The car rental company, Thrifty, was founded in 1958 in Tulsa, Oklahoma by L. G. Crow. In the beginning, the majority of the cars were Volkswagen Beetles. Later Falcon, Ramblers and Comets joined in. The cost of Thrifty’s first car rental was 6 dollars per day, and 0.6 cents per mile.
In 1962, Thrifty was sold to Stemmons for the value of its car fleet plus an additional thousand dollars, and the decision was made to operate a small fleet of used cars called Crow Motors. Stemmons, in turn, created the Thrifty franchise, and by the end of 1962, he had already opened seven offices: Dallas, Houston, Denver, St. Louis, Oklahoma, Tulsa and Wichita. The company took off, and was soon operating nationwide with a fleet of 140 rental cars.
In the 70s, Thrifty began to spread worldwide. In 1972 offices were opened throughout Europe; in 1977 they spread to Australia; and by 1980, Thrifty Rent-A-Car System, Inc.ya was a global brand with nearly 500 car rental branches worldwide.
In 1981, Stemmons sold his share of the company, and the new owners created a plan to rent cars at Chrysler car dealerships, causing exponential growth revenue for Thrifty.
In 1989, Chrysler acquired the company, which later became Chrysler Group Pentastar Transport along with Dollar Rent a Car. In 1997, Chrysler sold Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group and has continued operating businesses and franchises independently, of both Dollar and Thrifty, ever since.
In November 2012, Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. acquired Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. and since then, the car rental business has been operated through Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty, with around 10,460 branches in North America, Europe, Latin America, Australia, Asia, the Middle East, New Zealand and Africa.
Thrifty currently has more than 1,000 stores in 77 countries, and Crow Motors continues operating on 11th Street in Tulsa. For many years, a sign could be found there saying: "The Birthplace of Thrifty Rent a Car".
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