Along with an enhanced partnership with General Motors, Enterprise Holdings this week announced the promotion of Christine Taylor to president and chief operating officer and the promotion of Carolyn Kindle Betz to president of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation.
The move makes both senior executives among the highest-ranking women in the car rental, automotive and travel industries, while marking another milestone for the rising third generation of family ownership of the company, which owns the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands.
“It’s fitting that these two talented women — granddaughters of our company’s founder, Jack Taylor — are moving up together as members of our senior leadership team,” said the company’s chief executive officer Pam Nicholson.
“Under Chrissy’s guidance, Enterprise has continued year after year to deliver record-breaking growth and business performance, while staying true to the values of customer service and workplace excellence that Jack instilled in our company,” Nicholson continued.
“Concurrently, Carolyn has continued to play a key role in developing our philanthropic strategies and ensuring that we are an engaged and responsible corporate citizen in the communities where we do business,” Nicholson went on to say.
Taylor previously was the company’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, a position she assumed in 2016. In her new role, Taylor will direct the company’s global business operations and oversee its product development and technology innovation efforts, with a special emphasis on ensuring that any new technology the company deploys supports its commitment to deliver a superior customer experience.
Taylor will continue to serve as a member of the corporate board of Enterprise Holdings and will report to Nicholson.
Kindle Betz previously was senior vice president and executive director of the Enterprise Holdings Foundation, which contributed more than $50 million in charitable gifts to a wide variety of nonprofit causes in the company’s most recent fiscal year. As president, she will develop and oversee execution of the foundation’s philanthropic strategies.
In addition, Kindle Betz plays an active role in several community organizations at Enterprise’s world headquarters in St. Louis. Most recently, she assumed leadership of the ownership group that seeks to bring an MLS soccer team to St. Louis – the first such group in MLS history to be majority-owned by women.
Kindle Betz also will continue to serve on the company’s corporate board. The current President, Jo Ann Taylor Kindle, will now assume the role of chairwoman.
“These are both enthusiastic, energetic leaders,” Nicholson said. “When you look at Chrissy’s competitive drive and passion for innovation and Carolyn’s strong commitment to help our company make a difference in the world, you see the brand of leadership that will take Enterprise to the next level.
“And you see, as well, living proof that strong family ownership is a powerful competitive edge. Enterprise’s future is in very good hands,” Nicholson went on to say.
Their grandfather founded the company in 1957 with only seven vehicles, later naming it after the World War II aircraft carrier he served on, the USS Enterprise. Today, with annual revenues of $24.1 billion and 100,000 employees, Enterprise Holdings and its affiliates own 2 million cars and trucks and operates — through an international network of regional subsidiaries and independent franchises — more than 10,000 fully staffed neighborhood and airport locations in more than 90 countries throughout the world.
Enterprise partners with GM to add 100,000 connected cars in 2019
In other company news, Enterprise Holdings announced a partnership with General Motors to significantly increase the number of connected vehicles in its fleet by the end of 2019.
Enterprise began piloting its connectivity platform with GM this year, with a goal of adding more than 100,000 connected Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles to the fleet during the next 12 months.
The company highlighted this initiative will streamline and enhance the experience for customers of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands.
“This is our first step toward a fully connected fleet of vehicles,” Taylor said. “We’ve always understood the value of an integrated network, which has made this an easy decision. We’ll continue to adopt technology solutions that make renting cars easier and seamless for our customers.”
The company indicated connected vehicles will soon expedite the renting and returning of vehicles for customers at neighborhood and airport Enterprise, National and Alamo locations. For example, they can automate such tasks as checking fuel levels, vehicle condition and odometer readings. Onboard telemetry can allow geofenced rental locations to automatically receive these readings when customers return their cars, making the return of the vehicle frictionless.
“Connected vehicles provide customers with a simple, fast rental and return experience,” Taylor said. “The potential for the products and services we’ll be able to offer our customers when all of our vehicles are connected is limitless.
“As we add these cars to our fleet, we look forward to introducing customers to new technologies and features that not only enhance the driving experience, but also the entire transportation ecosystem,” Taylor added.
Beyond the benefits to future rental experiences, car rental customers can take advantage of the many features and services available via the embedded connectivity in GM’s connected vehicles. The vehicles will come with the latest technology for personalized driving experiences, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and OnStar. Such features as emergency services, crisis assistance, automatic crash response, and remote lock/unlock will also be included to add an additional level of convenience and safety.
“Together, we’re offering Enterprise customers the latest benefits of our connected fleet technology from renting the vehicle to enjoying it on the road and, finally, returning the vehicle,” said Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM Fleet. “This represents the latest evolution in our more than 60-year partnership with Enterprise.”
When Enterprise completes the transition to connected vehicles, the company said it will own the largest fleet of connected vehicles in the world.