Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

Harvard Business School Baker Library Historical Collections

Lehman Brothers Collection

Twentieth-Century Business Archives

Avis, Inc. - Lehman Brothers Collection

Avis, Inc.

List of Deals

Warren Avis founded Avis Airlines Rent-A-Car System and opened outlets at Willow Run Airport in Detroit and Miami International Airport in 1946. The company proved successful, and Avis opened other branches in cities to serve hotels and office buildings. By 1954 the company had locations in Mexico, Canada, and Europe.

The company's ownership changed hands, and in 1956 it was owned by a group of investors who formed a holding company (Avis, Inc.), with Avis Rent-A-Car System as its main subsidiary. The company also began car leasing that year.

In 1965 ITT purchased Avis and established a U. K. headquarters to serve Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

The company introduced the Wizard System in 1972. It is now the industry's oldest computer reservation system. As of September 30, 1972, Avis and its licensees operated a fleet of approximately 124,000 vehicles from over 2,800 locations serving approximately 1,800 communities and approximately 1,300 airports in more than 100 countries. In 1971 Avis and its licensees generated more than 2,300,000 reservations for automobile rental service.

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