In 1946 Warren Avis opened the world's first airport car rental location at Willow Run Airport, Detroit, with a grand total of three cars. Today, Avis operate from close to 6,000 locations in 165 countries worldwide.
Avis is a trusted brand with a long history of innovation in the car rental industry, and is one of the world's top brands for customer loyalty, with a commitment to true convenience and exceptional service.
Supported by the recognition of numerous Travel Awards, Avis has established itself as a truely global car rental provider.
Here are just a few key historical milestones in this success story.
History of Avis
Awarded the 'Best Car Rental Company in Europe' at the Business Traveller Awards for the 10th consecutive year.
Awarded the 'World's Leading Business Car Rental Company' at the World Travel Awards for the 7th consecutive year.
Rolls-out the unique '3-minute promise' to over 500 locations accross France, Germany, Spain, UK, Portugal & Switzerland, reducing customer waiting time through delivering Avis Preferred renters their keys in under 3 minutes.
On September 1st Avis is officially opened in the territory of Libya.
Acquires the rights to operate the Budget brand in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Expands into Asia with a Licensee agreement to grow car rental operations into the Japanese market and signs a joint venture agreement with Mercury Car Rentals Ltd. to operate car rental in 9 major cities in India.
Successfully floats on the London Stock Exchange for the second time primarily to fund expansion of its core business. Extends licence to the Avis name and brand to a further 27 territories in Asia, giving the Group access to a vast new market.
Accelerates global partnerships development, forging new alliances with leading names in the worldwide travel industry. Now with over 80 airline partners worldwide and many other international travel providers.
Separates legally from its former owner, Avis Inc., whilst still remaining part of the Avis worldwide system. Avis Europe becomes the first car rental company in history to successfully float on the London Stock Exchange. In 3 years as a public company, Avis Europe triples its market value.
Wizard implementation commences in Europe . . . today this unique system processes 97% of Avis Europe's transactions and interfaces with all major global distribution systems.
Avis achieves market leadership in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, just 8 years after Avis Europe was founded. The business begins expansion into the fleet leasing market.
Avis introduces a major technological innovation... the Wizard computer system... the first and today, still the most extensive on-line, real-time reservation, rental and management information system in the industry.
Avis formally expands in the international arena by founding the Europe, Africa and Middle East division (Avis Europe). Corporate operations are established in major European countries and in some cases success is spectacular (e.g. in Spain). Avis climbs from newcomer to largest car rental company in just one year.
Avis launches a bold new advertising campaign... 'We're only No.2. We try harder'... now acknowledged as one of the 10 best advertising slogans of all time and embedded as the very essence of the company's culture. The campaign brings Avis back into the black after many years in the red.
International expansion begins with franchise operations in Europe, Canada and Mexico.
Warren Avis founds Avis Airlines Rent a Car Systems at Willow Run Airport, Detroit. Anticipating post-war travel trends, this is the world's first car rental operation at an airport location.