Dollar Thrifty Adds Diversity to the Fleet

escapeDollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc has announced that it will be making fewer 2010 car rental purchases from Chrysler in an effort to diversify its fleet. Chrysler had previously made up over three-quarters of Dollar Thrifty’s total U.S. fleet purchases in 2008. It will now constitute about 30 percent of 2010 fleet purchases. Ford Motor Company will become the largest part of the fleet with 34 percent of purchases in 2010.

General Motors vehicles will make up another 20 percent and Nissan 6 percent with the rest coming from Hyundai, Kia and other automakers.

Dollar Thrifty reached a new deal with Chrysler in August agreeing to purchase about 27,000 vehicles from the firm during 2010. In the past, the car rental group had an agreement with Chrysler that required it to buy 75 percent of its fleet from the automaker, which restructured in a government-supported bankruptcy earlier this year. Chrysler is currently under management control of the Italian firm Fiat.

The rental car company, headquartered in Tulsa, entered into a three-year deal with Ford back in February that will allow the Company to source a portion of its annual vehicle purchases through Ford until August of 2012.

According to Dollar Thrifty spokesman Chris Payne, the company eventually sells about 95 percent of its fleet as vehicles are taken out of service, so expanding the number of automakers makes it easier to dispose of vehicles when the time comes. The more diverse lineup also reduces risks from changes in vehicle values and automaker production plans.

Ford vehicles to be offered for rental by Dollar and Thrifty include the Focus, Fusion, Mustang convertible, Ford Escape SUV and the Mercury Grand Marquis. GM models include the Chevy Cobalt, Aveo, and Malibu, and the GMC Acadia. Chrysler will continue to provide Dodge Calibers and Chargers, Dodge Grand Caravans and Chrysler Town and Country minivans, according to Payne. Dollar Thrifty will also buy some Jeep brand vehicles such as the Compass, Liberty Sport and Grand Cherokee.


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