate this week aims to end rental car companies renting or selling vehicles that are under recall. The legislation, co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) want to prohibit the rental of vehicles under a safety recall. The bill was introduced after two people were killed in 2004 when their unrepaired recalled Chrysler PT Cruiser,rented from Enterprise, caught fire and crashed. Rental car companies have been under immense pressure for some time to make these rules standard. Earlier this year, Boxer sent a letter out to several rental car firms urging them to stop renting recalled vehicles. Only Hertz agreed to stop. Enterprise, Avis and Dollar Thrifty say they repair their vehicles whenever it is practical to do so and park vehicles when a manufacturer recommends it. They argue some recalls are for only minor issues and with vehicles parked, it would disrupt their business. General Motors and Chrysler have told the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that only about 30% of cars sold to rental companies were repaired within 90 days of a recall and more than 50% were repaired within a year. Source: The Detroit News William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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