Message from the CEO: The certainty of rental
02/01/2013

You can count on rental in 2013. The industry economic outlook is positive for the year and I say that with certainty. While not a lot of industries are in the position to say that, we can and we have the strength of data to support it.

In Las Vegas, the American Rental Association (ARA) will be releasing the 2012 fourth quarter rental revenue figures, along with results of the rental and supplier economic survey for the same period. I anticipate both to be positive statements. These last months in my
travels around the country, those in the industry are sharing an optimistic message — one of increased rental volume and equipment sales, with a keen eye on increased rental rates.

The ARA Rental Market Monitor™ information from IHS Global Insight as reported in the December issue of Rental Management, projects a 2013 U.S. rental revenue growth rate of 7.6 percent, with more moderate growth in Canada at 2.3 percent. Looking ahead to 2016, North American rental revenue is projected to top $50 billion — the highest volume ever achieved.

There has been growth in rental for a number of well-documented reasons, best summarized with the statement, “It makes business sense to rent.” It’s up to the industry to keep this momentum going forward for increased revenues, including increased rental rates.

For the rental industry to be outperforming the U.S. economy four-fold is quite a statement, one that says the opportunity for increased rentals and equipment sales remains vibrant. I anticipate The Rental Show in Las Vegas this month will demonstrate that dynamic throughout business discussions, sales transactions and individual conversations. Attendees will take home invaluable knowledge to aid their businesses going forward.

Along the way, ARA continues to work on your behalf regarding the economic uncertainties spinning around us. Daily, it seems, the government is putting challenges in the path of small business and the growth of business overall. Our plate already was full with the implementation of health care, Tier 4 and new tax legislation without mention of impending labor issues, increased regulation and additional taxes. By late spring we may see Congressional action on very significant matters of the U.S. government — the debt limit, sequestration and reauthorization of the federal budget. ARA will keep you informed of all policy developments and their implications for rental businesses.

I remain optimistic for our industry. Registration to attend the show in Las Vegas is well ahead of 2012, the trade show floor has been sold out for some time, ARA membership has increased each of the past 15 months and the industry economic outlook is favorable. Innovation continues to abound in our industry among rental companies and suppliers alike. Each of you is determined to succeed and I applaud your determination.

In Las Vegas, I anticipate The Rental Show 2013 to be “right on the money.” Those in attendance will share in Show-Only Specials being offered by a record number of exhibitors, identify new products, individually converse with exhibitor personnel, receive education critical to the success of their businesses, network with the best in the industry, and enjoy and benefit from the many networking events as we celebrate our industry. ARA is certain to deliver on our word that Las Vegas is the place for people serious about profit. Let us help you make more money in 2013.

Christine Wehrman is executive vice president and CEO of the American Rental Association, 1900 19th St., Moline, IL 61265. She can be reached at 800-334-2177 or 309-764-2475, ext. 280; fax 309-764-1533; or chris.wehrman@ararental.org.