Hertz Global, Avis Budget, Dollar Thrifty Automotive and other U.S. car-rental companies are battling the economic downturn by improving the management of their fleets, using more fuel-efficient cars and working on hotel and airline affiliations. Additionally, the firms are slashing jobs and reducing expenses elsewhere, such as in research and development. Analysts, however, say that it is still likely to be a bumpy ride ahead for the industry.

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