PARK RIDGE, N.J. (AP) — Hertz will move its headquarters from New Jersey to Florida, putting the company in the heart of a key travel market and trimming corporate expenses after its $2.3 billion buyout of one-time rival, Dollar Thrifty.
Up to 700 jobs will shift to Florida over a two-year period, the company said Tuesday. More than 2,000 Hertz and Dollar Thrifty workers will stay in New Jersey, including about 150 employees from the current headquarters in Park Ridge. All other Park Ridge workers will keep their current positions at the new headquarters in Estero, Fla., just north of Naples on the Gulf Coast.
Enterprise Florida, the state's economic development arm, said the state and local communities crafted a package of incentives worth more than $19 million to attract Hertz to Florida. Florida Power & Light, the state's largest utility, also agreed to rate reductions over a four-year period that will save Hertz about $125,000.
"Florida is the center of the U.S. travel and tourism industry," Hertz chairman and CEO Mark P. Frissora said. "This move enables us to be closer to leisure and business customers, as well as many travel and association partners."
Frissora said Hertz will offer off-airport and retail car sales stores at its new headquarters, which is within range of the Florida cities of Orlando, Miami/Fort Lauderdale and Tampa/St. Petersburg. Orlando is the world's largest car-rental market, the company said.
The new headquarters is scheduled to be completed by early 2015.
E-commerce and some financial functions will remain based in New Jersey, the company said. Customer service and IT will continue to be based in Oklahoma.
Hertz Global Holdings Group Inc. closed on its acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group in November. Dollar is based in Tulsa, Okla.
Hertz, founded in Chicago in 1918, moved its headquarters from New York City to northern New Jersey in 1988.
Hertz shares fell 15 cents to close at $24.81.
Gary Fineout in Tallahassee, Fla., contributed to this story.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.