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Old 10-11-2004, 10:36 PM
Charter Jays Fan
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Oakville, Canada
Posts: 38,467
Are Alamo and National Car Rental the same company?

I travel a lot on business, and I've noticed that in most if not all airports, Alamo and National, the car rental companies, share kiosks, offices and shuttle buses.

Why is this? If they're the same company why do they have two separate brands selling the same thing?
Old 10-11-2004, 10:41 PM
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Up there, waiting
Posts: 17,203

The copyright at the bottom of both sites is "Vanguard Car Rental USA Inc.", so I would say yes.
Old 10-12-2004, 03:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Up the road from Billary
Posts: 3,745
The reason for the continued use of separate brands is differing core clientele: National, by means of its fleet, rate structure and affinity program, is geared toward business travellers. Alamo's fleet, rates and lack of affinity program is meant for leisure travellers and families. IIRC their common ownership is the result of a merger which occured around 1999 or so. They weren't always a common entity.
Old 10-12-2004, 08:39 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 7,988
I often wonder this myself, not on Car rental companies, but on other like items;

Is my attempts to ask the same general question, in more generic terms.

(One Addresess Double Naming of the same Company, the other on Why some products are clearly reigonal)

Some brands that I know/deduced to be the same company:



Carls JR/Hardees

I am still amazed that more companies dont diversify further... I mean if it is a unique product (I reference Hawaii's "Shrimp chips" in one of the posts) wouldn't it do great in specialty shops like "Tourists Favorites" much like the "Seen on TV store?" Or, even just in the general stores altogether?

Note that Stores themselves could have a harder time making it, in a crowded market. I know of one stip that has both a Kroger and a Publix in it. And then, another section of GA that has two Krogers about 100 yards from each other.

Kroger BTW, is a 'local' chai grocery store, but shows that it Owns a NUMBER of other stores... depending on location.

Publix, as I understand it, Is a Florida Based chain Store..... Not surprising it crept into GA.. Yet, as I recall, it did so in the last 10 years or so.
Old 10-12-2004, 09:04 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 11,783
Yea! A GQ question I can answer with certainty. I've worked for Alamo twice during the past few years.

Alamo was a private company that was founded in 1974. They aimed at the leisure rental market and had lower prices because they used off-airport locations. The company continued to grow and was acquired by Autonation corporation. I don't remember the exact date, but it was sometime in the mid 1990s.

National had been an independent company which focuses on business travellers. Autonation also bought this company in the late 1990s.

Autonation also got into the replacement rental market with Cartemps USA. This company was similar to Enterprise and they focused on the insurance replacement market. The Cartemps offices were folded into the Alamo umbrella in 2001.

Car rental companies became icreasingly less profitable as automakers disliked the glut of recent model used cars from rental car company fleets.

The decision was made in 1999 to spin off the three car rental companies from Autonation into a seperate company, ANC rental company.

To reduce costs, Alamo and National began combining their offices and fleets. This started in Europe and quickly spread.

ANC rental declared bankruptcy in 2001. They blamed 9/11, however Alamo had made a very costly mistake in a redesign of their US rental plazas. Rather than emphasizing speed of service, they set up their rental locations with playgrounds, snack bars, and gift shops. This annoyed many customers who wanted to get in and get out of the rental office as they would wait in lines of up to an hour. After the extended security lines of 9/11, the Alamo half of the company was in danger of folding.

Vanguard purchased Alamo and National in 2003. They are now essentially the same company and share operations at almost every major location. The rates differ, however.

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