“Smartphones, not the car, are the object of today’s desire”
Regine Sixt, Executive vicepresident of Sixt Group
Regine Sixt, Executive vicepresident of Sixt Group
QUESTION— SIXT is seen in the auto industry as a genuine ‘Blue Chip’ company. The company is run by you and your family. Our readers would like to know what the keys to success of SIXT are, a company that started as just a small business and today is such a big and profitable multinational.
ANSWER— It’s true. We turned a local car rental company into an international player competing with global mobility providers today. We always believed in entrepreneurial freedom and responsibility. It’s part of our family DNA and thus also true for our sons Alexander and Konstantin. A clear vision, flat hierarchies, an environment in which courage is rewarded and a radical focus on the customer always have been our key success factors.
QUESTION— Ms Sixt, what is your view of Mobility and what is the exact place inside it for a company like SIXT?
ANSWER—We believe that the mobility of the future can only be mastered through partnership efforts. Individual providers cannot guarantee customers worldwide availability and usually require individual log-ins. Only a holistic, integrated and multimodal concept can offer customers unlimited mobility.
This gives us the possibility of unlimited scaling in the growth market of mobility services. By merging car rental and car sharing, SIXT is breaking the boundaries of today’s existing offerings. In order to offer people a real alternative to their own cars, we have built an open platform and are reaching out to all providers of modern mobility and to more traditional car companies. The challenges of the future of mobility call for a partnership-based approach.
QUESTION— Nowadays we have a huge amount of new proposals in terms of business regarding New Mobility: carsharing, ridesharing pool sharing… What will be the place for this formula in the auto industry in the next years and how is SIXT going to work in this direction, Ms Sixt?
ANSWER—A new generation of customers justifiably places new demands on contemporary mobility, which replaces the inefficiency of car ownership, increases mobility and at the same time provides more free space in cities.
We bring together what belongs together by combining car rental, car sharing and ride-hailing/taxi into the world’s first and fully integrated mobility platform, thus offering our customers a real alternative to owning their own car.
QUESTION— SIXT is working with new business models like, i.e., new operating lease platforms in Spain with the support of SME’s like Iberofleeting. What can we expect from SIXT in the operating lease market, Ms Sixt?
ANSWER—With Iberofleeting, we offer our existing customers, with fleets in Spain and Portugal, a local partner with high-quality service. In Germany, we are focusing more and more on smaller corporate customers with fleets between 20 and 80 vehicles as we see an increasing demand coming from this specific customer group. At the same time, we rely on our successful long-term cooperation with our major customers. In 2019, we are going to particularly expand our full-service range by introducing new, innovative tools. Moreover, we try to attract new customers who want to outsource their fleet management.
QUESTION— Do you believe that politicians, cities, and companies in Europe, regarding the auto industry, are working in the same way just to create a new ecosystem of cities where the mobility formula get a great dimension and have good growth?
ANSWER— In cities, shared mobility is increasingly replacing individual mobility and the ownership of cars. At the same time, our mobility is becoming increasingly digital and connected. Whereas in the past people saved money for the first car, today the smartphone is the object of desire. We’ve been using it for a long time now to manage our everyday lives. So is how we get from A to B. With the help of numerous singular apps, platforms, public transport, carsharing and on-demand models can be accessed. However, many of these offers are not yet fully developed and are only coordinated to a limited extent.
Instead of a car or numerous apps with different logins, customers want a complete mobility solution. Because only an integrated, multimodal, and at the same time limitless mobility solution can remedy the situation. This requires a common approach involving all stakeholders, including in particular public transport. On the regulatory side, too, the way must be paved for the future of mobility. Otherwise drones, electric scooters, autonomous driving and CO2-free cities will remain just a vision of the future.
QUESTION— How do you see the future of the car fleet market, Ms Sixt?
ANSWER— We agree with other industry experts that the market for mobility is set to change significantly in the coming years. This will also affect the car fleet market, as trends such as new mobility, autonomous driving, digitization, connectivity, alternative drives and e-commerce are gaining more and more importance. Leasing providers stand to benefit from these developments, if they pro-actively deal with these changes. Thus, we are continually developing our product and service portfolio, taking due consideration of future market trends and our customers’ interests.
QUESTION— In a recent —and stunning act run by your company in Pullach with a lot of employees and Media, SIXT gave a glimpse about a new future of the company in which the concept of Mobility is absolutely relevant. What are the next steps of the company in this direction, Ms Sixt?
ANSWER— Already today we have our digital offering of the SIXT App in place, including SIXT rent, SIXT share and SIXT ride – digital car rental, carsharing and our ride-hailing service. We plan to digitally connect our entire fleet in the mid-term. In addition, we will gradually integrate our entire range of services into the SIXT App. SIXT rent will add more digital stations, SIXT share will not only make progress in Germany, but also enter the European market soon. And with SIXT ride, we are striving for the continuous expansion of domestic taxi cooperation as well as with further partners abroad.
QUESTION— Pay per Use options are getting more and more attractiveness to the global and especially European car customers. Is SIXT transforming to a new concept of company where everything related to its business will work across the smartphone?
ANSWER— Indeed, our digital offering is of great importance to us. Nevertheless, we rely on our great rental stations network all around the world to continue to deliver outstanding customer service. Still very often our employees at the branches are an important touch point for our customers. The right combination between digital and direct human interaction is therefore key for a good customer experience.
QUESTION— Would SIXT like to be named as the Apple company of the rent-a car/ lease/operating lease Auto industry. Last public steps of the company show a new-dramatically changed image of SIXT towards everything related to visual, digital and innovative aspects. What is your view, Ms Sixt?
ANSWER— In SIXT, we have created an outstanding brand, which stands for innovation and premium service for our 20 million customers worldwide. With the launch of our new integrated mobility platform ONE at the end of February, we have come a large step closer to achieving our vision of being a global provider of individualized mobility. As a market leader with approximately 270,000 vehicles worldwide, we have built up a strong customer base. Now, we are taking the next strategic step. But for us, the customer has always been the boss and we will always continue to put our customers first. Customers nowadays are used to digital interaction and that’s why we offer them digital products.
QUESTION— Which are the feelings/expectations of SIXT for the lease market in Europe/World for the next years in terms of volumes? Any Forecast, Ms Sixt?
ANSWER— We expect the car fleet market to further benefit from the increasing trends towards leasing and outsourcing. Additional services for fleet customers will remain a key factor. We expect fleet management service providers to see continuous registering demand since more and more companies are looking for cost and planning safety in the management of their vehicle fleets. Therefore, they rely on the specialized expertise of service providers such as our subsidiary Sixt Mobility Consulting. By that they benefit from efficient service and repair networks, sound procurement expertise and the professional marketing of used vehicles, allowing them to save their own human resources and to focus on their own core business.
QUESTION— The last five years were absolutely amazing for SIXT in terms of revenues,
profit and growth of fleet. Could you share with our readers some of the forecasts in terms of figures from SIXT in this 2019?
ANSWER—If the overall economic environment does not deteriorate significantly, we expect Group operating revenues to increase significantly and Group EBT to remain stable compared with the previous year, excluding the sale of the DriveNow investment in the previous year.
Food and drink I cannot resist: Cheese cake.
Last time somebody draw the biggest smile on my face: My beautiful grandchildren.
What is the most valuable skill in a person: Humanity.
A place in the world where I go when I want to escape from everything: Barbados.
A book and film I love: Movie: Casblanca. Book: Albert Camus, The Stranger.
First thing I would do if I were the German Chancellor: I would never try to run for this office.
My favourite hobby: Sixt.
Traducción de Tim McQuaid