Rental car company rethinks hibernation

A surprising mini-boom in the domestic car rental industry has caused Kiwi company Jucy to rethink its hibernation plans.

The company known for its brightly coloured vans and cars, as well as cruises in Milford Sound, had downsized its fleets in light of Covid-19.

But, with New Zealanders making the most of the chance to explore their own backyard, chief executive Tom Ruddenklau was to add 200-300 vehicles to the fleet to meet demand.

"Net, we are probably still back a few hundred overall, but it is still positive.

"Originally, we had planned to go into a semi-hibernation state, given what was going on.

"Now we are scrambling to get new ones [vehicles] on."

Mr Ruddenklau said he was optimistic for the future but also cautious, knowing Kiwis accounted for just 20% of their market previously.

"It came off a low base, but certainly Queenstown is leading the charge."

"Our cruise and hotel businesses have really picked up. It’s wonderful and great to see some life back."

Jucy Cruise general manager Kat Van Dijk said the weekends had been particularly busy and one boat on Saturday headed out with 100 passengers.

She said over Queen’s Birthday weekend 600 visitors took in Milford Sound.

Southern Discoveries has restarted Milford cruises, running four days a week.

Chief executive Tim Hunter said families were particularly interested in checking out the underwater observatory.

Their Spirit of Queenstown cruises across Lake Wakatipu were also experiencing growing demand.

"We have had to lower the price to suit the domestic market, but we have had good loads the last couple of weekends, so we may open that up to three days a week to see how that goes.

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter