Thrifty Car Rental

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Thrifty Car Rental
Formerly NYSE:  DTG
Industry Car rental and Leasing
Founded1958;63 years ago (1958)
Headquarters Estero, Florida, United States
Number of locations
9,700 corporate and franchise between Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty (as of September 2017)
Key people
Paul Stone, President and CEO of The Hertz Corporation
Owner The Hertz Corporation

Thrifty Car Rental is a subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation with headquarters in Estero, Florida. [1] Formerly operating as Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Thrifty shares 340 corporate and 1,500 franchise rental car locations in the United States and Canada with Dollar Rent A Car as of February 2017. [2] [3]


Company History

Thrifty Car Rental was established in 1958 as an indirect subsidiary of Thrifty Rent A Car System, Inc. [4] [5] Thrifty purchased Ohio-based Snappy Car Rental, Inc. for US$40 million in May 1989. [6]

By the end of 1989, Thrifty was purchased by Chrysler Corporation for US$263 million with the intent to merge Thrifty with its Pentastar Transportation Group. [7] [4] [6] With focus on value-priced car rentals, Chrysler announced Thrifty Car Rental and Dollar Rent A Car would form Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group to reduce operating expenses in 1997. [8] [9] This rebrand was overseen by Chairman and CEO Joseph E. Cappy, serving from 1993 to 2003. [8] [10]

Dollar Thrifty Automotive filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to offer common stock and was officially traded as DTG on the New York Stock Exchange on December 23, 1997. [11] The same year, Thrifty Car Rental's information processing and reservation management was outsourced to The SABRE Group, Inc. [12] By the end of the 1997 fiscal year, Dollar Thrifty Automotive maintained 872 locations in the United States and employed a staff of 5,400. [13] [14]

Fleet sizes and locations in the United States:

After ten years with the brand, President and CEO Cappy retired in 2003. [20] Gary L. Paxton was promoted from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Executive Officer of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group on October 1, 2003. [21] Paxton was originally appointed to Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group's senior management panel when the purchase of Dollar Rent A Car Systems, Inc. was finalized in 1990. He oversaw daily management and operational strategies until retirement in December 2008. [13] [21] [20] Scott L. Thompson, who joined the company as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in May 2008, stepped in as the newest President and CEO. [20]

Former Hertz Global Holdings Chairman and CEO Mark P. Frissora announced the company's purchase of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group for US$2.3 billion on November 19, 2012. This resulted in the car rental company to operate the present-day brands of Thrifty Car Rental and Dollar Rent A Car. [22]

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, on April 30, 2020, Hertz announced that it has missed lease payments on its fleet and was seeking support of its lenders including Carl Icahn in an attempt to avoid bankruptcy. [23] Following Marinello's resignation, on May 18, 2020, Hertz announced that Paul Stone will be the new president and chief executive. Stone previously served as Hertz's executive vice president and chief retail operations officer for North America. [24] On May 22, 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported that Hertz was preparing to file for bankruptcy because it did not reach an agreement with top lenders. [25] That same day, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. [26]

International Growth

With approximately 1,000 car rental locations in 76 countries and territories by December 2010, Thrifty Car Rental began to focus on international locations. By 2013, approximately 1,285 international rental locations existed between Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty brands. [27]

Operating as the largest car rental provider in United Arab Emirates with 18,000 vehicles, Thrifty introduced its first "Thrifty Lounge" at their Burjuman, Dubai branch in February 2017. [28] Lounges provide free WiFi access, coffee, and comfortable seating areas. [28] Parent company Hertz Global Holdings announced Thrifty Car Rental would operate in Colombo, Sri Lanka in May 2017. [29] Rental options include short term, long term, and chauffeur rental services with compact, sedans, luxury cars, SUV, and minibuses. [30]

With car rental storefronts at Malta International Airport, downtown Sliema, and Gozo Harbour, additional European locations are expected in Poland, Turkey, and Hungary. [31] Thrifty Car Rental maintains 472 locations in the US and Canada, as well as 589 storefronts in 77 countries and territories. [32] [33]

Thrifty Australia and Thrifty New Zealand previously owned by Mitsubishi are now owned outright by NRMA in Australia. [34]

In the United Kingdom, the Thrifty Car & Van Rental franchise is held by Scot Group and has approximately 110 branches nationwide. [35] Unlike the budget rental business model in the rest of the world, Thrifty's UK operation is more geared to prestige marques such as BMW, Jaguar and Land Rover. [36] Thrifty operates independently from Hertz in the UK.

Operations and Rental Fleet

With revenue generated from franchising fees and car rental services, Thrifty targets US and Canada airport locations with focus on leisure travelers, tour operators, and small business owners. [37] [38]

The rental fleet of Thrifty Car Rental includes Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia Motors, and other vehicle manufacturers. The fleet includes "green" vehicles - primarily Toyota Prius and Chrysler "bio-fuel" models.

The Blue Chip Rental Express Program

Thrifty Car Rental's free Blue Chip Express Rental Program was introduced to the U.S. and Canada in 2008. [39] It offers expedited pickup and returns processes, choosing vehicle type, insurance coverage, designated lines at the counter, and syncing airline rewards. [40] [39]

Awards and Recognition

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