Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 136,062 pages of information and 218,544 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Avis Rent a Car System

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Avis Rent A Car Ltd. of Trident House, Hayes, Middlesex.

1946 Warren E. Avis set up the world's first car rental desk at an airport.

It established branch operations across the United States over the next few years, becoming the second largest car rental company in the country by 1953. By its tenth anniversary in 1956 it had opened its first international offices in Europe, Canada and Mexico.

Their corporate motto is "We Try Harder" It was adopted in 1962 (during the tenure of Robert Townsend as its CEO) to make a more positive reference of Avis' status as the second largest car rental company in the United States, at the expense of its larger competitor The Hertz Corporation. The slogan was used for 50 years before a re-branding in 2012, in which Avis received a new slogan, "It's Your Space." In 1972, Avis introduced Wizard, the first computer-based information and reservations system to be used in the United States car rental business; to this day, almost all frequent Avis customers are identified by their unique "Wizard number". In 1981, the company instituted its system of vehicle tracking, that was not coincidentally named Advanced Vehicle Identification System (AVIS).[1]

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