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September 5, 2008

Budget Rent-a-Car enters Vietnam

Fuelled by a booming visitors' market in Vietnam and heightened expectations by those visitors, Budget Rent-A-Car, one of the world's best-known car rental companies, has rolled into the market, reported state news agency VNA.

Budget vehicles, complete with chauffeurs, are now available from hotels and Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat Airport as of September 1.

"We are confident there is substantial demand for high quality car rental here," said Dan Cohen, Budget Vietnam's general manager.

"Google receives the key phrase car rental Vietnam at least 250 times per day. Not only does Budget fill that glaring need, but it does so in a comforting fashion. Everyone whos been overseas knows the name, Budget, and what it represents."

Cars are priced from $69 to $249 per day, less than the $40 hourly rate HCM City five-star hotels typically offer.

The decision to make a driver/traveling concierge part and parcel of the Vietnam car-rental experience was prompted by a combination of factors, headed by the rarity of foreign drivers here and the growing market for a middle ground between guided tours and solo travel.

"We’re positioning the traveling concierge services as an alternative to traditional package tours. We call it travel for grown-ups," said Cohen.

Budget teamed up with the Gannon Group, which specialises in warehouse services and asset management.

On the ground since the lifting of the trade embargo in 1994, Gannon has paved the way for a host of big-name brands, including L’Oreal, Nestle and, most recently, Budweiser.

With Budget, there is a vested interest; Gannon owns the franchise rights for Budget Vietnam.

"We began discussions with Budget in 2005, believing its service has huge potential, especially as this country welcomes more visitors with discerning taste," said Walter Blocker, Gannons CEO.

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