May 1, 2018

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Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

It’s a Paradigm Shift!

NAFA’s 2018 I&E wrapped last Friday, but the message that the industry is undergoing a paradigm shift from fleet to mobility management will long resonate.

In NAFA Urges Fleet Managers to Take the Lead in Mobility Management, NAFA President Bryan Flansburg says, “And who will control the mobility spend in your organization? Someone will need to, and who is in a better position than you?” Indeed!

Martha Garcia-Perry, VP of Growth Initiatives & Integration at MetroGistics/AmeriFleet, writes on the wealth of opportunities that Mobility as a Service (MaaS) will offer fleets and fleet managers. She says, “There’s a learning curve, too, but those who are bold enough to lead the way should reap substantial rewards.”

Carpe diem, drive the change!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

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: Making Investments and Improvements to Fleet Management Practices

When it comes to making investments and improvements to fleet management, Mercury Associates offers expert advice. And, right now, they are as busy as ever.

VIDEO: The Power of Community

 Community is the Heart of NAFA

NAFA CEO Phil Russo shares just some of the many highlights from this year’s I&E, and speaks to NAFA’s very strong sense of community.

VIDEO: NAFA Members Help Rise Against Hunger

 NAFA Members Pack Over 40,000 Meals for Rise Against Hunger

At the recent NAFA I&E Conference in Anaheim, NAFA members exceeded the goal of packaging over 40,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger.

The Fleet Spot

Advance Your Networking at AFLA 2018

AFLA is excited to once again offer best-in-class networking options at the 2018 Annual Corporate Fleet Conference Catch That Magic Moment Right Now, to take place October 1 – October 3, 2018 at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, FL.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the discounted room rate of $229/night by reserving your room at either the JW Marriott or Ritz Carlton We’ll see you in sunny Orlando!


The Top Three 2018 Trends to Look Out for in Vehicle Capital Costs

Depreciation, new vehicle prices and residual value all affect industries with mobile workforces – here’s what you need to know in the year ahead.

Ken Robinson, market research analyst at Motus, discusses a number of rising trends that will influence businesses with mobile workforces in the coming year, including increasing depreciation, rising new vehicle prices and declining residual values.


The Next Advance in Fleet Communication Efficiency: ‘Conversational Systems’

It’s a brave new world there, folks. Conversational systems are yet another step forward in making the fleet world braver and newer

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

Imagine you’re a fleet manager with a diminished support staff, and today you’ve received dozens of phone calls from drivers asking to replace a lost fuel card, fielded dozens more from drivers who want to know when their new car or newly upfitted truck will be delivered, and called a few dozen more who have yet to renew their vehicle registration. Meanwhile, there are few hundred drivers coming up to their next due date for routine vehicle maintenance and you know a bunch are going to forget to make their appointment.

Finding this hard to imagine? Not likely – all too easy instead, right?


Looking Beyond the Fleet Department for Optimal Emergency Response

By Jason S. Hicks, CAFM

It’s a Sunday afternoon and the snow starts falling. Then the wind starts howling, and then the power goes out. It’s a blizzard that’s going to paralyze your region for days.

As fleet managers, we know that someday we may be required to operate and manage our fleet during a blizzard, hurricane, earthquake or any of a number of different kinds of disasters. And while you may well have developed a plan to keep your fleet running, it’s important to ask yourself: just how well-prepared are you?

Have you fully thought through all that could go wrong to disrupt your fleet and how you would address each kind of challenge so you can help your government organization deliver the emergency services your citizenry will depend upon?

To answer those questions, you need to know what a sound and complete emergency plan looks like and needs to cover.


Fleet Spectator

The overarching theme at its annual Institute and Exposition and International Fleet Academy

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

As usual, there were breakout sessions on scores of topics at NAFA Fleet Management Association’s annual, week-long get-together in Anaheim, California this year, but the event’s dominant theme was introduced by President Bryan Flansburg in the remarks he made to open the event: the mobility revolution.

“We are all witnessing and living through one of the biggest, most significant, changes the auto industry has ever seen,” he told more than 2,000 fleet professionals packing the hall for breakfast and NAFA’s business meeting last Tuesday. “We as fleet managers are experiencing a paradigm shift from managing assets – four wheels on the road – to a wider perspective of mobility management. “The event was held at the Anaheim Convention Center and Marriott Hotel April 23-27.

“We must get out of the mindset of ‘doing’ fleet management and consider all of the possible ways to move things, which may or may not include a vehicle,” said Flansburg. “That may sound like heresy to some of us who have been ‘doing’ fleet management for so long, but we have to change.”



Fleet Mobility

By Martha Garcia-Perry, VP of Growth Initiatives & Integration, MetroGistics/AmeriFleet

Would you rather own a car or have one on demand?

Just as we now have options for how we listen to and pay for music and movies, people want options for how they get from point A to point B. Today, companies like Uber, Lyft and ZipCar are offering people new options for getting around: apps that enable them to make car trips, whenever they want, without owning a car and without all the costs and hassles that go along with it.

Commercial ride-sharing services are part of a bigger, broader movement called “Mobility as a Service” (MaaS) that uses multiple modes of transportation – from cycling and public transit to planes and automobiles – to move people to and fro, and it’s coming to company near you, if it hasn’t already.

Now, I want to pose my opening question to you, a fleet manager, in another way: would you rather be known as an asset (vehicle) manager or a mobility planner?



Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer

As any great salesperson will tell you, sales is not about a great product or service, it’s about the customer’s perception of value.

For fleet decision-makers, value is helping to maximize the contribution of the fleet to corporate strategic goals as well as the savings derived from controlling costs.

The more meaningful the value story, the better the chance that a fleet service or product provider can begin or move along the sales process with a fleet decision-maker.

Even if the company has been an industry leader for 100 years, insists that every manager earn a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, regularly wins prestigious “Best of” awards, and reports fantastical total customer savings every quarter … even with all of that, the ability to differentiate the value proposition — in terms that are meaningful to the customer – is the real key to winning and keeping business.


Fleet Trends & Issues

Detroit’s Sedan Withdrawal is Good News For Japanese Automakers


Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and General Motors are following Ford’s lead in cutting back on their sedan production to focus on more profitable SUV and truck sales.

With less competition, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Hyundai ought to be able to raise prices and squeeze a bit more profit out of their traditional cars.

“We have already seen that Toyota and Honda have held relatively strong in car sales as the market has switched over to utility vehicles,” said Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Cox Automotive, the parent company of AutoTrader and Kelley Blue Book. “They seem to be the main go-to brands as people — a smaller number of them — stick with cars. I would expect that trend will continue.”

Read the article at Forbes.

Half of Volvo’s Global Sales to be All-Electric by 2025

The Detroit Bureau

Volvo expects all-electric, or BEV, models to account for fully half of its global sales by 2025, not including the mild, conventional or plug-in hybrid products that will complete the rest of the Swedish automaker’s line-up.

The next big step for Volvo, will come in time for the 2019 model-year when its first fully electric model, a production version of the 40.2 Concept is launched. Initially, the BEV version will be sold only in China, Volvo’s largest market.

“Last year we made a commitment to electrification in preparation for an era beyond the internal combustion engine,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars. “Today we reinforce and expand that commitment in the world’s leading market for electrified cars.”

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

Sky-High Cyclist Fatality Rate Points to Poorly Designed Roads

The Washington Post

In 2016, fatal hit-and-run crashes reached the highest point on record, with nearly 65 percent of the victims being bicyclists and pedestrians, according to a report by AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety.

Experts cite multiple possibilities for the increase in traffic deaths: more people on the road, distracted drivers and a growing number of bicycle commuters. There is a need to overhaul streets and roadways with a priority on pedestrian and bicyclist safety instead of the speed of motor vehicles.


Lyft to Neutralize its Carbon Footprint With Multimillion Dollar Investment

The Verge

To become a completely carbon-neutral transportation service, Lyft anticipates offsetting “over a million metric tons of carbon” with a multimillion-dollar investment in environmental projects elsewhere.

Lyft’s climate goals sprang up as a result of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord.

According to Lyft’s co-founders, these investments will help fund a variety of environmental and sustainability efforts. “Lyft rides are now carbon-neutral through the direct funding of emission mitigation efforts,” the company’s co-founders, Logan Green and John Zimmer, said in a blog post, “including the reduction of emissions in the automotive manufacturing process, renewable energy programs, forestry projects, and the capture of emissions from landfills.” adviser.

Read the article at The Verge.

A Fight in California?

San Francisco Chronicle

Since 1970, California has held a waiver under the federal Clean Air Act, allowing it to enact more-stringent pollution rules, and in 2009 President Obama took the state’s standards nationwide to increase fuel economy to 50 miles per gallon by 2025

The Trump administration may try to freeze fuel-mileage standards for cars which would override California’s authority to set its own air pollution standards, potentially gutting one of the country’s most important climate change regulations and setting up a major legal battle with the state.

“If enacted, this would harm people’s health, boost greenhouse gas pollution and force drivers to pay more money at the pump for years,” Stanley Young, spokesman for the California Air Resources Board, which oversees most of the state’s programs to fight climate change, said in an email. “It would also severely disrupt the U.S. auto industry, compromising its ability to succeed in a highly competitive global market that increasingly values innovative and efficient technologies.”

Read the article at theSan Francisco Chronicle.


Big Changes at Ford

The Washington Post

Recognizing that a growing number of baby boomers and millennial car buyers favor SUVs over cars, Ford announced plans to eliminate some of the company’s most well-known cars in North America, including the Fiesta subcompact, Fusion midsize sedan, Taurus large sedan and the C-Max van.

Experts say consumers are drawn to SUVs and crossovers for their versatility. The vehicles offer more space, a higher ride off the ground and the ability to accommodate families.

“The changes will also allow the company to devote more resources to SUVs and trucks, vehicles that have surged in popularity as consumers continue to lose interest in passenger cars, which no longer have a monopoly on good gas mileage.”

Read the article at The Washington Post.


VW and Didi

The Detroit Bureau

VW’s new CEO Herbert Diess is pushing to cut costs and accelerate the development of new technologies.

Volkswagen’s pending partnership with Didi Chuxing to build and maintain a fleet of vehicles not only gives the Chinese behemoth a tighter grip on the ride-share market in its home country, it will accelerate VW’s development of autonomous vehicles.

As part of the deal, which is expected to be finalized next month, the German automaker will initially manage a fleet of about 100,000 new vehicles for Didi, of which two-thirds will be Volkswagen Group cars, according to Reuters.

Volkswagen will also be part of an alliance of 31 companies, including Toyota and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, to develop cheap, electrified vehicles for China.

Read the article in The Detroit Bureau

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