July 17, 2018

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Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

Stormy Weather!

American journalist David Muir said, “If any event teaches you how to perform on no sleep, it’s a hurricane.” And if you are a fleet manager and have a hurricane bearing down on your drivers, you are scrambling for solutions to help get them to safety.

At last fall’s AFLA conference, we heard compliments from fleets about WEX’s invaluable assistance to their drivers as hurricanes Harvey and Maria whipped through. Now, WEX’s Bernie Kavanagh has written a definitive guide: Hurricane Preparedness for Fleets. Of hurricanes, he says, “It’s the ultimate nightmare for a business with any exposure at all to mobility.”

Enjoy this week’s issue and check our FMW website for daily updates.

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

Thought Leadership

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

Disruptive Leadership — Master the principles of disruptive leadership

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

Talent Management — Smart guidelines to help you manage the talent in your workplace

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


VIDEO: Rigorous Methods to Decide if EVs are Right for Your Fleet

Wheels has a tried and true methodology for determining if EVs and hybrid vehicles are right for your fleet.

VIDEO: Fleets and Mobility

 NAFA Foundation Working with Lukas Neckermann

The NAFA Foundation is working with Lukas Neckermann on a mobility project. It will include an educational curriculum, and it will focus on what mobility means to fleet management.

VIDEO: A Threat to the Fleet Industry

 A Perfect Storm is Bearing Down on Fleet

There’s a perfect storm that’s bearing down on the fleet industry, and one of the biggest threats is an incredible loss of industry knowledge as more and more baby boomers retire.

The Fleet Spot

NAFA Webinar: The Keys to a Successful Global Safety Program

August 15, 2018 — 12:00 – 1:00 PM EDT — Online

Instructor: Ed Pierce, Communications Director, The CEI Group, Inc.

Multinational companies are under increasing pressure to match their North American fleet safety efforts worldwide, even in countries with much different driving landscapes. CEI’s Ed Pierce, Director of Communications, will explain the need for culturally-considered risk assessments and training, as well as data collection, integrity, and reporting. He will also illuminate the need for consultative services, single source data management, and consistent driver communications.

Register Today

AFLA Launches Mini-MBA Program in Fleet Management

The Automotive Fleet and Leasing Association (AFLA) announced a new AFLA Mini-MBA program in partnership with Bentley University, a highly renowned business school in the Boston area with a strong track record in executive education.

According to Bill Elliott, AFLA’s Executive Director, “This program will provide high-potential fleet professionals an opportunity to be immersed in an educational experience designed to enhance career skills while also forming lasting bonds with classmates and instructors.”


Trump Import Tariffs: Breaking Down the Impact on Fleets

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

The news is awash with calamitous headlines about the Trump tariffs, not least of which proclaim potentially significant job losses for U.S. autoworkers and price increases on both domestically made vehicles and imports.

But I look at the headlines in view of a long-standing observation that people, in general, overreact to news, both the good and the bad, and particularly to the bad.

Now, I’m not here to say that Trump’s proposed tariff of up to 25 percent on imported cars wouldn’t result in a crushing increase in the cost for the typical buyers of a Mercedes Benz, Toyota or even a sub-compact Hyundai.


Transportation Services Co. and Mercury Associates, Inc. Partner

Transportation Services Co. has formed a partnership with Mercury Associates, Inc., the largest dedicated fleet management consultancy in North America that provides independent, technical assistance and advice to public and private organizations by leveraging technology, real-time fleet operating data, and analytics to identify opportunities to reduce fleet costs and improve fleet performance.

“As Transportation Services Co. expands its comprehensive suite of fleet management services to its rapidly growing customer base, we look forward to collaborating with them to enhance their efforts,” stated Paul Lauria, President of Mercury.

Read the press release.

Being Prepared

By Bernie Kavanagh

Imagine waking up one day to no fuel, damaged roads, and unknown damage to your fleet.

It’s the ultimate nightmare for a business with any exposure at all to mobility.

With the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season June 1, managers of fleets and transportation systems across the United States return to the annual game of unpredictable risk through Nov. 30, the official end of the season.

Historically, the most damaging tropical storms and hurricanes have occurred in August and September. But officials who manage fleets, fueling systems and transportation networks should be implementing best practices now in order to avoid a doomsday scenario later.



Safety & Risk

So, who really trained that applicant you will be entrusting to safely operate your company vehicle?

By Art Liggio, President and CEO, Driving Dynamics

Fleet operators are perplexed. In the past few years sizable investments have been made in equipping vehicles with the newest safety technologies, implementing telematics, perhaps trying predictive analytics, increasing the frequency of MVR runs and adding other types of technology sophisticated, magic-button solutions. However, crash rates and traffic fatalities are increasing.

Consider this. The latest estimate is that last year traffic crashes cost employers approximately $67 billion. Five years ago this amount was nearly $57 billion [Note: on-the-job crashes represent about 44 percent of these costs]. That is a $10 billion swing in the past five years. It is the same five years during which fleet operators began taking advantage of all the available safety technologies.

With the extra dollars invested in these technological advancements, shouldn’t the numbers be improving for fleet operators who have done an impressive job focusing on safety using these resources?



Globally Speaking

International Fleet World

LeasePlan’s Berno Kleinherenbrink says there’s a new trend that’s seeing fleets move from paying for availability to paying for use

The ability to keep staff moving on a local, regional or national level can be a challenge. Dave Moss looks at how more flexible vehicle procurement options are helping to ease the pain.

“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em – or buy ‘em’”. That appears to be the approach taken by the major daily rental operators when faced with the potential threat posed by the leading car-sharing companies.

According to recent data from Frost and Sullivan’s global Automotive and Transportation practice, leasing is currently the most popular way of financing company cars in 26 European markets, with an estimated 13.3 million units on lease in 2017. Operational or full-service leasing accounts for 18.5% of fleet vehicles in use, and finance leasing another 9.9% – with the EU ‘big five’ countries alone accounting for two-thirds of the European (EU26) leasing market.

Read the full article in International Fleet World

Fleet Trends & Issues

White House Seeking Confidential Proprietary Data from Automakers

The Detroit News

As part of Trump’s investigation of whether tariffs on imported cars and components are needed to safeguard national security, a 34-page questionnaire was sent to several automakers this month, seeking sensitive details about company finances, factories, supply chains and other topics.

“The breadth and depth of this request is invasive, requiring massive amounts of proprietary and confidential business data from global operations — all under the pretense of national security,” said Gloria Bergquist, spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents several carmakers who received the survey.

Read the article at The Detroit News.

Trump’s Tariffs Threaten 20,000 Jobs at Hyundai’s Alabama Plant

The Detroit Bureau

The Trump administration’s proposed tariffs, citing a national security risk, have been opposed by many, including the Association of Global Automakers which represents Toyota, Volkswagen, BMW and Hyundai.

“If South Korean car exports to the U.S. get blocked and hurt sales, the U.S. factory in Alabama that went into operation in May 2005 could be the first one to be shut down, putting some 20,000 American workers at risk of layoffs,” the statement from the Hyundai labor union reads.

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

Elon Musk says ‘Car Biz is Hell’


Elon Musk initially promised as many as 200,000 Model 3s by the end of 2017, but mass-producing cars may be the one challenge that defies him. Tesla ended 2017 having made not quite 2,700 Model 3.

He set out to teach the world that consumers would pay for zero-emissions cars in huge numbers. Whatever happens to Tesla, he’s succeeded in that. Tesla is, as Musk says, “a real car company.”

Read the article at Bloomberg.

Hotz Says His Software Can Transform Dumb Cars Into Smart, Self-Driving Ones

The Verge

Geoge Hotz, the 28-year-old CEO of Comma.ai, says “self-driving cars are a scam,” declaring that he can override the driver assist systems of any late model Toyota or Honda vehicle, and replace it with his own openpilot software.

Using three gadgets – a modified OnePlus smartphone, the Panda and the Giraffe – allows drivers to use Hotz’s version of lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control — all without having to touch the steering wheel.

Read the article at The Verge.

Safety and Autonomous Vehicles


The U.S. saw 7 million traffic collisions in 2016 – reported crashes, that is. An extensive survey from the NHTSA found that drivers admitted failure to report their collisions at a rate of 29%.

Autonomous cars would replace human drivers, the most complicated variable of a crash assessment. A year spent enduring a 0% improvement in collisions could yield more valuable data on road design flaws, mechanical faults and maintenance needs than has ever been collected previously.

Read the article at Forbes.


Disruptive Leadership

By John Wysseier, President and Chief Executive Officer, The CEI Group, Inc.

I’m pleased to introduce a new blog, which is entitled “Disruptive Leadership.”

This theme is prompted by the fact that technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace and making sweeping changes to society, markets, and leadership. These changes are creating new competitive and leadership challenges and opportunities every day.

While my perspective reflects my personal and professional experience within the insurance and automotive fleet industry segments, the power of technological advances including but not limited to Big Data, Data Visualization, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Cognitive Natural Language is like a tidal wave. It can either inundate and drown decision-makers or deliver a treasure trove of newfound actionable intelligence from which to create sustainable competitive advantage.



Building Better Teams


When confronted with a complex business challenge, how does your team proceed? It can be approached with flexibility, creativity, sharing ideas, strengthening relationships, and taking action.

But how does that happen? Trying to find new ways of talking and listening is just one way on the road to success.

Read the article at strategy+business.

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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