Hertz is doing for Tesla what many Tesla supporters have been divided about Tesla doing for itself — advertising and giving consumers factual information about EVs in general. I’ve noticed that some in the Tesla community feel that Tesla should have some sort of educational advertising campaign that would dispel the fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) many people have about the companies and about EVs in general. Others argue that Tesla should focus every cent on its rapid growth and R&D.
Having seen Tesla’s success firsthand, I’m in the second camp. Although, it would be nice if Tesla would do more of those educational videos that they’ve been putting out on YouTube. Interestingly, by advertising its new fleet of EVs, Hertz has stepped up to the plate for Tesla. And Hertz isn’t holding back.
Their clever advertising accurately portrays Teslas as fast, easy to charge (they will actually re-charge you), spacious and elegant.
— Gail Alfar (Austin) (@GailAlfarATX) November 10, 2021
An interactive blog post from Hertz not only informs its customers about Tesla but points out that Tesla makes the world’s best-selling plug-in EV. It notes that Tesla offers unmatched performance with cutting-edge onboard technology. Hertz recognized the fact that Tesla has revolutionized the driving landscape and is continuing to do so to this very day. Hertz has a special section in the blog dedicated to the Model 3 and videos that show how to use the touchscreen, education about regenerative braking, and also how to charge those brand new EVs.
Hertz also has a special FAQ page dedicated to the Tesla Model 3 and the educational series includes topics such as your first time driving a Model 3, how to charge it, Autopilot, safety and security, and, of course, the Toybox. And for all other questions, Hertz has a dedicated EV customer support team on its mobile app.
The blog, website, and app aren’t all Hertz is doing to promote its new and growing fleet of clean vehicles. Hertz has a fleet display in New York City showing off its new Model 3 vehicles. Tesla New York shared a video to Twitter and you can see the display with several white Model 3s.
— Tesla New York (@TeslaNY) November 10, 2021
The video location was tagged as Nasdaq Marketsite, where Hertz recently uplisted its shares to the Nasdaq Exchange as it exited bankruptcy. Nasdaq noted that Hertz currently offers its shares via the over-the-counter market with the HTZZ stock ticker, but that it has plans to uplist its shares to the Nasdaq stock exchange this week and will change over to the HTZ stock ticker. Along with the initial public offering (IPO), Hertz also has plans for a public stock offering from certain shareholders. Shareholders will unload 37.1 million shares of their stock with a price range between $25–$29 per share. Hertz will pay between $250 million and $500 million to repurchase those shares from stockholders.
This gives us a fresh look at Hertz. We can compare this new company that is emerging from bankruptcy with the company that went into it.
From Bankruptcy To Relisting, To Becoming An Advocate For EVs
Yesterday, Hertz also rang the Nasdaq opening bell. The company’s interim CEO, Mark Fields, spoke to CNBC Squawk Box alongside Hertz board members Tom Wagner and Greg O’Hara. They spoke about Hertz’s relisting and the focus on becoming a leader in electric mobility.
O’Hara spoke of a theory that they had regarding the travel industry. In a nutshell, when Americans were going to start traveling again, most would do so domestically, which indicated the high probability of them renting cars. He explained that data pointed toward there being a lot of demand for rental cars. He also noted that the global chip shortage could prevent the rental car companies from adding to their fleets or refreshing their fleets. In addition to this, Hertz had to sell some of its fleet, but did so during a time when used car prices were high.
“The combination of a higher demand for inventory and lower supply led us to believe that this company would have the pricing power you see today.”
Wagner noted that this and other things helped the company build up its cash balance, which allowed it to pursue new avenues and lines of business.
“We’re trying to expand into new areas and offerings where we can access more customers and grow beyond the traditional business that Hertz has effectively provided over the course of the last 103 years. And I think it’s those new areas that have us excited, and we hope other investors as well.”
Hertz CEO Mark Fields pointed out that although Hertz is focused on car rentals, it’s more than just that. It’s a transformation.
“It’s about us positioning ourselves to lead and be a central player and role and component of the modern mobility ecosystem. And we are uniquely positioned to do that. And I think this gives us a lot of optionality as a company going forward.”
Although they didn’t mention Tesla, it’s clear that one of those new areas and the modern mobility ecosystem are references to the changes Tesla has brought to the entire automotive industry. I think that Hertz is betting on Tesla and its success for its own success and, like Tesla, is putting every cent into its goals. Unlike Tesla, Hertz needs to advertise, and although we don’t know its ad budget, what we do know is that Hertz isn’t holding back. Indeed, in promoting Tesla and betting on Tesla, Hertz has become an incredibly vocal advocate for EVs and Tesla’s mission.
As with Tesla, Hertz has had an incredible journey, and at 103 years old, has shown that as long as a company is willing to adapt to the changing landscapes, it can survive those changes. I remember the early FUD fighting days when some feared Tesla would go bankrupt. Hertz actually did, and was able to come back from bankruptcy, relist, and align with one of the most vocal advocates for sustainability. The lesson here is that once you’ve hit the bottom, the only way out is up.
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