North America’s car-rental industry is holding its own, even though during the 2007-09 recession, the car hire companies, led by three major players, had to reduce fleet inventories to adjust to slack demand.
There are a number of reasons for these increases. The fortunes of the car-rental market are closely tied to those of the automotive industry and also the tourism industry. Both are major economic drivers and they have been growing.
The automotive industry has recovered from the financial downturn. Government loans helped to get it back on its feet and consumers, responding to pent-up demand, are once more buying (and renting) cars, flocking to auto shows to see what car makers have to offer.
As consumer confidence is returning, the tourism industry is also flickering back to life. In America, international tourism is dominated by Canadian arrivals (and vice versa).