Thrifty drivers looking to get the most for a buck might try Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (DTG), which rents cars under the Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental brands. Combined, Dollar and Thrifty rent cars from some 280 company-owned locations in the US and Canada, as well as about 1,300 franchise locations in 80-plus countries. Both brands target the airport market; Thrifty also has off-airport locations. The combined DTG fleet of over 100,000 vehicles comprises mainly Chrysler, Ford, and GM cars. Although the brands retain their separate identities, key operations and administrative functions have been consolidated under the company umbrella. DTG is owned by Hertz Global Holdings.
Change in Company Type
After rejecting a lower bid from Hertz in 2010 and a rival bid from Avis Budget Group, DTG in November 2012 was finally purchased by Hertz for $87.50 a share. (Hertz's tender offer for DTG's shares closed in November 2012 and the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Hertz.) Combined, the two companies will have more than $10 billion in sales and about 10,000 locations globally. (DTG is a former division of Chrysler that was spun off in 1997.)
The takeover of DTG -- the nation's fourth-largest car rental company -- by #2 Hertz (behind Enterprise) led to further consolidation of the US rental car industry in which the nine top brands are owned by only four companies. Indeed, DTG was widely seen as one of the last few remaining big prizes, which explains Hertz's patience and determination in its multi-year pursuit of the company. The prolonged takeover battle developed as the car rental industry was just beginning to recover from the global economic downturn, which curtailed air travel and demand for rental cars at airports. (DTG gets about 90% of its rental revenues from its airport locations.) Following Hertz's takeover of DTG, Hertz's market share will increase to nearly 25%, vs. more than 50% for Enterprise and about 20% for Avis Budget Group.
In addition to its Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental operations, Thrifty franchises used-car dealerships under the Thrifty Car Sales banner. The company also provides vehicle rentals to customers of foreign and US tour operations, accounting for nearly 18% of DTG's rental revenues in 2011.
Dollar Rent A Car has about 260 locations throughout North America and more than 570 locations in about 60 countries, including the Caribbean and Latin America. Thrifty Car Rental has more than 1,000 locations in more than 75 countries worldwide. Key international markets include Germany and the UK. The US accounts for 95% of sales at company-owned locations.
DTG's revenues grew by less than 1% in 2011 vs. 2010, while net income was up 21% over the same period. While 2011 marked the second year in a row of relatively flat vehicle rental sales, it was the company's third consecutive year of rising profits, earning $159.6 million in 2011. – less