March 27, 2018

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Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

New Technologies All Around

It’s no secret that the constant influx of new technologies is constantly changing our world, and they’re changing the fleet industry as well. For today’s issue, AmeriFleet’s Kathy Massey has written about Three Commonly Overlooked Money-Saving Applications of Fleet Analytics – it’s a great read.

We also feature an insightful video interview we got with ARI’s Don Woods at the Work Truck Show, where he speaks to building client engagement around new technologies, including Alexa.

Are You Marketing for NAFA I&E?

The big event in Anaheim is now just four weeks away, are you ready? If your company will have a booth (or other presence) there, we recommend a Dedicated E-Blast to FMW’s audience of 18,000+ to bring those fleet professionals to you. We’re even offering a discounted rate for the next week to help with your pre-conference marketing. Learn more here, or email me directly for more details.

Looking forward to seeing you in Anaheim!

Ted Roberts

Thought Leadership

Customer Driven — Engage your organization to create customer loyalty, trust, and superior service

Fleet Asset Management – Best practices for work truck management

Fleet Marketing – Guiding principles for fleet providers to improve marketing and increase sales

Fleet Spectator A 360 view of the fleet industry

Globally Speaking — Perspectives on the multinational fleet

In the Public Interest — Successfully managing the government fleet

On Fleet Driver Management Solutions to improve your fleet’s accident rate and cut costs on collision repairs

Safety & Risk — Impactful driver safety and risk management tools and techniques

The Fleet CX Toolbox – Solid steps to implementing and improving fleet customer experience

Think, Execute, Win!Leadership tips from NBA Star and motivational speaker Walter Bond

VIDEO: Ford’s Commercial Vehicle Leadership

With the new 2019 Transit Connect cargo van, Ford’s commercial vehicle leadership was once again on display at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis.

VIDEO: New Technologies

 ARI Looks at Client Engagement Built Around New Technologies

ARI is looking at how to best use new technologies – including Alexa – as they work to continually improve client engagement.

VIDEO: The Work Truck Show

 Motiv Debuts Its New All-Electric Chassis

Motiv debuted its new all-electric chassis — which is able to seamlessly drop into a truck or bus manufacturer’s assembly line – at this year’s Work Truck Show.

The Fleet Spot

fleetcompetence Group Expands Its Global Network

Pictured: Tobias Kern, Thilo von Ulmenstein, Lukas Jania, Balz Eggenberger

During the 5th International Fleet Meeting, held by fleetcompetence Group and aboutfleet in Geneva on March 7, 2018, the international consulting firm fleetcompetence Group announced that it has expanded its geographical footprint by attracting additional partners in North America, Asia, the Pacific region and Africa.

This step is in line with the continued strong demand for support in international fleet projects. READ MORE

6 Fleet Insights You Need to Know for 2018

By Suzanne Benzion, Director, Strategic Consulting, Element Fleet Management

Throughout 2017, Element’s Strategic Consulting team uncovered some note-worthy trends for our customers, and provided actionable insights against these trends.

The data told some pretty compelling stories around innovative ways to maximize productivity, improve driver safety and satisfaction and reduce overall fleet cost. Here’s an overview of the themes that surfaced in 2017, along with trends we’re monitoring in 2018.

What happened in 2017?


Trump was Wrong When he Proposed to Raise the Gas Tax by a Quarter; it Should be Raised by a Dollar


We all know that U.S. infrastructure is in need of serious repair, but the Highway Trust Fund is substantially underfunded with the current gas tax.

To meet current spending levels the tax would need to be 31.6 cents per gallon, and to maintain existing conditions and performance, the tax would need to be 46.6 cents per gallon. The upward amount the tax could be without affecting supply or demand is $1.00.

“Most of us do not even notice the gasoline tax as the federal and state (if any) taxes are already built into the advertised per gallon pricing. So a rise in gas prices because of a rise in the tax would be not salient to consumers. But, we all would notice the better roads, bridges, and airports should the tax rise.”

Read the article at Forbes.

Crash Rates and Costs Increasing — Frequency Drives Severity

By Art Liggio, President and CEO, Driving Dynamics

During the 2016 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting, chairman and CEO Warren Buffett was asked about the declining financial performance of GEICO, an insurer owned by Berkshire Hathaway. Buffett responded, “Last year both frequency—how often people had accidents, and severity, which is the cost per accident—both of those went up quite suddenly and substantially.”

What are the underlying causes for these increases? In last month’s Safety & Risk column, we took a look at influencing factors driving significant increases in crash cost severity, which included:


Fleet Analytics

By Kathy Massey, VP of Client Services, AmeriFleet

With the advent of technology that can capture and analyze a huge quantity and wide variety of data, fleet management has increasingly become an analytics-intensive endeavor.

This has enabled fleet owners and operators to achieve unprecedented efficiencies across a number of key performance categories. Typically, these have included optimizing residual value, fuel and maintenance expense, logistics, driver and fleet safety, all of which has positive effects on the bottom line.

But in AmeriFleet’s experience with fleets of all types — from light-duty to vocational and heavy-duty vehicles – we’ve found three areas of opportunity that are consistently under-recognized in terms of data capture, actionable information, benchmarking and decision tools: logistics spend, inventory management, and compliance.

Key metrics, such as average miles/move, days in storage, unassigned inventory versus out of stock purchase and rental expense, return-to-service ratios, non-compliance expense, and in general, overall supply chain optimization all lend themselves to significant improvement when the same approach to “Big Data” is taken as other dimensions of fleet operations. Several examples will illustrate the potential benefits.



In the Public Interest

By Mark Boada, Senior Editor

I’ve got a question for government fleet administrators: do you really know how your fleet’s performance stacks up compared to your peers, particularly along such dimensions as total cost of ownership, productivity and safety?

I’m asking that question on the heels of my column last week announcing that the National Council of State Fleet Administrators (NCSFA) has for the first time selected an outside agent – the widely respected fleet consulting firm, Mercury Associates – to conduct its 2017 benchmarking study.

It turns out that heading the project at Mercury is Steve Saltzgiver, one of the country’s most highly regarded fleet professionals, with experience running fleets for one city, two counties and two Fortune 500 corporations. In addition, he’s a former director of NCSFA, and so directed several of the organization’s benchmarking studies, which go back at least to the 1990s.

So, he seemed like a good choice to talk about the general state of government fleet benchmarking, and he clued me in to its curious status. READ MORE


Tailpipe Rules

The Detroit News

In agreement with automakers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided that vehicle greenhouse-gas emissions standards are too aggressive and need to be revised.

The tailpipe rules enacted by President Barack Obama’s administration, were aimed at slashing carbon emissions from cars and light trucks by boosting fuel economy to a fleet average of more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025.

“The EPA has completed a draft decision outlining their rationale and the move is widely expected to result in weaker targets that will be easier for automakers to achieve as sales skew toward SUVs, pickups and other light trucks.”

Read the article at The Detroit News.

Fleet Trends & Issues

Workplace Stress is Killing Us

The Washington Post

According to Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, workplace stress — the result of conditions like long hours, a lack of health insurance, little autonomy on the job, high job demands — don’t just hit productivity or damage morale. They’re killing us.

Pfeffer’s new book is built around a 2015 paper that said more than 120,000 deaths a year and roughly 5 to 8 percent of annual health care costs may be attributable to how U.S. companies manage their workforces.

“It’s pretty clear that the human costs — in terms of death — and the economic costs, in terms of elevated health care spend, are quite substantial,” Pfeffer said in a recent interview about his new book, “Dying for a Paycheck.”

Read the article at The Washington Post.

Drive a Different Car Each Month With Mercedes Flexperience

The Detroit Bureau

Joining other automakers with subscriber programs, Mercedes-Benz has been running its pilot program, Flexperience, in Germany before coming to the U.S. market.

Four different tiers are being created, tied to its familiar product range: A-, C- E- and S-Class, and subscribers will be able to swap in and out of any vehicle in that segment up to 12 times annually.

The final pricing has not been determined, according to Mercedes’ global sales chief Britta Seeger. “Up to now, in all the tests, all that we have seen, what we’ve asked the customer to pay was a profitable basis.”

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

Nissan Sets New Electric Vehicle Goal: Sell 1 Million Annually by 2022


As part of Nissan Motor’s new plan to sell one million EVs annually by 2022, the company will develop eight new all-battery electric vehicles (EVs) and launch what it calls an “electric car offensive” in China under different brands.

Nissan is also taking its electric ambitions to its luxury Infiniti brand with models beginning in 2021 will be either fully electric or powered by the company’s “e-Power” gasoline hybrid technology.

“The company said it expects that electrified vehicles, which include its e-Power models, will make up 40% of the company’s sales in Japan and Europe by 2022 and 50% by 2025. In the U.S., the expectation is about 20% to 30% by 2025, while in China it’s 35% to 40%.”

Read the article at Fortune.

Will Being ‘Asleep at the Wheel’ Become Irrelevant with Autonomous Trucking?

USA Today

With self-driving trucks on the horizon, the thought of no one behind the wheel raises concerns about reliability, capability and, most of all, safety.

Even though companies are focusing on highway driving, autonomous trucks won’t have a human driver’s trained habit of looking 12 to 15 seconds down the road for oncoming hazards — crucial when piloting a 70-foot long, 13-foot high, 80,000-pound truck that takes twice the distance to stop than a car.

“Who’s going to insure these trucks if there’s no one driving them or if someone is just passed out in the cab sleeping?” says Norita Taylor of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents the heartbeat of the trucking industry: people who own their six-figure rigs and pay for them by contracting out their time.

Read the article at USA Today.

Autonomous Vehicles


The fatal Uber crash has many people questioning the safety and legalities surrounding autonomous vehicles – who is responsible?

Because autonomous vehicle manufacturers have proclaimed the safety benefits of self-driving vehicles, the public has very high expectations – autonomous vehicles will be superior to human drivers, despite the deaths they may cause.

“Autonomous vehicles are supposed to be safer than human drivers—this has been sold to us as their principal benefit. Given that, isn’t it only fair to hold AVs to higher standards than humans? If that were true, we might think this crash is actually worse than if it had been the result of a human driver.”


Read the article at Slate.


New Hires at FleetVision

FleetVision, the fleet and mobility consultancy arm within TÜV SÜD Group, has strengthened its team of advisors with two experienced professionals who bring a wealth of fleet management, change management and procurement knowledge to the business.

Alain Duez joins the consultancy having spent almost 27 years in fleet and procurement director roles with leading business consultant and professional services provider Accenture.
At the same time, Wim Buzzi has also joined FleetVision as an independent consultant from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, where he was in charge of relationship and business development with rental companies, fleet owners and corporate clients in Belgium and Luxembourg.



Solving the Parking Problem


Looking for a parking space can be very frustrating and time consuming – you circle the block just praying that someone is leaving so that you can grab their spot.

Engineers believe that self-driving car technology can solve the parking problem – send the robot to find a space, after it drops you off at your destination and summon it back later when you’re ready to leave.

“Building owners could have high resolution maps made of their parking lots, geo-fence them, and designate them as no-human zones, so cars can do their thing. It’ll be just like dropping your car at a valet stand, except you don’t have to dig around for singles. More cars will fit into each lot: Because doors don’t need to be opened, the vehicles can squeeze tightly together.”

Read the article at Wired.

Fleet Management Resources
AFLA – Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association
Providing the advanced forum for corporate fleet professionals to network with industry leaders.
The CEI Group Inc.
CEI is North America’s largest provider of fully integrated fleet accident management, driver safety and risk management services.
NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location, or fleet composition.
Offering a nationwide vehicle delivery and relocation service; serving the corporate and commercial fleet industry.
Since 1965, Donlen has been the fleet management industry’s leading provider of comprehensive, integrated financing and asset management solutions — and that spirit of innovation continues today.
PARS' mission is to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices for all of your transportation needs.
Driven fleet professionals. Driving results.
Driving Dynamics
Driving Dynamics was established to help corporate fleet drivers develop expert, safe driving skills using proven, advanced driving techniques.
Wheels, Inc.
First in fleet for 79 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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