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What Hertz tells us about the future of shared mobility

Summary:
Anyone thinking of betting big on shared-mobility as the future of public transport should be alerted to one thing: the car-rental business is currently languishing.On Monday, Hertz reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss cementing a generally poor quarter for the sector. Shares tanked accordingly:Of note here are two key facts. The first is that the car rental business is a capital intensive one partial to low operating margins. And has always been. The second is that the industry as a consequence has long depended on auxiliary services — such as insurance, fuel surcharging and catching customers out on T&Cs — for profitability.The active management of legacy fleet costs is a really big thing. To improve economies of scale, rental companies regularly shed excess inventory in

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Anyone thinking of betting big on shared-mobility as the future of public transport should be...

Izabella Kaminska
Izabella Kaminska joined FT Alphaville in October 2008, which was, perhaps, the best time in the world to become a financial blogger. Before that she worked as a producer at CNBC, a natural gas reporter at Platts and an associate editor of BP’s internal magazine. She has also worked as a reporter on English language business papers in Poland and Azerbaijan and was a Reuters graduate trainee in 2004.

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