Winter storms hit 1Q at Dollar Thrifty

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Car Rental News - 24/03/2011


The Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group says it expects rental revenue in the first quarter to, at best, be flat.

Blaming winter storms that hit business in January and February, Dollar Thrifty says it is anticipating rental revenue in the first quarter of the year to remain flat or even drop by up to one per cent. The company said on Tuesday that the heavy winter weather experienced by a large part of the USA knocked between $5 million and $10 million off the company’s rental revenues.

The company said it was confident it would enjoy a strong summer rental season. It is also forecasting its fleet costs to drop over the rest of the year.

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and owns brands including Thrifty Car Rental and Dollar Rent A Car. The company said that feel costs had done better than it expected.

Dollar Thrifty said it had calculated forecasts for fleet costs based on an assumption that the market for used cars would weaken this year, hurting residual values. However, the first quarter of the year has revealed a used car market that is stronger than expected.

Thanks to strong demand and limited supplies of late-model used automobiles, residuals have done better than forecast. Thrifty said that sales of its fleet vehicles had been going well.

Thrifty CEO and President Scott Thompson said the company was achieving some positive results, thanks to the strength of the domestic used car market. He also credited the company’s ‘enhanced pricing strategies’.

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