History of Dollar Thrifty
Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group is a Chrysler Corporation subsidiary, and since 1997 has been a combination of two vehicle-rental companies, Dollar Rent A Car Systems, Inc and Thrifty Rent-A-Car System, Inc.
Dollar Rent-A-Car History - 1965 - 1997
Dollar Rent A Car started operations in 1965 in Los Angeles.
From the start, the focus of the company was mainly on the leisure market and on tour operators in Florida, California, Hawaii, and Nevada.
The most important location for the company has been the company-operated store at Orlando International Airport and a facility at the Orlando Sanford International Airport, 25 miles north of Orlando.
This facility, which was designed to serve primarily charter flights and tour customers, carries 42 rental stations and parking for approximately 1,600 vehicles.
The income from rentals to tour clientèle was important to the company throughout the years, due to these clients reserving vehicles for longer periods and canceling reservations less frequently.
The company was acquired by Chrysler in 1990, and subsequently moved its headquarters to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1994, and became part of Dollar-Thrifty Automotive Group (DTAG) in 1997.
At the time of the merger, Dollar Rent A Car operated fleet leasing, centralized reservations, insurance, supplies, and operational support.
As part of an international expansion, the company made a deal with Europcar International in 1997, the major European car rental group.
Before the deal, Dollar had operated under the name of EuroDollar in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. With the deal, however, ended the EuroDollar relationship and enabled reservations of rental cars in the countries to contact Dollar for Europcar rentals.
Thrifty Rent-A-Car History - 1950 - 1997
Thrifty was founded in 1950. From the start, the company focused on offering franchising and franchise-support services but did operate some company-owned stores typically, only after the financial failure of a franchisee.
The approach to serving airport and local markets in each of the territories enabled the franchisees and company-owned stores to have several locations.
Thanks to this fleet utilization and profit margins were improved by moving vehicles between locations for better management of demand fluctuations among the markets.
As parts of its network, Thrifty had a relationship with Montgomery Ward with rental facilities in many of the retailer's Auto Express Centers.
For the Canadian market, Thrifty similarly had a network of car rental locations with Canadian Tire Corporation, a nationwide chain selling automotive products, sporting goods, home and garden hardware, and plumbing supplies.
In 1989, the company completed an IPO of common stock, but was acquired by Chrysler in 1991.
As for the company's financial health throughout its existence, the franchise model of the rental business was essential to the company's profitability, with about 70 percent of Thrifty's revenue coming from its franchises by the merger into Dollar Rent A Car by 1997.
Dollar Thrifty History - 1989 - present
Before the formation of the merged entity of Dollar-Thrifty, in 1989, Chrysler formed the Pentastar Transportation Group, which operated its rental-car subsidiaries, General Rent-a-Car and Snappy Car Rental.
The company added to the mix, with a purchase, Thrifty Rent-A-Car System, in 1989 and Dollar Rent A Car Systems, in 1990.
In 1993 Chrysler merged the operations of General Rent-a-Car into those of Dollar and in 1994 sold Snappy Car Rental, Inc.
Chrysler tried, for a short while, to sell Thrifty and Dollar as separate entities, but failed to find a buyer.
Chrysler then reorganized the two car-rental companies into Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. (DTAG), as a direct subsidiary corporation of Chrysler.
Following the reorganization in 1997, DTAG filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to offer its common stock to the public, which was done on December 23, 1997, and the company started trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DTG.
A major restructuring of the business model was done in 2002, as Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group unveiled a new corporate platform that transformed the company from a brand structure to a functional structure.
Previously these two had functioned as separate operating companies (Dollar Rent A Car Systems, Inc. and Thrifty, Inc.), but began operating as a single company after the restructure while continuing to support and grow both of its two brands independently.
Today, Dollar and Thrifty have over 1,475 corporate and franchised worldwide locations including over 836 in the United States and Canada.
From Dollar Thrifty History page to Car Rental Directory index