History of Sixt
History of Sixt 1912 - 1945
The history of Sixt begins in 1912, when Martin Sixt founds the "Sixt Autofahrten und Selbstfahrer" company in Germany with seven cars, four Mercedes and three Luxus-Deutz-Landaulets.
This company is one of the first rent-a-car companies in Germany, and the world, specializing in day-trips and custom tours.
The first clients were almost exclusively members of the British nobility and dollar-rich Americans.
The company has a temporary setback during 1914 due to First World War, as vehicles and drivers were placed under the High Command of the Army and confiscated.
After the war, in 1919, expansion of the company continues. Notably, Martin Sixt buys the Munich location in Seitzstrasse no. 11, which even today is one of the most-visited Sixt city-stations.
In 1927, founder Martin Sixt hands over the company to his nephew Hans Sixt. Also, during this timeframe, because of problems with the spare parts for foreign cars, as of 1929 Sixt uses only Mercedes cars.
As was the case with the First World War, in 1939 The German Wehrmacht confiscates all of Sixt's rental vehicles due to World War II.
Only a seven-seat Mercedes 230 Landaulet that was hidden in a barn will make it through the war for the company.
Martin Sixt dies in May 1945.
History of Sixt 1946 - 1970
After the war, Sixt is relaunched with the single Mercedes 230 Landaulet as a chauffeured limousine. Part of the relaunch is also the setting up of the Export-Taxi fleet for members of the US Army.
In 1948, as a first in Europe, Hans Sixt employs radio taxis in Munich. The gear is imported from the US.
The current form of the company, as "Auto Sixt" Rent a Car, was established in 1951.
Since then, the company expands rapidly, fueled in part by growth in airline travel that feeds the rental car business. As part of this trend, in 1966, the first airport offices in Frankfurt am Main and Munich are opened for the company.
"Auto Sixt", in 1967, is the first German company to launch a leasing program for vehicles.
The company also continues to expand services for the clientele, and adds, in 1970, trucks are added to the Sixt fleet.
History of Sixt 1971 - present
By 1977, Sixt has operations in all major airports in Germany and adds a license agreement with Budget Rent a Car.
The company does a name change in 1980, from "Auto Sixt" to "Sixt Autovermietung GmbH".
As part of financing reform of the company, the compan goes public in a stock-market launch of "Sixt Aktiengesellschaft" in 1986, during a time when the rental car business in financial troubles worldwide, partly due to strong price competition.
Expanding beyond the base in Germany, 1990 sees the opening of "Sixt Autovermietung Schweitz".
By 1993, the company announces a new structure of the Sixt Group with Sixt AG as a holding. This new structure branches the rent-a-car business as "Sixt GmbH & Co Autovermietung KG".
Sixt becomes the leading German rent-a-car company in 1994.
Sixt is also the first German rent-a-car company on the Internet, having a web site up and running by 1995.
In 1996, international expansion continues, with the first Austrian Sixt station opening at Vienna airport.
Similarly, during 1997, Sixt opens 130 stations in France, among others at the airports in Paris, Nice, Lyon and Bordeaux.
Same year, Sixt also starts operating in Great Britain with a presence at all major airports.
1998 sees Sixt expanding to over 1000 locations in Europe with new offices opening at all major airports in Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Hungary, Malta, Spain, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Tunisia, Morocco, Martinique, Guadeloupe, La Reunion and New Zealand.
To cater to all niches within the rental car industry, Sixt launches the low-cost SIXTI brand in 2003.
Using its success in Europe as a model, Sixt expands in 2005 its franchising network to Asia and Latin America (including India, Saudi-Arabia, Thailand, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic).
During the year 2006, Sixt launches a network of company owned stations in the Spanish market, including two rental stations in Mallorca.
Since then, the company has been expanding, both in domestic European market, as well as in the rapidly growing Asian market, with some 646 rental cars in the inventory reported for 2006.
From History of Sixt page to Car Rental Directory index