Hertz’s Electric Vehicle Ventures: Leadership Change and Strategic Reevaluation

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. is making a change in leadership following challenges stemming from its investments in electric vehicles. Stephen Scherr, who has been serving as CEO for just over two years, has decided to step down. He will be replaced by Gil West, the former chief operating officer of General Motors Co.’s Cruise Robotaxi unit, effective April 1.

Scherr’s tenure at Hertz coincided with the company’s ambitious foray into electric vehicles, which began shortly after emerging from bankruptcy. Hertz made significant investments in EVs, including placing orders for 100,000 vehicles from Tesla Inc., as part of its strategy to modernise its fleet and capitalise on the growing demand for electric mobility.

However, these bets on EVs did not yield the expected results. Last year, Tesla’s price cuts significantly reduced the resale value of Hertz’s used EVs, leading to challenges related to depreciation and demand. As a result, Hertz announced plans to sell off a substantial portion of its EV fleet, citing lacklustre demand and costly depreciation.

Gil West, the incoming CEO, brings extensive experience in the transportation industry, having previously served in leadership roles at Delta Air Lines Inc. and Cruise. He is expected to leverage his expertise in operations and technology to navigate Hertz through its current challenges and drive the company forward.

The leadership change at Hertz reflects the company’s ongoing efforts to adapt to a rapidly evolving automotive landscape, particularly in the transition to electric mobility. As Hertz transitions to new leadership, it aims to address the challenges posed by its EV investments and position itself for future growth and competitiveness in the rental car industry.

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