COVID-19

New Avis, Budget rental car cleaning strategy partnerships tackle coronavirus transmission

The brands of Avis Budget Group are employing new cleaning strategies.

Photo courtesy of Avis Budget Group

Rental cars pose a unique cleaning challenge. Drivers are switching in and out of vehicles then driving them to who knows where, interacting with who knows who, and stopping at who knows how many places along the way. All for a relatively short period of time.

That's a lot of possible exposure to the coronavirus, which is why Avis Budget Group (ABG) has partnered with RB, the maker of Lysol, and a team of medical professionals from leading institutions, including Columbia University, with expertise in public health, COVID-19, and other infectious diseases to come up with an actionable plan to "enhance cleanliness and disinfection in rental facilties and vehicles." Hip Hop Public Health, which is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering positive behavior change, is also part of the coalition.

A team of scientists and germ experts from RB, who are responsible for driving germ-kill innovation for Lysol, will review and provide ABG guidance on best practices to optimize the efficacy of ABG's cleaning and maintenance protocols. Additionally, AGB will introduce Lysol products at its rental families and in vehicles as part of a larger agreement that replaces or supplements existing CDC-recommended and EPA-certified products that ABG currently uses.

"At RB, our mission is to protect, heal, and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world. It is imperative that we protect all consumers, today and in the days ahead as we all look forward to new ways of returning to work and leisure activities, including travel," said Rahul Kadyan, EVP, North America, Hygiene, RB. "RB/Lysol has over 130 years of science-based research and thought leadership. We are excited to support ABG through awareness, training and education, and adequate product delivery in the hygiene and disinfection space."

The medical professional that are part of the advisory board include Dr. Olajide Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Neurology at Columbia University and Founder of Hip Hop Public Health, Dr. Amelia Boehme, Dr. Robert Bollinger, Dr. Gbenga Ogedegbe and Dr. Angela Rasmussen.

"Updating safety protocols and maintaining fidelity to them requires a company to invest in behavior change in order to facilitate and sustain the uptake of new health-related behaviors by its workforce," said Williams. "We are grateful that ABG is focusing on safety by investing in the educational process of their employees. The right products and protocols need to be properly and consistently deployed by every single individual who is involved in the process to ensure public health safety."

"Our commitment to the safety and satisfaction of our customers and employees is unwavering," said Joe Ferraro, CEO of Avis Budget Group. "Recovering from the impacts of a global pandemic requires innovative solutions and we are excited to announce the Avis Safety Pledge and our Budget Worry-Free Promise. Beyond words, we are taking a comprehensive set of actions through our coalition with Lysol, Hip Hop Public Health and highly esteemed expert medical professionals, aimed at ensuring the products, protocols, and training are in place to raise the bar for cleanliness and safety."

Avis Budget Group is the parent company of Avis, Budget, Zipcar, Maggiore, FranceCars, Apex Car Rentals, and Payless Car Rental. Their extended network of companies includes other global brands.

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Acura is revealing its next-gen MDX slowly, first with this, the MDX Prototype.

Photo courtesy of Acura

The MDX is the best-selling Acura in the lineup. It's also America's best-selling luxury three-row SUV. But that's not good enough.

Acura is redesigning the MDX and as it prepares to enter a fourth generation, a prototype of the new SUV will be shown on October 14. This looks to follow the same pattern as the TLX launch, which saw a prototype revealed about six months before the true model debut, just after the PMC Edition was put on sale.

Acura says that the next-gen MDX will usher in " new levels of Acura design, performance, technology and craftsmanship, assuming the mantle as the brand's new flagship model". And that's a good thing. The brand revolution that started with the RDX and continued with the TLX looks to go even further in a bid to re-establish Acura on its premium model throne.

The ofirst MDX was the industry's first three-row SUV based on a unibody platform, a design that has since gone mainstream as crossovers and lifestyle SUVs overrun a vehicle type that started as rugged off-roaders and family trucksters. Since it's debut, the MDX has garnered praise from buyers and critics alike including winning the 2001 North American Truck of the Year and 2001 Motor Trend SUV of the Year awards.

Over the past two decades, cumulative sales have surpassed 1 million units, securing MDX's place as the best-selling Acura model, accounting for roughly one-third of the brand's U.S. sales since its launch.

"We're accelerating Acura's commitment to Precision Crafted Performance and this fourth-generation MDX is the most ambitious and consequential redesign of an Acura core model in our history," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura brand officer. "This all-new MDX will take us into new territory in terms of performance, prestige and emotional appeal."

The teaser image (above) and video (below) that were released today highlight the sharply sculpted beltline running the perimeter of the wider, lower and longer MDX, connecting the Jewel Eye LED headlights at the front to the Chicane LED taillights in the rear.

The MDX Prototype pulls heavily from the RDX and TLX with design nods to each. Still, it's unmistakably a three-row SUV. Though we don't know for sure what's under the hood, expect the MDX to have more a dynamic driving style when it debuts, following in the vein of the RDX and TLX redesigns.

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Toyota Mall of Georgia, one of AutoNation's dealerships, has raised money to support the caregivers at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Photo courtesy of AutoNation

You know the pink license plate brackets and the pink-leather jacket clad spokeswoman. All that pink is paying off. AutoNation announced that it has raised $25 million for cancer research and treatment through its Drive Pink (DRV PNK) Initiative. Drive Pink launched in 2015.

In 2020 alone, DRV PNK funds have been invested in seven major research projects through the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), the largest private funder of breast cancer research in the world. BRCF focuses their efforts in six different areas: tumor biology, treatment, survivorship, metastasis, lifestyle and prevention, and heredity and ethnicity.

"AutoNation has played a valuable role in enabling BCRF to be at the vanguard of every major breakthrough in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship," said Mrya Biblowit, BCRF President and CEO.

"Every October, we celebrate all that we have accomplished through DRV PNK" said Mike Jackson, AutoNation's Chairman and CEO. "This year, we've taken our mission to new levels, thanks to the incredible support of our Customers, our Associates and our partners."

As part of its DRV PNK efforts, AutoNation works to raise awareness of breast cancer. The company sponsored NTT Indycar Series drivers Jack Harvey, Alexander Rossi, and Marco Andretti who were behind the wheel of vehicles wearing pink liveries.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and AutoNation will be stepping up its efforts throughout the month. Expect to see ad campaigns reflecting such. The company's annual DRV PNK Across America Day by selecting local cancer treatment facilities to receive care bags for patients battling cancer.

For longtime AutoNation Associate and breast cancer survivor, Lisa Logan, DRV PNK is personal. "Sadly, just about everyone has been touched by cancer. I am so proud to work for a company that not only supported me throughout my journey, but that also supports such an important cause."

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