Fleet News

UKRG mounts bid to take on global rivals

A NEW battle for big business is set to consume the daily rental industry as United Kenning Rental Group mounts an aggressive bid to take on global rivals following its acquisition by Sixt Rent A Car. But the firms have vowed not to be dragged into a damaging price war to win business when the UK rental industry is already in a 'tooth and nail' battle which has plunged many leading players into loss and seen others go out of business.

Until the takeover, announced last week, UK-based Kenning could not offer pan-European or global coverage to clients, which restricted it from pitching for some of the largest corporate contracts available. Now, within German-based Sixt's worldwide network, it is part of a group which is the biggest player in Germany and the UK, two of the biggest European markets, and is represented in more than 20 European countries. Sixt's worldwide operations include countries such as Morocco and Turkey.

UKRG includes Kenning Car Van & Truck Rental and has a fleet of 37,000 vehicles operating from more than 300 corporate and franchise locations in the UK, while Sixt in the UK operates from 20 sites. Mike Bowen, managing director of UKRG, said: 'Sixt's stated objective is to be number one in Europe by 2002 and this goes a long way to completing that. I am going to work very closely with Bruce Howard, the managing director of Sixt in the UK, on developing the market and there will be amalgamation and sharing of roles.

'We can now approach customers with a win-win proposal. We have very large customers including Government contracts, but when it came to international rental agreements, we could not service that requirement. Now we can bid for those contracts.' UKRG now has access to more than 1,400 rental sites across Europe, while Sixt benefits by becoming number one in the UK market.

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