As Budget Car & Driver gets set to celebrate its
one-year anniversary in Vietnam, the car rental company has
appointed Simon Fraser as General Manager.
In 2000, The Australian ventured into
the Asia Pacific region with chemical manufacturing giant Orica,
taking on project management duties offshore in Papua Guinea and
Half a decade later, Fraser joined the
operations and marketing division at tire and rubber behemoth
Bridgestone. That was followed by a move to Vietnam in 2007 and
the title of operations manager for media conglomerate News
Corporation, where he managed large and small-scale joint venture
projects with both Vietnamese companies and government agencies.
"With Simon on board, we've got the foundation for a
dynasty," said Walter Blocker, CEO of The Gannon Group, which owns
the franchise rights to Budget in Vietnam. "We had an exceptional
first year, but we're confident we can take the business to
another level now. We've added an all-star to the lineup."
One initiative Fraser is already close to pushing through
is an agreement with SASCO — one of Vietnam’s largest, full-service
corporate travel companies — that will give Budget a presence in
both the domestic and international terminals at Ho Chi Minh
City’s Tan Son Nhat Airport. An expansion into the Vietnamese
capital of Hanoi is also in the works.
Budget’s move into Vietnam
was a major cross-cultural leap, as precious few foreigners drive
on Vietnam’s roads. To address this issue, the Budget service provides each client in
Vietnam with a well-trained native driver who functions as a
traveling concierge, complete with strong English-language skills
and knowledge of the immediate region.
Budget Car &
Driver’s customers can choose from an extensive fleet of vehicles, including Toyota Innovas, Ford Everests and Escapes and
Mercedes-Benz sedans and vans.
Cars are priced from
$99 to $249 per day and are equipped
with amenities such as mobile phone, international newspapers and
magazines, chilled water and towels and 24-hour customer-service
which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008, has approximately
3,400 locations in more than 125 countries. Budget is owned by
Avis Budget Group, Inc., which operates and franchises the brand
throughout the world.
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