Tesla Electric Cars Offered by Hertz at Two Airports

A handful of Tesla Motors Inc. electric cars are now available for rental at two California airports by Hertz Global Holdings Inc., which is adding more upscale autos to its fleet.

Hertz is introducing Tesla Model S and Roadster rechargeable cars at Los Angeles and San Francisco airports, the Park Ridge, New Jersey-based company said yesterday. Hertz has five Teslas combined at the two airports, with rental prices starting at about $500 a day, Paula Rivera, a Hertz spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

The Tesla models expand on a lineup of higher-priced vehicles that Hertz has added to its fleet under its Dream Cars program, which includes Ferrari and Lamborghini models. In July, Hertz won final regulatory approval for its $2.3 billion acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. The merged companies compete with closely held Enterprise Holdings Inc. and Avis Budget Group Inc.

Tesla has seen its market value top $20 billion this year. The Palo Alto, California-based company is intent on becoming the world’s most profitable seller of battery-powered cars. The company plans this year to deliver 21,000 of its flagship Model S sedans, priced from about $70,000, and double that volume next year as sales in Europe and Asia expand.

Enterprise has carried three Tesla Model S cars in its Exotic Car Collection fleet since June and plans to add two more by the end of the year, Greg Phillips, a spokesman for the St. Louis-based company, said in an e-mail. The cars rent for about $300 to $500 per day, he said.

Cut Forecasts

Hertz separately today reduced its full-year forecast for full-year revenue and profit, citing weaker than anticipated car rentals at U.S. airports. Shares plunged 16 percent to $21.63 at the close in New York, the biggest one-day decline in more than four years.

Hertz now sees 2013 revenue of $10.8 billion to $10.9 billion, down from a February estimate of $10.85 billion to $10.95 billion. The company pared its forecast for adjusted profit of $780 million to $830 million, down from $830 million to $875 million.

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