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US car rental company Hertz files for bankruptcy

Anyone who has ever rented a car at an airport knows Hertz: the rental car company is one of the top dogs in the business. In the corona crisis, sales plummeted “suddenly and dramatically”.

The car rental company Hertz has filed for bankruptcy in the US corona crisis. The decrease in travel has led to a “sudden and dramatic” drop in sales and bookings, the company, based in Estero, Florida, announced on Friday evening (local time). Business would continue during the restructuring needed because of the crisis. The company has over $ 1 billion in cash to keep operations running. International operations of the car rental company in Europe, Australia or New Zealand are not affected by the bankruptcy application.

The announcement said Hertz had already taken action when the crisis emerged in March. At the time, the decision was taken to leave or lay off 20,000 employees worldwide – around half of all employees. The number of vehicles and locations will be reduced. Nevertheless, the intention is to continue to offer customers the same quality and to pay suppliers and employees. Loyalty programs should also continue.

US government hopes not met

Hertz is one of the largest rental car companies worldwide and also rents vehicles under the company names Dollar and Thrifty. Hertz said that the group could not agree on a long-term reduction in payments with its largest creditors. Hopes for support from the US government for car rental companies have also been dashed.

The crisis has severely affected the US economy. Just about a week ago, the 118-year-old J.C. Penney filed for bankruptcy. After the bankruptcy filings of the chain stores Neiman Marcus and J. Crew, J.C. Penney is the largest corona victim in US retail to date. Around 85,000 people work for the company. J.C. Penney still has over 800 stores, many of which are at the heart of American malls.

Since the US coronavirus pandemic escalated in March, more than 38 million people have lost their jobs, at least temporarily, more than ever before in such a short space of time. The United States is in a severe economic crisis because of the pandemic. President Donald Trump is urging the US states to loosen protective measures as quickly as possible in order to get the economy going again before the presidential election in November.

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