“With that demand you guys can grow in scale ... buy more cars, and obtain higher discounts from automakers,” Varner said, calling it a “virtuous circle” for Uber and rental companies.

Uber declined to comment on Varner’s remarks, though its Brazil CEO Claudia Woods told Reuters rent-a-cars are important partners.

Despite initial fears at Uber’s arrival in 2014, rental companies including the biggest three - Localiza, Unidas (LCAM3.SA) and Movida (MOVI3.SA) - now have close relations.

Movida opened a store dedicated solely to ride-hailing drivers last month and holds monthly meetings with Uber, its chief commercial officer Jamyl Jarrus said.