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Zipcar cuts jobs as part of Avis-Budget consolidation

A logo is seen on a Zipcar in San Francisco, California. Reuters/Robert Galbraith
A logo is seen on a Zipcar in San Francisco, California. Reuters/Robert Galbraith(REUTERS)

Avis Budget Group is taking another big step to capitalize on its 2013 purchase of Zipcar, the Boston-based vehicle sharing service, by cutting jobs as the company consolidates some of Zipcar’s operations with the ones that handle Avis and Budget car rentals.

Zipcar officials declined to specify the number of people who would lose their jobs in the consolidation. Spokesman Justin Holmes said the changes will result in an 8-percent staff reduction across North America for Zipcar and for the Avis-Budget “local market” operations. The company’s airport operations won’t be included in this shift.

Zipcar employs about 500 people throughout North America, including 300 in Greater Boston, Holmes said. He declined to say how many work in the Avis-Budget side of the business.

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Andrew Kupiec, a vice president at Parsippany, N.J.-based Avis, said the move is aimed at building a stronger business model, one that can more easily grow as the company adds clients. The goal, he said, is to build a cohesive team of field workers who can be responsible for all three brands in the same city and manage the company’s fleets more efficiently.

“What we are really doing is transforming the operations and marketing organizations across North America,” said Kupiec, who oversees the local market operations for the Avis, Budget and Zipcar brands. “We see an opportunity that can be transformational in the years to come.”

The changes will eliminate some Zipcar marketing jobs as the company revamps the way it tries to draw in new clients and keep existing ones. Andrew Daley, Zipcar’s vice president of marketing, said his group will shift its efforts away from one-on-one marketing blitzes, such as staffing Zipcar tables on streets and at events. Instead, the company will focus more on promotional efforts with local partners, such as one promotion that provides discounts to Zipcar members for the Wachusett Mountain Ski Area. “This is a natural evolution,” Daley said.

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Jon Chesto can be reached at jon.chesto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.