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Sixt Thailand's parent company is pursuing an ambitious, multi-brand strategy to penetrate developing car-rental markets in Southeast Asia.

Sixt Thailand, the car rental unit of Master Group Corporation Asia (MGC-Asia), will spend more than 100 million baht to extend its business to Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam by the end of 2014.

Founded last year to tap rising intra-Asean tourism, Sixt Thailand intends to have branches in Vientiane, Yangon, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, said Asa Piyarat, the business development director at MGC-Asia, which also runs its own car rental business under the Master Car Rental brand.

Master Car Rental last year signed a 10-year agreement with Sixt AG, a leading car rental company in Europe, to be its master franchisee in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

“We plan to kick off operations in Vientiane late this year, Vietnam in early 2014 and Yangon by the end of next year,” said Mr Asa.

He said Sixt Thailand signed contracts last year with local partners in Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to open service counters at international airports.

The company plans to run 10-15 rental counters each in Laos and Vietnam and up to 30 counters in Myanmar.

Mr Asa said it will expand its car rental business in Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia in 2015, with details to come.

Here at home, Sixt Thailand has 14 branches and eight service counters at airports nationwide.

The company plans to add six more local branches by the end of next year.

Master Car Rental has been in Thailand for 10 years and counts 4,000 cars in its fleet: 400 for short-term rental and 3,600 for long-term rental.

Sixt Thailand provides mostly short-term rental service, while Master Car Rental offers a longer term of service with a one-year contract.

The two firms expect consolidated sales growth of 20% this year to 1.2 billion baht.


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