The Rental Car Chry-sis
Walk into a video rental store, and you're sure to encounter a large number of titles you've never seen gracing the marquee of your local cineplex. Similarly, rental companies hunting for the best deals buy-up huge numbers of the slowest-selling vehicles at cut-rate prices. And nobody makes more straight-to-rental releases than Chrysler. So it should come as no surprise that rental firms like Dollar Thrifty Auto Group have fleets that are up to 85 percent Chrysler. And that shouldn't be the end of the world, because most of the rental car market doesn't mind rocking a Sebring for a weekend if it saves them some cash. But, for Dollar Thrifty, the now-legendary Chrysler depreciation is munching a giant hole in their bottom line– at a time when rentals are slowing anyway. The LA Times reports that Dollar Thrifty (DT) has posted a 30 percent decline in Q2 earnings compared to last year, spurred by epic depreciation among the Chryslers that make up the bulk of DT's fleet. Costs associated with depreciation are up 28 percent. The only thing falling faster than the value of DT's fleet is their stock price, down 89 percent in the last year.