Rental Penetration Tops 50 Percent in North America, Kaplan Asserts

Rental penetration in North America has exceeded 50 percent, asserts Dan Kaplan in an article written for RER magazine’s August issue. Kaplan, who grew Hertz Equipment Rental Corp. into the rental industry’s largest company in the 1980s and 1990s by developing many of the metrics that have since become standard, writes that improved customer service; improved asset utilization and reduced storage and maintenance; avoidance of capital outlay; reduced equipment obsolescence; wider range of equipment in rental fleets; and the preference of rental during economic downturns have all contributed to the surge of rental popularity.

In the article, Kaplan quotes research from Yengst Associates that indicate that in 2011 about 55 percent of unit sales of earthmoving, material handling, aerial and other machinery such as compactors and air compressors, went to the rental market.

Kaplan adds that rental penetration is unlikely to reach the 80-percent level as is the case in the United Kingdom and Japan, but believes that there is still much room for growth.

He also acknowledges that over the years he has often been the quoted source for rental penetration, but has based his numbers on a “feel for the business, based on conversations with manufacturers, rental companies, research firms, associations and others.”

To read Kaplan’s article, see the August issue of RER or click on this link:
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