Signage for Hertz Global Holdings Inc. stands at a rental location in Berkeley, California, U.S., on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Ongoing distress in the rental car market due to the coronavirus pandemic, highlighted by Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings of Hertz and the parent company of Advantage Rent A Car in the past week, will place additional pressure on the already troubled U.S. auto industry.
New vehicle sales to rental car companies accounted for about 10%, or 1.7 million vehicles, last year. That demand came to a grinding halt due to the coronavirus crisis as Americans sheltered in their homes to stop the spread of the disease. Some analysts expect no more than 250,000 such sales in 2020.
“That’s where the majority of the risk is for the year,” said Jeff Schuster, LMC Automotive president of the Americas and global vehicle forecasts. He expects little to no sales to rental car companies for the remainder of the year.
Sales to rental car…