Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. (DTAG), formerly known as Pentastar Transportation Group, Inc., a Chrysler Corporation subsidiary, owns two separate vehicle-rental ...
Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. (DTAG), formerly known as Pentastar Transportation Group, Inc., a Chrysler Corporation subsidiary, owns two separate vehicle-rental companies, Dollar Rent A Car Systems, Inc. (Dollar) and Thrifty Rent-A-Car System, Inc. (Thrifty). These two companies function as separate vehicle-rental systems and also license independent franchisees to rent cars under the Dollar and Thrifty brand names. The company is publicly traded and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DTG.
Thrifty was founded in 1958 and in 1989 completed an IPO of common stock. Chrysler acquired Thrifty in 1991 and divested it as part of an IPO completed by DTAG. In contrast to major competitors who focused almost exclusively on the airport market, Thrifty concentrated on offering franchising and franchise-support services but it operated some company-owned stores in a few U.S. and Canadian cities. Typically, Thrifty established company-owned stores only upon the financial failure of a franchisee. The company's approach to serving both the airport and the local markets within each territory enabled many of its franchisees and company-owned stores to have multiple locations: fleet utilization and profit margins could thereby be improved by moving vehicles among locations for better administration of differences in demand among their markets. As of year-end 1997, Thrifty's car-rental system comprised 636 U.S. and Canadian rental locations, of which 600 were franchised locations and 36 were company-owned stores. The Thrifty system also included 359 franchised locations in 63 other countries. In 1997 the company's total revenue reached $225.25 million, compared with $204.94 in 1996. Although Thrifty operated company-owned stores in a few U.S. and Canadian cities, its main focus was on franchising and franchise-support services. In fact, franchises were essential to its profitability and growth. For example, franchisees paid Thrifty an initial franchise fee based on such factors as population, number of airline passengers, total airport vehicle-rental revenues, and level of any other car-rental activity in the franchised territory.