July 14, 2014
Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

Sutton_Janice Improving Your Odds for Fleet Success

The 2014 AFLA Con­fer­ence is now less than two months away. Fea­tur­ing out­stand­ing keynote speak­ers, superb edu­ca­tional ses­sions and excel­lent net­work­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties, this is a must-attend con­fer­ence for the savvy fleet professional.

The apt theme for this year’s con­fer­ence is “Learn, Inno­vate, Win – Improv­ing Your Odds for Fleet Suc­cess.” Sep­tem­ber 7–10, Las Vegas.
Jan­ice Sut­ton
Exec­u­tive Editor

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Jim Halliday Jim Halliday on the Element Acquisition of PHH Arval

The acqui­si­tion of PHH Arval has been final­ized by Ele­ment Finan­cial Cor­po­ra­tion. The trans­ac­tion increases the size of the Company’s port­fo­lio of fleet assets to $6 bil­lion. The com­bined employee base will serve cus­tomers through Ele­ment Fleet Management’s US head office in Sparks, Mary­land and its Cana­dian head office in Mis­sis­sauga, Ontario, sup­ported by the Arval global alliance that will ser­vice 40 coun­tries beyond North America.

Jim Hal­l­i­day, pres­i­dent of Ele­ment Fleet Man­age­ment, answers ques­tions about the deal: Q & A about PHH/Element and what it means to the fleet man­age­ment industry.


VIDEO: Addressing Data Management Needs

Fleet clients are con­stantly ask­ing for bet­ter and more effi­cient ways to man­age data — and, via great tools and tech­nolo­gies and highly visual dash­boards, that data is being brought to the forefront.

VIDEO: Scrambling to Comply
  Compliance Time is Now

A lot of changes and reg­u­la­tions the gov­ern­ment started work­ing on years ago are com­ing to fruition this year and next. And that means a lot of fleets out there are scram­bling to be in com­pli­ance ASAP.

Click here to watch video
VIDEO: The Focus of Today's RFPs
  Fleet RFPs Now Focus on Data

The cycle time for RFPs is now longer than it used to be — and their pri­mary focus is now all around obtain­ing action­able data that can be lever­aged to make busi­ness decisions.

Click here to read more

The Fleet Spot

Donald Dunphy Donald Dunphy Promoted to Communiations Manager/Editor at NAFA

NAFA Fleet Man­age­ment Asso­ci­a­tion announced that Don­ald W. Dun­phy has been pro­moted to the posi­tion of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Manager/Editor. Don joined the staff of the Asso­ci­a­tion in April 2011, and had been Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Assis­tant dur­ing this period.

“Don came to NAFA with a much dif­fer­ent writ­ing back­ground than the fleet indus­try, afford­ing the Asso­ci­a­tion an inquis­i­tive and unique per­spec­tive from which NAFA has ben­e­fited over the past three years,” said NAFA Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer Phillip E. Russo, CAE. “He’s ask­ing the ques­tions not nec­es­sar­ily as a fleet insider, but as a reporter, so he goes after angles oth­ers might miss.”


Angie Gates2 LeasePlan Names Angie Gates VP, Syndications for Truck Division

Lease­Plan USA has announced the pro­mo­tion of Angie Gates to Vice Pres­i­dent of Syn­di­ca­tions for its Truck Divi­sion. In this role, she will be respon­si­ble for the man­age­ment of all syn­di­ca­tion activ­ity for the truck division.

Angie began her career at Lease­Plan in 2004 where she was respon­si­ble for gen­er­at­ing the lease doc­u­ments for orig­i­nated leases and assign­ment doc­u­ments for the leases to be syn­di­cated. She was also influ­en­tial in help­ing the Truck Divi­sion set a record of the amount of busi­ness sold in her first year as the Syn­di­ca­tion Coordinator.


Rainer Laber, CEO Fleet Logistics Expands into Turkey

Fleet Logis­tics, Europe’s largest inde­pen­dent fleet man­age­ment provider, has con­tin­ued its expan­sion across main­land Europe and the Near East with the open­ing of new fleet man­age­ment oper­a­tions in Turkey to ser­vice new and exist­ing fleet customers.

“The open­ing of our first oper­a­tions in Turkey puts more pieces in the Fleet Logis­tics’ jig­saw of main­land Europe and the Near East. In Turkey, we see another exam­ple of us work­ing with the exist­ing TÜV SÜD net­work and infra­struc­ture in the coun­try so that we are com­pletely inte­grated within the oper­a­tions of the par­ent com­pany,” said Fleet Logis­tics Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer, Rainer Laber.

READ MORE about the expansion.

Fleet Cards Today  

Ramel Lind­say is the Sr. VP, Pro­gram Strat­egy and Prod­uct Devel­op­ment for U.S. Bank, and is charged with over­see­ing strat­egy, prof­itabil­ity and prod­uct devel­op­ment for U.S. Bank’s fleet pro­grams, includ­ing the U.S. Bank Voy­ager Fleet Card for Class 1–6 cars and light-duty trucks as well as its Over The Road (OTR) card for Class 7–8 heavy duty trucks.

In this inter­view, Ramel talks about the sin­gle use account solu­tion U.S. Bank is launch­ing for fuel man­age­ment — how that will that work and what impact it will have on peo­ple who already have U.S. Bank Voy­ager fleet card. He also dis­cusses the future of mobile tech­nol­ogy in the fleet pay­ment space, as well as big advances in fleet card data reporting.


Fleet Education  

Expert Edu­ca­tional Con­tent, by Gary Hat­field from Mer­cury Associates

In the Fed­eral gov­ern­ment and many other orga­ni­za­tions, vehi­cle man­age­ment is a sub­set of prop­erty man­age­ment so it is impor­tant for prop­erty man­agers to appre­ci­ate some of the key, unique demands of fleet man­age­ment to per­form their jobs more effec­tively. This arti­cle reviews some of the basic but most sig­nif­i­cant con­cepts of vehi­cle fleet management.

What Is the Fleet?

Let’s begin by defin­ing the typ­i­cal pub­lic sec­tor “fleet.” In gen­eral, it cov­ers all motor­ized mobile equip­ment such as cars, trucks, and buses, but it also includes off-road equip­ment such as trac­tors, fork­lifts, and com­pa­ra­ble assets because all fol­low the same life-cycle, have the same basic main­te­nance require­ments, con­sume fuel, require an oper­a­tor, etc.

Read On to Learn More

Global Transportation Changes  

Dur­ing the past decade, the auto­mo­tive indus­try emerged from one of the most chal­leng­ing peri­ods we have ever encoun­tered, and has now entered one of the most excit­ing and promis­ing times in our his­tory. Yet, even more impor­tant is our focus on the future, which will be defined by an impor­tant trend: the auto­mo­bile as part of a larger ecosystem.

This requires a change in our view of the car as an indi­vid­ual object to see­ing it as part of our broader trans­porta­tion net­work. It also requires a fun­da­men­tal change in how we think about trans­porta­tion. Cus­tomers today have extremely diverse pri­or­i­ties, and we must embrace these dif­fer­ences as we design and sell automobiles.

The facts that under­pin this trend are com­pelling. With a grow­ing global pop­u­la­tion and greater pros­per­ity, the num­ber of vehi­cles on the road could exceed two bil­lion by mid­cen­tury. Com­bine this with a con­tin­u­ing pop­u­la­tion shift toward cities, with a pro­jected 54% of the global pop­u­la­tion in cities by 2050, and it becomes clear that our cur­rent trans­porta­tion model is not sus­tain­able. Our infra­struc­ture can­not sup­port such a large vol­ume of vehi­cles with­out cre­at­ing mas­sive con­ges­tion that would have seri­ous con­se­quences for our envi­ron­ment, health, eco­nomic progress and qual­ity of life.


Fleet Trends & Issues

Ford-transitFord Transit Conquers the World of Work

Over the years, the Ford Motor Co. has out­flanked its rivals by qui­etly con­quer­ing the world of work. In the U.S., roughly 41% of the vehi­cles used for com­mer­cial pur­poses. In addi­tion, 20% of all vehi­cles sold around the world are used com­mer­cially so stay­ing on top is a strate­gic pri­or­ity for the company.

The new Tran­sit van, which drew on the expe­ri­ence and resources of the entire Ford enter­prise through the “One Ford” plan, gives what Ford thinks is the best vehi­cle in the seg­ment. Hav­ing a vehi­cle like this is crit­i­cal to the com­pany, noted Minyang Jiang, the brand man­ager for the Tran­sit, which will have to com­pete with vehi­cles such as the Mercedes-Benz Spring, Fiat Chrysler Auto­mo­biles Pro­Mas­ter and Nissan’s new NV2500 and the Chevro­let Express.


small suvSmall SUVs Claim Larger Slice of Market

Com­bined sales of com­pact and sub­com­pact SUVs have nearly dou­bled since 2008, from 10 per­cent to 18 per­cent of the U.S. mar­ket, accord­ing to AutoTrader.com. Ana­lysts pre­dict the mar­ket will grow for at least the next few years, as young, afflu­ent buy­ers are drawn to likes of the Ford Escape, Chevro­let Equinox and the even smaller Buick Encore.

“Sales of crossovers of all sorts have been grow­ing sig­nif­i­cantly in recent years, but the growth in sales of smaller crossovers and SUVs has been noth­ing short of phe­nom­e­nal,” Michelle Krebs, senior ana­lyst for AutoTrader.com, said in a state­ment. “It’s easy to see why, with the seg­ment being so ver­sa­tile to meet the needs of a wide vari­ety of car buy­ers. They can carry peo­ple, serve as a sub­sti­tute truck or haul big­ger cargo while still dri­ving like a car.”


How-GPS-Tracking-Solutions-Benefit-Oil-Gas-FleetsGPS Tracking Solutions Benefit Oil & Gas Fleets

GPS Fleet track­ing solu­tions can improve your Oil & Gas busi­ness oper­a­tions in many ways. You can mon­i­tor your fleet remotely any place or any­time, inte­grate with other impor­tant soft­ware used by your fleet, set the stan­dard for cor­po­rate envi­ron­men­tal respon­si­bil­ity, and more. Wouldn’t you like to have a bird’s eye view of all fleet activ­ity to know what is hap­pen­ing with your fleet at all times?


electric-car-537x358SF Bay Area Governments Receive Fleet of Plug-in Cars

A gov­ern­ment fleet of 90 elec­tric vehi­cles is rolling onto Bay Area streets from San Jose to Santa Rosa, com­plet­ing a $5 mil­lion regional ini­tia­tive that took four years to get off the ground.

The plug-in sedans and vans will carry build­ing inspec­tors, health work­ers, park main­te­nance crews and other munic­i­pal employ­ees work­ing for 10 local agencies.

Alameda County is lead­ing the way with 26 new vehi­cles, dou­bling its elec­tric fleet. An addi­tional 27 battery-powered vehi­cles are being deliv­ered to Sonoma County and its water agency, 14 to San Fran­cisco and 10 to the city of Concord.


Telematics Today + Tomorrow  

Google’s got a plan to take over your car and promises to make dri­ving a lot more pleas­ant. But it brings even big­ger ben­e­fits to Google.

Android Auto, revealed at the tech giant’s I/O con­fer­ence in June, will let you plug your Android phone into your car, mak­ing the screen in your dash­board a big phone inter­face, one that’s opti­mized for dri­ving. You’ll be able to find your way with Google Maps, stream music from Spo­tify, and send and receive texts while dri­ving, among other things. Of course it’s got voice con­trol so you can do all of this with­out tak­ing your hands off the wheel.

The tech­nol­ogy, which we’ll start see­ing in cars by the end of the year, will be far bet­ter than any­thing offered by automak­ers, but then, the stuff offered by automak­ers couldn’t get any worse. It will offer a seam­less tran­si­tion from using our phones to dri­ving our cars. We’ve already seen 28 automak­ers sign on, includ­ing Audi, Chevro­let, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nis­san, Volvo, and VW.

READ MORE in Wired’s Autopia

Vehicle Remarketing  

Accord­ing to Black Book data, the aver­age price of a used vehi­cle for model years 2009–2013 over­all saw larger depre­ci­a­tion in June com­pared with the pre­vi­ous two months, sig­nal­ing typ­i­cal sum­mer­time pat­terns. Aver­age seg­ment prices saw –1.0% depre­ci­a­tion in June com­pared with May lev­els of –0.4%.

“The annual depre­ci­a­tion pat­terns typ­i­cally see larger value changes in the sec­ond half of each year, and we’ve seen this begin to pick up the pace over the last 45–60 days,” said Ricky Beggs, Edi­to­r­ial Direc­tor at Black Book. “We will keep a watch­ful eye on how gas prices and the new model year impact this pace of depre­ci­a­tion as we head through the sum­mer months.”

READ MORE to learn which seg­ments changed.

Vehicles Nearing Extinction  

The Ford Mus­tang is cel­e­brat­ing its 50th anniver­sary this year, but where are the Pon­tiac Fire­bird, Ply­mouth Bar­racuda, or AMC Javelin? Long-lived car mod­els are a rar­ity, and the changes com­ing with the begin­ning of the 2015 model are par­tic­u­larly bumpy.

When a name­plate is dis­con­tin­ued, mul­ti­ple expla­na­tions are invoked: Its plat­form may have become obso­lete, ren­der­ing future upgrades uneco­nomic (the rea­son Ford offered when it took the orig­i­nal Tau­rus out of pro­duc­tion in 2007); Its body style may have fallen from fash­ion (such as full-size two-doors like the Chevy Monte Carlo); Or it may sim­ply not have caught on with buy­ers (like the Honda Element).

READ MORE to find out which vehi­cles will be obsolete.

Fleet Management Resources 
Offering a nationwide vehicle delivery and relocation service; serving the corporate and commercial fleet industry.
LeasePlan is the world's leading high-touch service provider for vehicle leasing and fleet management.
Customizing global fleet management to achieve your goals.
Driven fleet professionals. Driving results.
NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location, or fleet composition.
The CEI Group Inc.
North America's largest accident management and fleet driver safety company.
GPS Insight
GPS Insight offers GPS tracking solutions to meet your organization's unique requirements and challenges.
PARS' mission is to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices for all of your transportation needs.