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Posted on Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 12:53 p.m.

Zipcar sold to Avis for nearly $500 million

By Ben Freed

zipcar pix.jpg

Zipcars will still continue to function as usual after Avis' acquisition of the company. file photo

Rental car giant Avis Budget Group is buying the Zipcar car-sharing service for almost half a billion dollars in cash, according to a report in the Detroit News.

The acquisition is seen by the Detroit News’ Bryce Hoffman as further proof that younger Americans care less about car ownership than their parents and grandparents did. Zipcar’s service has more than 750,000 members, many of them located in or around college campuses.

The deal could bring the Avis fleet into play as Zipcars as well as offer a possible outlet for Avis to dispose of their high-milage newer vehicles.

Zipcar, founded in 2000, came to Ann Arbor in 2009 and is currently available to both city residents and college students. There are no expected changes in service after the acquisition takes effect later in the spring of 2013.

Click here to read the full story from the Detroit News.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 1 p.m.

Read the Wall Street Journal article on this. Zipcar never made money. The value is below their IPO price. The firms that invested in it did poorly. The business model can't work without scale which they never achieved. This is a failure story, not a success.


Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 8:10 p.m.

That's how you eliminate your competition. Either buy them out or drive them into bankruptcy.


Fri, Jan 4, 2013 : 6:55 a.m.

i understand your point, but i think they're more complementary to each other than competitive. i don't think zipcar has as large a presence at airports as it does around colleges and large cities in general. it's a car ownership alternative, right?