Unusual pricing?

 
Old Jun 10, 10, 5:30 pm
  #1  
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Unusual pricing?

Hi all,

I am looking for a car 7/14 to 7/15 in STL. In checking on Yahoo travel I see that Dollar is cheaper than Thrifty.

Its my understanding that Dollar is geared to the business traveler...Dollar gets the new cars and as the car "ages gracefully" it is transfered to Thrifty, just like National/Alamo.

What gives?

Wolf
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Old Jun 12, 10, 6:31 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by Mr Wolf View Post
Hi all,

I am looking for a car 7/14 to 7/15 in STL. In checking on Yahoo travel I see that Dollar is cheaper than Thrifty.

Its my understanding that Dollar is geared to the business traveler...Dollar gets the new cars and as the car "ages gracefully" it is transfered to Thrifty, just like National/Alamo.

What gives?

Wolf
Actually, that's not the case.

1) Dollar and Thrifty are aimed at the same market: the value traveler. Sometimes the value traveler happens to be a business traveler, but there is no marketing distinction between Dollar and Thrifty. In years past, Dollar was the on-airport brand and Thrifty was the neighborhood office brand, but that distinction has long since evaporated.

2) At locations where Dollar and Thrifty are both operated by the same operating company (i.e. DTAG Operations or a dual-branded franchise), cars are not "transferred" between brands. It is just as likely to show up in a Dollar lot as a Thrifty lot. In fact, most branches are operated out of the same building, in which case both brands have access to the exact same cars. A Chrysler Town and Country sitting on the lot could be handed to a Dollar customer next in line or a Thrifty customer next in line--whoever needs it first.

3) Most DTAG locations operated by the same operating company have Dollar and Thrifty set up with matching prices (since there is no functional difference between the brands). Where rates differ is usually because the locations are operated by two separate companies--either one is corporate and the other is franchised or both are owned by separate franchises. And that's exactly the case in STL: both Dollar and Thrifty are franchised--not corporate--and owned by different franchises. This means they are operated completely independently. Dollar STL hires its own employees, buys/leases its own cars, and sets its own rates. Thrifty STL hires its own employees, buys/leases its own cars, and sets its own rates. Dollar and Thrifty compete against each other in this market. Cars would not be "transferred" from one brand to the other, unless the Dollar franchise owner wanted to buy some cars and the Thrifty franchise owner wanted to sell some cars, in which case they would strike a deal and cash would be exchanged.
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