A SIGNIFICANT expansion of car fleets combined with a broader franchise programme and improved marketing efforts have all contributed to the regional success of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group in 2004, according to a company statement and 2005 is poised to be even more successful for the leading car rental company.
Franchisees for Dollar Rent a Car and Thrifty Car Rental have achieved a healthy 42 per cent growth in rental transactions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Since the start of 2004, a record number of cars were added to the existing fleet, with Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental outlets being opened in key airports, city centres, and hotels across the region.
“Driven by the rising number of tourists and business travellers and increasing levels of intra-regional travel, the number of rental cars on the roads of the region has risen sharply over the past year. Both Dollar and Thrifty have successfully met this growing demand and used it to their advantage,” said Sam Eltibi, regional director, MENA, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.
This expansion programme has been supported by a comprehensive branding strategy, which has raised the profile of the group as a whole, and drawn upon the strength of its Thrifty Car Rental brand. Thrifty has already won strong market share through its network of franchisees in the GCC, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Thrifty in the UAE recently announced a significant increase in its car fleet. A total of 600 new cars were added to the existing fleet, available for daily, weekly or monthly rental in the UAE local market. The company also announced the availability of 800-THRIFTY (800-847-4389), a toll free number that customers can call to access their nearest Thrifty outlet in the UAE. All services offered at an outlet are now available telephonically 24 hours a day.
“By increasing our fleet we are guaranteeing customers the shortest possible wait time for the car they desire,” said Rahul Singh, general manager, Thrifty Car Rental.
Dollar Rent a Car has opened in strategic locations in Dubai and Bahrain over the past three months and expansion plans are well underway to expand throughout the UAE and Middle East. Dollar’s fleet of cars in the UAE has already more than doubled to 350 and will be further increased in 2005.
As part of its expansion programme, Dollar plans to open 20 new franchise outlets throughout the MENA region in 2005, in addition to the new outlets at Jebel Ali Free Zone and at the Dubai airport. In addition, Dollar intends to appoint new franchisees in Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan to meet their growth targets in the new year.