- For the town in France, see Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval.
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|Sixt rent a car|
|Traded as||FWB: SIX2|
|Erich Sixt (CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board), Gunter Thielen (Chairman of the Supervisory Board)|
Number of employees
Sixt SE is a multinational car rental company with about 5,000 locations in over 105 countries. Sixt SE acts as a parent and holding company of the Sixt Group, which is internationally active in the business areas of vehicle rental, car sharing, ride hailing and leasing. The majority of the company (60%) is owned by the Sixt family, who manage the company. The remaining share is tradeable stock: SIX2 (XETRA). It is the largest car rental company in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Bolivia and Israel.
In 1912, Martin Sixt founded the company with a fleet of three cars, creating the first car rental company in Germany. During the First World War, the fleet was confiscated and used by the German Army. After the war, business resumed, but the fleet was once again seized by the German Army at the outbreak of World War II. When the war concluded, the company rebounded, establishing a taxi fleet for members of the United States Army stationed in Germany. It then opened a taxi business in Munich with the first radio taxis.
In 1951, the car rental company Auto Sixt was founded. In the sixties and seventies, the company expanded by opening branches at all major airports in Germany. In 1982, Auto Sixt was renamed Sixt Autovermietung GmbH, with the name Sixt/Budget in the logo. The company was transformed again in 1986, this time becoming Sixt AG, a corporation traded on the German stock exchange. In 1988, the subsidiary Sixt Leasing GmbH was established, and in 1993, the operating business of the AG was handed over to another subsidiary, Sixt GmbH & Co Autovermietung KG. Sixt AG acted thereafter as a holding company of the Group.
In the 1990s, Sixt became Germany's largest car rental company. At the same time, the Group expanded its business abroad to countries including Switzerland, France and Great Britain. Tunisia, Morocco and New Zealand followed in 1998. In 2001, Sixt expanded to the Middle East as well as other countries of Africa. Sixt began operating in the United States in 2011.
In 1993, Sixt bought the assets of its competitor Autoverleih Buchbinder, operating the brand briefly before finally discontinuing it. Sixt had failed to secure the naming rights, and subsequently Buchbinder was re-established and continued operating in the market.
In 1999, the Bundesgerichtshof Federal Court (BGH) issue a landmark judgment against Sixt for illegal price fixing, requiring it to pay damages to its franchisees. Sixt had controlled de facto the pricing for the independent franchisees' prices, as they were part of the Germany-wide reservation system. In the event of pricing discrepancies, the rental agreements were returned to Germany. This was deemed inadmissible under German antitrust law (price fixing of the second hand) and forbidden by the BGH.
In 2003, the corporation was forced to defend itself against Hedge Fund Manager Florian Homm, who had speculated on declining stock prices. Homm was ultimately fined for price manipulation. In 2006, Sixt made a bid to take over its competitor, Europcar, when owner Volkswagen offered it for sale. In addition to antitrust concerns (Sixt at that time had approximately 23% market share, Europcar 22%), there was also resistance on the part of the Europcar works council, which feared job cuts after the merger. Volkswagen finally accepted an offer by the French investment company Eurazeo.
Since 2007 and via subsidiary companies, Sixt has operated the online brokerage of motor vehicles with the websites Autocommunity Carmondo, Mystocks, RadAlert, Winebase and autohaus24. In 2010, former employees claimed that Sixt was opposed to setting up a works council. The company's management denied the allegation.
In 2013, Sixt AG was converted to the legal form of a European Company (Societas Europaea) and since then has been called Sixt SE. As part of the transition, a European Works Council ("Sixt Europe Leaders Forum") was founded in 2013. In May 2015, Sixt brought its subsidiary Sixt Leasing AG to the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
Regardless of their size and legal forms as partly exchange-traded corporations, all Sixt companies are economically controlled by the Sixt family. The first Auto Sixt company was founded in 1912 by Martin Sixt. In 1927 he handed over the management to his nephew, Hans Sixt. In 1969, the third generation entered the company with Hans’ son, Erich Sixt. Erich Sixt has headed the group for several decades, both as CEO of Sixt AG and Sixt SE.
In 2005, the Management Board Compensation Disclosure Act (VorstOG) entered into force. Sixt AG became the first company in Germany to exercise the right not to disclose Directors’ salaries without a shareholder vote of at least 75% majority. CEO Erich Sixt held at this time 56.8% of Sixt ordinary shares, corresponding to 89% of votes at the general meeting, meaning he was essentially able to determine the outcome. Overall, 98% of the voters approved the non-disclosure of executive pay.
In 2015, the Supervisory Board extended the Executive Board contract of Erich Sixt until 2020. At the same time, Erich and Regine Sixt's two sons, Alexander Sixt and Konstantin Sixt, were appointed as additional Directors of Sixt. The Supervisory Board expanded the Board from three to five members due to the strong growth of Sixt in recent years.
The Sixt Group is active in more than 100 countries in the business areas of vehicle rental and leasing.
The business unit Vehicle Rental is represented in Germany, France, Spain, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Monaco and the United States with Sixt’s own subsidiaries. Outside Europe and partially in the United States, Sixt is represented by franchise and cooperation partners. The services are divided into the following areas: rent a truck, rent a car, limousine service, Luxury Cars and Sixt Unlimited.
Sixt operates the exchange-listed Sixt Leasing SE, one of the largest banking and independent leasing companies in Germany. The division has subsidiaries in France, Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Furthermore, it offers lease financing and services to franchisees and partners in more than 40 countries. The business areas are: fleet leasing for corporate customers, fleet management through its subsidiary Sixt Mobility Consulting GmbH and leasing for private and commercial customers via the online platform www.sixt-neuwagen.de.
Other areas of business
- Sixt Leasing SE: Internet platform for lease and financing new cars; also managing and consulting larger fleets of international companies.
- Sixt X: new mobility division focused on the digital mobility sector. The objective of Sixt X is to create an integrated mobility platform that offers all of Sixt's services from one single source.
- DriveNow: Car sharing in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Cologne, as well as in Vienna and London, operated jointly with BMW since 2011. Sold its 50% share to BMW in 2018
- Sixt ride (formerly: myDriver & Sixt Limousine Service): offers app-based, premium car service, taxi & ride booking
- Autohaus24.de: Internet platform selling new cars; operated jointly with Axel Springer Auto Verlag GmbH.
Sixt has created a number of high-budget advertising campaigns which have received recognition for being provocative and inventive. In 2015, Sixt created a memorable campaign after ongoing strikes of the German rail system (Gewerkschaft Deutscher Lokomotivführer, "GDL"), naming GDL chief Claus Weselsky “Employee of the Month” in the advertisements. In addition to traditional print ads Sixt is known for creative advertising installations in airports. The prize for the best airport advertising in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in 2013 went to Sixt. 
In 2015, as part of the German Media Awards from the trade magazine Werben & Verkaufen, the Sixt Family was named "Media Personality of the Year". 
Expansion into United States
In recent years, Sixt has expanded into the United States market. In the U.S., the company offers cheaper rates on higher-end vehicles than traditional rental companies, as well as more vehicle classes for renters to choose from.
- Sixt, SE, Fact Sheet: Company Profile, updated 6 July 2018, accessed 7 July 2018
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