Hertz CEO says rebounding business travel could tighten an already-constrained used car market

Business travel is making a comeback and could constrain already tight supplies of rental cars when it finally recovers, Hertz chief executive Stephen Scherr told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday.

“Corporate business is trending upwards, make no mistake about it. I’m confident that that starts to come back, and I think the in-bound visitor from outside the U.S. will start to come back when full relaxation of some of the Covid limitations are in fact in place,” Scherr said in an interview on “Mad Money.”

“When that happens, I think there’s more demand here then what we’re experiencing right now, and right now, this is a demand-supply issue, which is demand is outstripping the amount of fleet that the industry, no less Hertz, has,” he added.

Hertz reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue in its latest quarter, according to StreetAccount.

The rental car company said in its quarterly earnings call that it is “experiencing the impact of constraints on the supply of new vehicles as well as certain inflationary cost pressures,” and that issues with obtaining enough supply to meet demand could last into 2023.

However, the rebound of business travel is still in its early stages compared to leisure travel, Scherr said.

“If you just decompose demand, leisure traveler 90-some odd percent back relative to 2019. Business or corporate travel only 63% back. And …  non-U.S. travelers, so people coming from Europe or Asia into the United States, only 35% back,” he said.

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(With inputs from CNBC)