Hertz Global eyes worst day on record as EV rental business falters

By Thomson Reuters Apr 25, 2024 | 10:56 AM

(Reuters) – Shares of Hertz Global slumped 24% and were on track for their sharpest one-day percentage fall on record on Thursday after the company reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss, highlighting its struggles with the EV rental business.

The company is slimming down the business due to weak demand, with plans to sell 10,000 more EVs, taking its total planned sales to 300,000 this year. Higher repair costs also weighed on the company’s overall fleet maintenance expenses.

The Estero, Florida-based company said it took a $588 million hit in vehicle depreciation costs during the quarter, of which $195 million was related to EVs held for sale.

“Fleet and direct operating costs weighed on this quarter’s performance,” said Hertz CEO Gil West, who took on the top job earlier this month.

Excluding items, Hertz reported a loss of $1.28 per share, well above Wall Street’s expectations of a loss of 44 cents per share.

Peer Avis Budget Group shares dropped 7%. Both Hertz and Avis have lost about half of their market value this year.

(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Lance Tupper in New York; Editing by Anil D’Silva)