August 21, 2018

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Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

Keeping Up With the Revolution

One thing we know for sure, the nature of the vehicle fleet business is changing, and at a startling pace. How do we keep up with the revolution and connect with industry leaders who are making it happen? Let’s start with three outstanding fall industry meetings.

The AFLA 2018 Conference offers an agenda and networking events geared toward corporate fleet professionals. NAFA Essentials of Fleet Management Seminar is pointed toward folks new to fleet management or those who are growing in that role. NETS Annual Strength IN Numbers Conference is a must-attend event for those involved with their organization’s fleet safety initiatives.

Have you ever experienced an instance where you were hoping for good customer service but were cynical about the outcome? We have. Read John Round’s essay in Customer Driven to find out how he got his sidewalk fixed!

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: Autonomous Vehicles are Still Probably a Ways Off

This fleet industry leader believes we’re still a ways away from having truly autonomous vehicles – and that it’s going to be important to get them right. But he also believes there’s a lot of really great semi-autonomous stuff that’s happening right now.

VIDEO: A Question of Ownership

 Some Fleets are Essentially “Co-Owned”

Some fleets are essentially co-owned, given that some of the vehicles are owned by the company – while other vehicles are owned by employees who are reimbursed for usage.

VIDEO: AFLA in Orlando

 This Year’s AFLA Has a Rock and Roll Theme

This year’s AFLA conference in Orlando has a very timely rock and roll theme: Right Now.

The Fleet Spot

Register Now for 2018 NETS Strength IN Numbers® Benchmark Conference

October 10 & 11, 2018 — Omni Frisco Hotel, Frisco Texas — Register Now!

Whether you are a full-time road safety professional, manage a fleet of vehicles, or serve in a support role with your organization’s road safety program, the 2018 NETS Strength IN Numbers® Benchmark Conference is certain to have something for everyone!

In addition to the compelling keynote presentations, the conference will also include:


Joe Foster Joins ARI as Vice President of Sales

ARI® today announced that Joe Foster has joined the company as vice president of sales for the eastern region.

Foster will manage all new business development activities in the eastern United States and play a vital role in ARI’s on-going strategic growth in the fleet management marketplace.

“Joe’s impressive business acumen and proven leadership skills will be a tremendous addition to our entire organization and will help further our standing as the premier fleet management provider in the industry,” said ARI’s Senior Vice President of Sales Anthony Foursha.


WEX Fleet Cards Now Accepted at Monro Family of Maintenance Centers

Fleets Can Increase Uptime Paying on Expanded WEX Network

WEX Inc. today announced Monro Inc., the nation’s largest company-owned and -operated vehicle service chain, now accepts WEX fleet payment solutions from its customers.

Through this agreement, WEX’s universal fleet card can be used for payment services at more than 1,100 Monro locations operating under eight regional brands throughout the Eastern U.S.


Effects of the Changing Traffic Safety Culture

By Art Liggio, President and CEO, Driving Dynamics

Since 2008, the AAA Foundation has published a highly informative, eye-opening report titled: Traffic Safety Culture Index.

Included are annual survey results identifying drivers’ attitudes and behaviors related to traffic safety. Working with fleet safety professionals across the country, I have found that many are not aware of this report.

This report clearly indicates that our cultural attitude toward traffic safety is being compromised and the worsening crash statistics over the past few years bear this out.


Customer Driven

By John Round, Assistant Vice President of Sales, Wheels, Inc.

Many companies overcomplicate their customer experience by using the advice of outside focus groups and consultants. They forget the power of simply showing up.

I recently had an unexpectedly pleasant customer service experience just because someone showed up and did their job, and it made a powerful impression on me.

In the Midwest, spring begins to show some signs of life in June. However, along with the occasional 60-degree day comes the obvious reminder of winter’s toll on our neighborhood. It was during one of those 60-degree days that I was walking our dog and noticed our sidewalk looked as if it had been plowed with a jackhammer. There were large cracks and uneven pavement that made walking on it a challenge.

The more I stared at the sidewalk the more I wondered who’d be liable if someone were to trip and get hurt…in front of my house, which gets a ton of foot traffic.



Peak Car?

Continued growth in ride-hailing and car-sharing means auto sales are destined to decline long-term, analysts predict, and the peak may already be behind us.

The need to replace lost revenue is the reason OEMs have been entering the car-sharing industry, even though related revenues have been minuscule so far, compared to their legacy business.

“Fast forward just five years and (mobility) services will eat into automobile sales, leaving automakers vulnerable if they don’t find ways to augment their income, according to Munich-based consultancy Berylls Strategy Advisors.

By 2030 in the U.S., where data is most readily available, Berylls predicts that total sales of cars — individually owned and shared — will fall almost 12 percent to 15.1 million vehicles.”

Read the article at Automotive News


Fiat’s Strategy


The late Sergio Marchionne kept the automaker from pouring money into research, and that approach might just pay off.

When Waymo picks up its first paying customer in a driverless taxi later this year, the car doing the honors will be made by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV. Not the sensors and software—the futuristic technology that allows a robot to drive a minivan will be made by Waymo. The relatively boring minivan itself? That’s pretty much Fiat Chrysler’s only significant contribution to the race to develop autonomous vehicles.

Read the article at Bloomberg

Fleet Trends & Issues

In-Dash Fuel Payment Now Available Through GM and Shell Partnership

The Detroit Bureau

Aiming to make the customer experience at to the gas station a bit easier, General Motors and Shell have partnered to offer “Pay and Save” allowing users to pay for and get discounts on gas using an imbedded app in the infotainment system.

Using the GM’s Marketplace app, users can now locate the nearest Shell station and pay for gas without having to get more than a foot away from their vehicle and without swiping a credit card or using a smart phone to complete the transaction. Payment is charged to the payment method on file, with Fuel Rewards savings applied.

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

Environmentalists Claim New Documents Reveal Trump’s Fuel Arguments Have No Credibility

USA Today

When it comes to drafting a new policy to ease fuel-economy rules, newly released documents show disagreements between the nation’s top environmental regulator, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Transportation Department’s auto safety arm, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Environmentalists seized on the documents as proof that the Trump administration is making a bad decision. Andrew Linhardt, deputy director of the Sierra Club, said the documents “ignored all the evidence showing the health and safety benefits of the Clean Car standards in favor of destroying clean air and healthy communities.”

Read the article at USA Today.

The Hottest New Car And Truck Features For 2019


Sure, any car or truck can get you from the proverbial Point A to Point B, and these days most can be expected to make quick and pleasant work of it.

But it’s a car or truck’s most fanciful features that make one stand out from another in a crowded parking lot. These are items that can not only enhance a given model’s performance, safety, and comfort, in some cases they can even enhance a motorist’s personal productivity.

To help you keep current, here’s a quick look at some of the most fanciful vehicular gizmos and gadgets that are debuting for the 2019 model year.

Read the article at Forbes

Ford’s Voluntary Safety Report Emphasizes its Slow-and-Steady Approach to Self-Driving Vehicles

The Verge

Ford doesn’t want to be the first company to offer self-driving cars to the public; it wants to be the brand most synonymous with the word “trust” and believes their overly cautious approach could help them win over consumers.

That’s what Ford says in its self-driving safety report, entitled “A Matter of Trust,” which it delivered to the US Department of Transportation Thursday. The 44-page document outlines the technology and procedures Ford is using to safely deploy its fleet of autonomous test vehicles.

Read the article at The Verge.

Car Sharing

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

Despite its highly touted benefits, North American business fleets are lagging behind other markets in embracing car-sharing, still a relatively small but booming phenomenon, especially among younger consumers around the world.

That’s the view from a round of interviews with some key players and observers of the nascent car-sharing market.

One big reason for the lag: for the most part, unlike government and academic fleets, business fleets don’t pool their vehicles – they assign them for permanent use by a single driver. As such, drivers generally regard their vehicle as a benefit, and many drivers are allowed to drive them for personal use, some even by members of their immediate family.



Solving Problems


When an employee presents a problem to the boss, what should the response be? While empowering the employee by asking “what’s your plan for solving this issue?” it also creates much greater trust between boss and employee, increasing the chances that the employee will continue to discuss problems.

When employees stop bringing problems, leaders tend to get fired.

There may be times when an employee truly has no response when you ask, “what’s your plan for solving this issue?” And if that’s the case, you can certainly provide some help and guidance. Be careful of so dominating the conversation that the employee doesn’t develop the kind of critical thinking, innovation, problem-solving and resilience skills that will enable them to solve future problems.

Read the article at Forbes.


Globally Speaking

Automotive News Europe

The second phase in the adoption of WLTP — the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure for identifying auto emission levels for all new cars and trucks sold — goes into effect September 1, and it’s been causing near-chaos and the adoption of “Plan B” by fleets and OEMS as they struggle to cope with it.

The problems stem from the fact that the test is lengthier, more rigorous and is finding that vehicle emissions are considerably higher than the test it’ is replacing, the New European Driving Cycle. As of next month, only auto models that have been WLTP-tested can be sold, more effective emission-control systems may have to be installed, raising car prices, and the higher emissions can mean higher taxes for drivers.


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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