Warren E. Avis

Inducted 2000

Founded Avis Rent-a-Car

Established innovative business practices that became standard in the car rental industry

Warren Avis pioneered and revolutionized the airport car rental business. As a pilot during World War II, Warren Avis continually became frustrated when ground transportation was not readily available at airports. Recognizing the same frustration among other air travelers, he founded Avis Rent-a-Car in 1947 with $10,000 of his own money and $75,000 borrowed against his name. Avis started his car rental business at Willow Run Airport in Michigan and at Miami International Airport in Florida. Avis introduced a number of innovative business practices, including national franchise licensing, corporate credit cars and enhanced customer service practices. Avis Rent-a-Car also became the first airport car rental company to rent new cars. After achieving great success, Warren Avis sold his car rental company in 1954 to pursue other entrepreneurial ventures. Warren Avis overcame numerous setbacks and challenges to establish a company that flourishes today with 4,200 locations in 160 countries around the world.

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