A little more than a year after taking the helm of Hertz, the rental car company headquartered in Estero, Stephen Scherr watched as two employees unveiled the model of a gold sports car.
The CEO of Hertz, looking on with about 200 of his company’s 600 employees who work at headquarters, then took to the podium, expressing his exuberance for the company’s latest marketing efforts.
The Hertz logo is emblazoned upon a new, Porsche 963 that will race next week in the 1,000 Miles of Sebring and again June 10-11 in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in Le Mans, France.
“Hertz has been around for more than 100 years. Le Mans is celebrating its 100th anniversary,” Scherr said. “This is all about reintroducing the brand on a global scale.”
Hertz has aligned itself with some heavy hitters in the auto industry.
“Here, we’re keeping company with Porsche,” Scherr said. “We are keeping company with [British racing] Team Jota. We are keeping company with Singer [Vehicle Design]. All of these are big, big brands in the automotive space and otherwise. And I think that’s exactly what Hertz wants to be. Hertz wants to be among the greatest and most iconic brands around the world. That is who we are, and that is how people recognize us.”
Team Jota will be racing the car with three drivers, who take turns during what can be as many as 36 pit stops during a race. Two of the drivers were on hand Wednesday in Estero. Will Stevens and Yifei Ye of China met and posed for photographs with Hertz employees after a staff meeting and unveiling of the Porsche.
“In Le Mans, which is the circuit in France, where we do the famous Le Mans 24 hours, we have two long straightaways about a mile each,” said Team Jota owner Sam Hignett said. “We expect this to top out at 207 to 210 miles an hour each time on both straights. So pretty seriously fast.”
Wayne Davis, new chief marketing officer at Hertz, told his fellow employees: “We’re going to have a lot of fun with this. We’re going to have Hertz-slash-Team-Joto-branded apparel. We’re going to have a global platform. We’re going to have Hertz Racing Gold platforms on Instagram and Facebook. We’re finding ways to leverage this to the nth degree.” Hertz has emerged from bankruptcy since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted traveling in 2020. Now, Scherr and the company are proclaiming the resurrection of the brand.
“We are all about putting our brand back to its rightful place,” Scherr said. “We’re not just a U.S. business. We’re a global business.”