Businessman, Daily Rental Car Industry
William E. Lobeck Jr. began his career in the 1960s at Norfolk Pontiac and Chevrolet dealerships, Norfolk, Virginia, cultivating daily rental car companies as his largest customers.
He created the very first dealer repurchase program and established a special purpose leasing company out of a need to serve his customers. Eventually, manufacturers took notice of these programs and today repurchase programs and special purpose leasing agreements are a significant component of the automotive and daily car rental industries.
Lobeck was ultimately persuaded to join one of his daily rental customers, Dallas-based American International, becoming president and CEO in 1979. During his 11-year tenure, the company grew from 18 offices in seven states to nearly 300 offices across the country.
In 1981, Lobeck and four partners purchased Thrifty Car Rental, a North American car rental franchise system with great potential but in serious financial trouble. Reengineering every aspect of the company from its financial management to its public brand, the partners increased the company’s profitability, eventually leading to a successful IPO in 1987.
He has had successful stints as an executive associated with a who’s who of car rental companies, including Dollar Rent-A-Car, Snappy Car Rental, General Rent A Car, National Car Rental, and Alamo Rent-A-Car. He sold his interests in the Alamo and National brands in 2007 to Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
The Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation was established in 1997 and is involved in a broad range of philanthropic activities.
Bill Lobeck has been awarded an honorary Doctoral degree from his alma mater, Old Dominion University, and inducted into the University of Tulsa College of Business Hall of Fame and the Tulsa Historical Society Hall of Fame.
Interview with Bill Lobeck
Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Date Created: September 10, 2019
Date Published: February 24, 2021
Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.
Tags: Rationing, Pontiac, Hertz, National Car Rental, Chevrolet, GMAC, Thrifty Car Rental, GM, General Motors, Chrysler, All State, Mayor Taylor, Kathy Taylor