|September 27, 1999|
BUDGET RENT A CAR TO JOIN PRICELINE.COM FOR NAME-YOUR-PRICE CAR RENTAL
|Budget Rent a Car has announced it signed an agreement to join priceline.com to offer customers name-your-price car rental. Priceline.com expects to introduce the car rental service in the fourth quarter with several major car rental companies.|
Budget, which launched the car rental industry's first online bidding program - BidBudget - in June, is joining forces with priceline.com in an effort to gain share of the online market. Similar to BidBudget, customers will be able to name their own price for car rental on the priceline.com site. In addition, whenever customers buy leisure airline tickets on priceline.com, they will also be able to add car rentals at very attractive rates.
Budget will make a significant financial investment with priceline.com over the next three years to acquire a license for its patented business method and to develop the name-your-price vehicle rental services. Initially the services will include car rental with plans to add truck rental in the near future. As a return on its investment, Budget will be a preferred car rental partner for the name-your-price car rental services. "Budget is a strong leader in Ecommerce, and partnering with priceline.com is a strategic move for Budget," said Sandy Miller, chairman and CEO of Budget Group, Inc. "Based on our successful experience with BidBudget, we know that a growing percentage of consumers are interested in naming their own price for car rental." Budget plans to quickly scale the online portion of its business, and joining priceline.com's rapidly growing network is one of the most effective methods. "Priceline.com has the brand and reach to help us increase our online business, and we'll benefit from the tens of millions of advertising dollars it commits to market its name-your-own-price services," Miller added. "Once the priceline.com car rental service is up and running, BidBudget will be phased out. Our ultimate goal is to set the standard in the online car rental market."
"We're thrilled to be working with Budget," said Dan Schulman, president & chief operating officer of priceline.com. "Our customers have been pushing priceline.com to add a name-your-price rental car service. These customers are incremental leisure travelers who would have driven their own cars to their destinations but are flying instead thanks to priceline.com. When they arrive, they are going to need rental cars and now we'll have them."