David Hansen, general manager of GM Fleet and Commercial Operations, said GM expects to sell about 150,000 fewer rental units this year than the 740,000 it sold last year, but it is making up the volume in more profitable retail and commercial sales thanks to its 0 percent financing program.
He said GM has halted vehicle deliveries to ANC, owner of Alamo Rent A Car and National Rental Car Systems, but expects to resume business with the company after the first of the year.
He declined to say how many vehicles GM sells to ANC but said the number is in the six digits. He also said 90 percent of the vehicles it sells to ANC are program vehicles - vehicles the manufacturer agrees to buy back from the rental companies once they are retired from fleets.
"Their (ANC's) business was precarious even before Sept. 11; that was the straw that broke the camel's back," Hansen said, adding that the company owes GM little debt.
GM's biggest rental car customers are ANC, Avis Rent A Car Systems Inc. in Parsippany, N.Y., and Enterprise Rent-A-Car in St. Louis. Hansen said GM's plan was to sell 90,000 fewer rental cars this year because they are less profitable than retail and other fleet sales.
ANC, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was spun off as a separate business in June 2000 after its previous owner, AutoNation Inc., sold its daily rental business.
ANC filed a petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy code on Tuesday, Nov. 13.
ANC did not respond to requests for comment such as the identities of its major customers and fleet size. Bankruptcy Creditors' Service in Trenton, N.J., reports its fleet size at about 300,000 vehicles.