Mark Fields just purchased 100,000 Teslas for Hertz’s rental car fleet. The deal is being hailed as biggest rental car purchase ever.
Mark Fields was CEO of Ford Motor Company during my time as an engineer there. I even got to sit in the background when Jim Cramer came to film a Mad Money clip with Fields.
Not long after I left Ford, however, Fields was unceremoniously shown the door, presumably the result of a languishing stock price. The stock price only got worse from there, while Fields moved into a new job in private equity.
Now Ford stock is roaring back, and Fields has a new new job, as CEO of Hertz.
The rental car company went bankrupt over the COVID summer of 2020, and is itself climbing, maybe quite “roaring”, back.
Bloomberg reports that Hertz is paying something close to full price for the fleet of Teslas, and the order size represents around 10% of Tesla’s annual manufacturing capacity.
This strikes me as a bet on Tesla’s status as an iconic car company. There are lots of nice cars Hertz could have purchased, but really only a few that I think most consumers would views as “iconic”: Tesla, Rolls-Royce, Mini, maybe the cute little electric Fiats.
I get why Fields didn’t purchase 100,000 Ford Mustang Mach-Es, even if those might be better cars.
The purchase also moves Hertz a bit closer toward Mobility as a Service. Reporting also mentions that Hertz will build a charging network to support its electrifying rental fleet and to complement the existing Tesla super-charger network.
One thought on “Mark Fields, Former Ford CEO, Buys 100,000 Teslas For Hertz”
I wonder if there is any information available about the role that Mark Fields did or did not play in developing the Hertz strategy to buy EVs in general, or Teslas in particular.
I understand the Hertz saviors brought out their checkbooks to invest in Tesla in May of 2021, and Fields joined the Board shortly after in June. Fields then became interim CEO on Oct 5, before the announcement of the Tesla deal on Oct 25. I understand also that the Mustang Mach E was green-lighted by Ford while Fields was still in charge.
If this is all accurate, there seems to be enough room in there for Fields to have played a role in proposing the new direction to EVs for Hertz, and participating in negotiations with Tesla for the deal. It seems possible therefore that Fields could deserve the credit for all this. Is there any reason to believe otherwise?
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