Citing cost challenges involving electric vehicles, Hertz executives on an earnings call reported a fourth-quarter 2023 loss of $348 million compared with income of $116 million a year prior. Stephen Scherr, CEO, said the challenges included elevated collision and damage, “largely driven by costs associated with running our EV fleet.”

And perhaps more significantly, he said, “the challenge of the EVs had an impact on our operational efficiency more generally, further supporting the advisability of our EV sales plan.”

Last month, Hertz announced the sale of a third of its electric vehicle fleet, and earlier this week it announced a “pause” in the purchase of Polestar EVs. While saying “the bottom line result is unacceptable,” Scherr said he has confidence in the company’s trajectory and expects 2024 to be a transitional year as the company expects to regain its “operational cadence” and improve its financial performance into 2025.

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Justin Keppy, the new COO, said the company aims to reduce costs by $250 million this year through “right-sizing and reducing third-party spend” as well as reducing the company’s off-airport footprint from underperforming locations and redeploying those cars to airports and other locations.

On the corporate travel front, Alexandra Brooks, CFO, said the company saw “meaningful growth” in volume for the year “across leisure, corporate and rideshare.” She said there was particular growth in the Midwest in cities like Detroit and Chicago that showed high volume.

Full-year revenue for 2023 was up 7.9% versus 2022 to nearly $9.4 billion. Net income for the year was $616 million, compared with 2022 net income of nearly $2.1 billion.