Chinese car rental giant advertises in US

Updated: 2012-12-13 06:40

By Yu Wei (China Daily USA)

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In celebration of China Auto Rental's fifth anniversary, the country's largest car-rental provider unveiled an advertising campaign at NASDAQ in New York's Times Square on Monday.

Chinese car rental giant advertises in US

A promotional display of China Auto Rental Holdings Inc illuminates New York's Times Square as after it made its debut on Monday in celebration of the company's 5th anniversary. The 30-second advertisement, which features the name and the logo of the company, is organized by Nasdaq and will be played 90 times a day on the screen until December 15. [Photo provided by Nasdaq]

"As a leader in China's car rental industry, our company has always been given attention by Nasdaq as the two sides maintain close contacts and good relations," said Lu Zhengyao, president of the company.

China Auto Rental, which had hoped to become the second Chinese company to list in the US this year, suddenly suspended its Initial Public Offering in late April.

According to an official statement, the company said the suspension was to "avoid the shares falling on their debut".

"Under current market conditions, US investors cannot provide a fair and reasonable price for Chinese companies attempting to go public," the statement said. "The valuation by investors is not recognized by the company and its shareholders."

The company received $200 million from US-based private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC in July. As for the possibility of restarting the IPO, president Lu told China Daily that there is no clear timetable.

The car rental industry in China has developed rapidly in the past five years, with total revenue growing at an annualized rate of 25.4 percent. By the end of 2012, the industry is estimated to generate $4.0 billion, up 19.8 percent from 2011, according to a report released by IBISworld, a US market research organization.

Compared to more mature car rental markets such as the United States, Canada, Japan and France, China's car rental market is underpenetrated and highly fragmented, according to Seeking Alpha, an American stock market analysis website.

Currently, China Auto Rental has operated in 66 major cities, at 52 airports across China with over 600 service locations, serving more than 1 million individual customers and nearly 10,000 corporate clients, according to the company's filings.

Lu said that China Auto Rental aims to expand its fleet to 100,000 units in China by 2015, but currently does not have concrete plans to expand overseas, he said.

The company's advertisement will be displayed 90 times daily from Dec10 to 15, according to Nasdaq Multimedia Designer Rohini Shahriar.

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