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Business

Niki Lauda Enters German Car Rental Market

Former Formula One World champion Niki Lauda is making a foray into Germany's large car rental market led by Sixt. The Austrian racer and businessman will open a cheap car rental agency under his trademark LaudaMotion in Munich this week. Customers can rent a Smart car for €1 ($1.25) a day over the Internet and can drive a minimum of 30 kilometers and a maximum 100 kilometers a day. Anything less than or over those limits will cost extra. Lauda said the project will be financed chiefly through advertisements pasted over the cars. The former racer, who already owns car rental firms in Austria, is hoping for a turnover of €1.5 million in Germany for 2004. Lauda is believed to pose direct competition to Sixt, which expects to rake in €10 million this year with its cheap Sixti trademark.