Dollar-Thrifty set for luxury focus


THE Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (DTAG) has big plans for 2007, says the company’s regional director, Sam Eltibi, both in terms of increasing customer interface with new outlets as well as a strong focus on the company’s luxury product.

“For Dollar, in addition to the new rental outlets planned in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah, there will also be an increased emphasis on the company’s luxury line over the coming months, which will include Jaguar and BMW models,” says Eltibi.
Thrifty Car Rental, recently announced details of its ambitious expansion project for 2007, aimed at meeting the increased demand for cost-effective, efficient and comprehensive vehicle leasing within the region.
Eltibi told TTN that the company hopes to benefit from the growing emphasis on the MICE market. “We anticipate an immediate spike in demand for rental cars in the UAE and different regional destinations caused by the influx of short-term visitors expected, followed by an upward trend as residents become more aware of the benefits of car rental versus car purchase.”
Speaking about the company’s achievements in 2006, Eltibi said: “To say that we surpassed expectations in 2006 would be an understatement. The expansion and growth of both the Thrifty Car Rental and Dollar Rent a Car brands in the region last year was remarkable.” The operation has a fleet numbering in excess of 12,000 vehicles, and incorporates everything from the basic yet value-for-money Honda Accord to the more adventurous Mitsubishi Pajero and the luxurious BMW 7 series.
Other highlights for Thrifty in 2006 included the launch of Thrifty Turkey in conjuction with the Garage Group. Thrifty Car Rental branches have already opened in Antalyta, Bodrum, Dalaman, Istanbul, Izmor, and Marmaris, in addition to a planned seventh in Ankara. Thrifty’s growth extended to India too, where a franchise agreement was signed with the acclaimed Nijhawan Group.
Meanwhile, Dollar Rent-a-Car saw a new general manager, continued its rapid expansion in the UAE, with a fleet size of more than 2000 and 14 outlets in key locations as well as the launch of Dollar Sharjah, says Eltibi.