FleetManagementWeekly AmeriFleet
June 30, 2015


Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

A Seismic Shift

There was a seismic shift in the fleet leasing landscape this week with Element Financial Corporation’s announcement that it was buying GE Capital Fleet Services’ US, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand operations for $6.9 billion. Further, Element’s European partner, Arval, is poised to buy GE Capital’s European fleet operations.

Mike Sheldrick has penned an article: Element CEO: ‘Growth at Element is Not Over!’ to shed some light on this landmark deal that will give Element some 40% market share of the U.S. fleet leasing industry.

Also this week, we feature an interview with Jeff Schlesinger, Managing Director, Global, for GE Fleet Services. In ‘A Global Perspective: Q&A with GE Capital’s Jeff Schlesinger.’  An expert in this arena, Jeff gives us his thoughts on what fleets are seeking from a global fleet provider.

Be sure and check in with FleetManagementWeekly.com for daily updates.

Have a sparkling and safe Fourth of July holiday!

Janice Sutton
Executive Editor

INDEX: Find All of the Fleet News and Information You Need on Newly Redesigned FleetManagementWeekly.com

All posts from the newsletter can be found on our newly redesigned web site, FleetManagementWeekly.com,

Browse these categories:

Association News — Find out what’s going on at associations of importance to the fleet community.
Fleet Trends & Issues — Check out articles about current fleet issues and trends
Fleet Safety — Read news about various aspects of fleet safety, including interviews of fleet safety leaders
Fleet Videos — Watch video clips of fleet newsmakers
Interviews — Read Fleet Management Weekly’s interviews with industry leaders.
Telematics — Learn about the latest in fleet telematics news

Read monthly columns: Fleet Marketing, Fleet Asset Management, The Mobile Employee, On Accident Management, The Fleet Customer Experience, Think Global Plan Local, The Fleet CX Toolbox, and Fleet Safety.


VIDEO: It's Time to Work with the Sourcing Department

As a fleet professional, it’s your job to educate the Sourcing Department internally — which, in turn, will help you understand and embrace what Sourcing can do to make your job easier.

VIDEO: Strategic Planning and Facilities
  Developing Comprehensive Fleet Maintenance Facilities

One recent area of growth for Mercury Associates has been in strategic planning for comprehensive fleet maintenance facilities.

VIDEO: Scoring for Safety
  Fleet Telematics: A Score for Safety

This innovative new clearinghouse facilitates the transfer of data from an insured fleet using telematics to an insurance company — with the benefit that fleets can learn how insurance companies will perceive their information before they agree to share it.

The Fleet Spot

Chris Hepworth Element Appoints Chris Hepler Regional VP Sales, Heavy Trucks

Element Fleet Management strengthens its U.S. Equipment Financing Sales and Business Development team with the appointment of Chris Hepler to regional vice president of Sales, Heavy Trucks. Hepworth brings more than 25 years of sales and account management experience to Element. Most recently, he held the position of inside sales leader for Ryder Systems, Inc., where he was responsible for overseeing new business development and account management activities.


Elise Hardy Elise Hardy Named Regional Director of Material Handling Equipment at Element

Element Fleet Management has appointed Elise Hardy to its U.S. Equipment Financing Sales and Business Development team as regional director of Material Handling Equipment. Prior to joining Element Fleet, she served as an account manager for Eastern Lift Truck Company, where she was responsible for sales of new and used forklifts and other equipment in the Pennsylvania territory.


ARI Logo ARI Recognized as One of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials

ARI has been named one of the 100 Best Workplaces For Millennials in the United States by Fortune Magazine and the Great Place to Work® Institute. This is the inaugural year for this ranking, which was determined through anonymous surveys of nearly 90,000 millennial employees administered by the workplace culture experts at Great Place to Work.

“This is a tremendous honor,” said ARI President Chris Conroy. “Maintaining a culture where employees of all generations feel welcomed and have the opportunity to contribute, collaborate, learn and grow is incredibly important to us, and we’re proud to be recognized as a workplace where millennials are engaged and feel they can have a positive impact.”


Wheels logo Wheel’s Online DriverView Tool Earns American Business Award

Wheels, Inc. has won a Silver American Business Award for Best Interface Design. 

The award recognized DriverView, Wheels’ online portal for fleet drivers, which the company redesigned last year as part of a comprehensive optimization initiative for its online platforms.

“Wheels is always looking to align our online tools with the emerging preferences of today’s web users,” said Gail Wheeler, Wheels’ assistant vice president of marketing.  “The DriverView site revamp was very successful in delivering new levels of consolidated access, responsive designs and user-friendly features for our clients’ drivers.”


North America's Biggest Leasing Company

Pictured: Steven Hudson, CEO, Element Financial Corp

By Mike Sheldrick

Element Financial Corp. has vaulted to the largest North American fleet leasing company by buying GE Capital’s fleet leasing assets in the U.S. and Mexico, and in Australia and New Zealand for a total of $6.9 billion. The deal comprises about 580,000 vehicles, doubling Element’s North American presence.

In Europe, GE plans to sell its fleet of 160,000 leased vehicles to Arval, a unit of PNB Paribas. Arval and Element already partner in North America. On closing of the transactions, the Element-Arval Global Alliance will be serving customer fleets in more than 40 countries— more than 2 million vehicles.


The Global Fleet Market

When we interviewed Jeff Schlesinger, Managing Director – Global for GE Fleet Services, we wanted to hear his thoughts on the current state of the global fleet market.

“The ability to save money on a global basis has become a very strong key performance indicator over the last two to three years,” Schlesinger says. He adds, “The use of analytics has become almost a ticket to play. If you can’t analyze the data, the companies are sitting there saying: what good are you?”

READ MORE to learn what Schlesinger has to say about managing a global fleet.

A Better Portal for Better Fleet Transport

PARS, a leader in fleet vehicle transport and logistics, launched its new online customer portal today. The secure gateway features more real-time data, fleet management tools, and reports that address the increased complexity of fleet vehicle transport projects.

“We have invested in the latest web development technology to simplify navigation, enhance project management, and make doing business with PARS easier than ever,” notes Lori Rasmussen, president of PARS. “Today’s fleet manager needs the ability to combine vehicle transport with any number of adjunct services, such as storage, license and titling, body repair or maintenance. Our new system integrates Big Data collection, expands reports and offers greater management control.”


Fleet Trends & Issues

The Future of Car Keys? Smartphone Apps, Maybe

IT’S not fun getting into a car when the interior is 130 degrees, but that’s a typical problem during the summer for those who live in a city like Phoenix, where outside temperatures can regularly soar well past 100.

But Sean O’Gorman 32, a software product manager, never needs to endure a furnacelike cabin. As an owner of a Tesla Model S, he opens an smartphone app a few minutes before he gets into the car and remotely starts his air-conditioner.

The app can do things that previously only a physical key could do, and more: Start the engine, unlock the doors, turn on the heat and monitor the battery.


If Car Buyers Dwindle, Ford is Trying to Find What’s Next

Last month Ford sent letters to 14,000 of its American drivers with an unusual suggestion: For extra cash, they could rent their cars to fellow urbanites wanting a cheap ride.

America’s second-biggest auto giant wouldn’t directly sell any additional cars or trucks under the arrangement; it wouldn’t even take a cut. But it would put Ford closer to the front of a movement in which cars are shared, ignored or Uber-ed — not bought.

The peer-to-peer rental experiment — which has the Bay Area in a prominent role — is only the latest weird move for America’s auto powerhouse, maker of the F-150 and Model T. Last month, Ford launched a pay-as-you-go network of shareable, on-demand cars in London, called GoDrive.


Daily Commute Diversifying, But Drivers Still Dominate

Unless you’re one of those Americans who works from home or has somehow found a job down the block, odds are you’re spending about 45 minutes a day getting to the office – a commute that costs you about $10 in gas, tolls and parking or for a ticket on mass transit.

Commissioned by financial giant Citi, the new study of commuting finds that Los Angelinos pay the most to get to work, a daily $16, while New Yorkers spend the most time commuting, an average 73 minutes a day.

Not everyone is unhappy about the time they spend getting to work, however. The study reveals that for two-thirds of American workers, their commute is seen as the only time they get to themselves, though others see the trip as a way to talk with friends.


New Camera Technology Helps Drivers See Around Corners; Next Super Duty to Offer Ford’s Most Advanced Cameras Yet

Ford is introducing new vehicle camera technology that can help see around corners even when drivers cannot, aiding in reducing driver stress and potentially averting accidents.

The new available split-view camera feature helps drivers see traffic and obstacles that enter the vehicle’s path from the side by displaying a 180-degree view of the area in front of or behind a vehicle. It is the latest example of how Ford is using camera technology to help make driving easier.


The Power of the Machines?

The gearheads in Detroit, Tokyo and Stuttgart have mostly figured out how to build driverless vehicles. Even the Google guys seem to have solved the riddle. Now comes the hard part: deciding whether these machines should have power over who lives or dies in an accident.

The industry is promising a glittering future of autonomous vehicles moving in harmony like schools of fish. That can’t happen, however, until carmakers answer the kinds of thorny philosophical questions explored in science fiction since Isaac Asimov wrote his robot series last century.

For example, should an autonomous vehicle sacrifice its occupant by swerving off a cliff to avoid killing a school bus full of children?


Think Global. Plan Local.

Global consolidation is a reality that many companies frequently face in today’s internationally focused society. But what does this mean for fleet managers? For many, it means a rapidly expanded fleet that is much more complex and time-consuming to manage than a local fleet.

In part one of this Q&A series, Esther Calvo Bolaño, vice president international sales for LeasePlan International, explains why it’s important to understand global fleets and how to manage one.


Tracking Underutilized Vehicles

Using HP’s Big Data Discovery Experience Services and the HP Haven big data platform, the engineering team gathered data and analyzed it to determine possibilities for lowering operating costs and optimizing underutilized vehicles for fleets as well as personal driving.

Among the observations of the experiment: Regardless of location, most HP drivers grabbed coffee at the same national coffeehouse and refueled with the same brand of gasoline, while traveling employees often left vehicles unused at the airport for days.

While it’s no surprise road-tripping employees stop for coffee, data analysis about commutes and driving routines could lead to greater economies of scale for company fleets and new solutions for optimizing underutilized vehicles.


Fleet Management Resources
Offering a nationwide vehicle delivery and relocation service; serving the corporate and commercial fleet industry.
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.
Driven fleet professionals. Driving results.
LeasePlan is the world's leading high-touch service provider for vehicle leasing and fleet management.
The CEI Group Inc.
North America's largest accident management and fleet driver safety company.
Customizing global fleet management to achieve your goals.
NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location, or fleet composition.
Verizon Networkfleet
Verizon Networkfleet offers GPS fleet management solutions to help small to medium-sized businesses, enterprises, and government agencies better manage vehicles and assets. For a demo visit www.networkfleet.com/demo.