ST. LOUIS, MO -- (Marketwire) -- 06/01/12 -- Leaders from the world's largest automobile manufacturer and the world's largest car rental company are convening at the world's largest plant science research institution -- the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center -- to share their perspectives on the future of automotive transportation and how to keep passenger vehicles economically viable and socially relevant.
Mark Reuss, President of General Motors North America, and Andrew C. Taylor, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Holdings -- which owns and operates the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands -- will meet Monday, June 4, 2012, at the Danforth Center. Their panel discussion, to be live streamed, will be moderated by sustainability expert and journalist Marc Gunther.
Together, Reuss and Taylor will vet and share ideas about the future of the passenger vehicle and corporate sustainability, including new technology, biofuel research, local mobility, supply chain responsibilities and other public policy issues. "Innovation is obviously critical to the future of General Motors and to the entire automotive industry," said Reuss. "As a result, we continue to develop progressive solutions to ensure passenger vehicles remain acceptable to society while still meeting the evolving needs of our customers."
General Motors is working to develop more sustainable transportation by focusing on energy alternatives and various advanced technologies. It is pursuing several options to meet the varied needs of customers around the world -- from improvements to combustion engines, to alternative fuels such as diesel and biofuels, to electrically driven vehicles. It is committed to a global strategy with vehicle solutions tailored to each region of the world.
GM believes biofuels are the most significant near-term solution to reduce dependence on petroleum and the carbon footprint of driving, while electrically driven vehicles offer the best long-term solution. For more information on how GM is reducing the environmental impact of its vehicles and facilities, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog.
The Business of Sustainability
"One of the keys to the future success and sustainability of our business is building on our partnerships and sharing best practices," said Taylor, who also participated in last summer's National Summit on Energy Security in Washington, D.C. "General Motors has been our partner since Enterprise was founded in 1957, and we are pleased to work with them to bring new alternative technologies and fuels to consumers."
In addition to partnering with auto manufacturers like GM and operating the world's largest local car rental network, Enterprise has taken a strong leadership role in the car rental and travel industries with its corporate sustainability efforts. "The Taylor family's $35-million gift to the Danforth Center and its Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels is one more way to further this mission," explained Lee Broughton, who heads up corporate sustainability for Enterprise Holdings.
The Enterprise Institute for Renewable Fuels is located at the Danforth Center, an independent, nonprofit research institution. At the Institute, scientists -- under the direction of Dr. Thomas Brutnell -- are researching and developing new and sustainable methods of creating next-generation biofuels from nonfood crops such as camelina, switchgrass and algae that someday could be used to power cars, trucks and aircraft, reducing both environmental impact and the nation's dependence on foreign fuel sources.
Enterprise's focus on sustainability also led it to join the Electrification Coalition in 2010 and the U.S. Department of Energy's "Clean Cities" National Clean Fleets Partnership in 2011. In addition, the Danforth Center will begin making Enterprise car-sharing services available to its team of scientists and researchers this summer. "We are always looking for ways to strengthen our partnerships, and our close relationship with the Center makes this option an ideal fit from all perspectives," stated Taylor.
According to Taylor, Enterprise Holdings is uniquely positioned to help drive the future of sustainable transportation and urban mobility. Not only is Enterprise Holdings the world's largest purchaser of passenger vehicles, but its one-of-a-kind local car-rental and car-sharing network -- including 6,000 branches located within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population -- enables the company to quickly and efficiently introduce millions of drivers to new automotive technology. In fact, this fall, Enterprise will be launching its new Driving Futures Network, whereby an expanded fleet of electric vehicles and hybrids, including the Chevy Volt, will be offered to car-rental and car-sharing customers in more than 30 markets across the country.
Visit www.danforthcenter.org/DanforthSocietyPresents to view a live-stream of the panel on June 4.
About General Motors
General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) (TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM's brands include Chevrolet and Cadillac, as well as Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
About Enterprise Holdings
Founded in 1957, Enterprise Holdings is the most comprehensive service provider in the car rental industry, operating -- through its regional subsidiaries -- the Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental brands as well as its flagship Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand in North America. Enterprise Holdings' worldwide network includes more than 7,700 neighborhood and airport locations, with 6,000 offices located within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population -- and more than twice as many locations as Enterprise Holdings' nearest U.S. competitor. With annual revenues of $14.1 billion and more than 70,000 employees, Enterprise Holdings owns and operates more than 1.2 million cars and trucks, making it the largest car rental company in the world measured by revenue, employees and fleet. For more information about St. Louis-based Enterprise Holdings, visit www.enterpriseholdings.com. For more information about Enterprise Holdings' Corporate Sustainability Report or the company's environmental stewardship and long-term commitment to the sustainability of its business, visit www.DrivingFutures.com and follow @LeeBroughton on Twitter. This news release and other announcements are available at the Enterprise Holdings press room.
About the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Founded in 1998, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center is a not-for-profit research institute with a mission to improve the human condition through plant science. Research at the Danforth Center will feed the hungry and improve human health, preserve and renew the environment, and enhance the St. Louis region and Missouri as a world center for plant science. The Center's work is funded through competitive grants and contract revenue from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center invites you to visit its new website, www.danforthcenter.org, featuring interactive information on the Center's scientists, news and research, including the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels, the Center for Advanced Biofuel Research and the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts. Public education outreach, RSS feeds and the brand-new "Roots & Shoots" blog help keep visitors up to date with Center's current operations and areas of research. Follow the Center on Twitter at @DanforthCenter.