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THE CONVERSATION


with Paul McLoughlin of Sixt Rent a Car


Something exciting’s stirring in the normally unglamorous world of ground transportation, something that will change the way we get around town. Gillian Upton gets the lowdown from Paul McLoughlin, UK MD of Sixt Rent a Car


PROFILE


Belfast-born Paul McLoughlin has ten years experience in the transport sector, working across a wide range of roles from solving city congestion problems to spearheading the growth of car sharing in Europe. He joined Sixt in 2011 and prior to that was European GM for Zipcar, responsible for its launch in Europe. Before that he was European MD of VPSI a US sustainable transport consultancy, aiding governments to understand city transportation issues such as congestion, and consulting on the benefits of car and bike sharing schemes. Outside of work, Paul is a sports fanatic, supporting Irish rugby, Manchester United and enjoying the game of golf. He is married with two daughters.


A 24 THE BUSINESS TRAVEL MAGAZINE


sk Paul McLoughlin whether he owns a car and he says “Yes” unreservedly. “But a fuel efficient one,” he adds somewhat defensively. It’s a surprising


answer seeing as he proselytizes on car sharing and reducing car ownership, but the concept is principally a city-centric offering while he and his family live in leafy Kent. As Managing Director UK of Sixt Rent a Car


McLoughlin is in the perfect position to convert the masses to giving up their car for short city-centre trips, only using and paying for wheels when needed, on a pay-as-you-go basis.


The paradox is that he’s using cars to reduce car usage. “You don’t need to own a car and an electric car is too big a jump – and a long way off – so we get consumers in on pay-as-you-go first. It’s baby steps,” says McLoughlin. He is the first to admit that it’s been an uphill


struggle but that he can now see a tipping point. Part of that change is the evolving role of fleet managers within corporate organisations. Increasingly, their function is coming out of facilities management and procurement and being absorbed into a travel manager’s role, in line with the more holistic approach being taken by employers to


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