October 9, 2018

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Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News


We’ve been fretting about the future of our planet for years now, often in this space. While we are seeing the impact of climate change even now, the immediate future is calamitous, according to a report issued by the United Nation’s scientific panel on climate change.

Can anything be done? More to the point, can anyone convince President Trump and the deniers in Congress that climate change is not a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, as Trump has infamously declared? If the UN report, which describes “…a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040” doesn’t move them, what will it take? Will their children and grandchildren be grateful that they stood by the “Chinese hoax” theory?

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: Vehicle Relocation with an Eye on Safety

As part of a continuing focus on safety, every vehicle that PARS relocates is automatically checked for open recalls, and every PARS driver is subject to continuous MVR monitoring.

VIDEO: Fleet Industry Leaders

 So Many Great Experiences with AFLA!

Mary Sticha served in several board roles at AFLA, then moved her way up to president. She’s had a great time helping make the organization even better, and she’s built some lasting relationships along the way.

VIDEO: Fleet and Remarketing

 Remarketing, Fleet and Younger Buyers

Younger buyers are increasingly willing to buy remarketed vehicles online and sight-unseen – but earning and keeping their trust is critically important.

The Fleet Spot

Brian DeFoney Joins Merchants Fleet Management

Merchants Fleet Management is pleased to announce Brian DeFoney has joined their team as Regional Sales Manager. His territory will be focused on Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.

“We’re excited to have Brian as part of the Merchants sales team,” said Jon Keller, Regional Vice President, East Region. “His extensive experience in fleet sales and his excellent record with customer retention make him an outstanding addition to the company.”


eDriving and Munich Re Team Up to Help Reduce Commercial Fleet Risk

eDriving Will Warranty 20% Reduction in Collisions

eDriving® and Munich Reinsurance America, Inc. (Munich Re) have teamed up to offer companies with commercial fleets a driver risk reduction program. eDriving warranties organizations will reduce the number of collisions by at least 20 percent in the first program year or the program fees will be refunded.

Ed Dubens, eDriving chief executive officer and founder, said, “Our new warranty offers clients and partners confidence that they will successfully reduce their fleet risk. We’ve spent more than 20 years refining our approach with some of the world’s largest fleets, and their sustained year-over-year collision performance is what gives us the conviction to offer this warranty.”


Driving Dynamics Launches Hands-On Driver Coaching Course

Driving Dynamics Inc. announced today the rollout of DriveWiseAdvantage (DriveWise).

DriveWise is an on-road behavior and skills coaching service designed to help drivers acknowledge, address and correct poor driving habits, risky behaviors and diminished skills.

Driving Dynamics is showcasing its DriveWise service at booth #12 during the 2018 NETS Annual Strength in Numbers Conference on October 10 and 11 in Frisco Texas.


Jim Naatz Named VP of Sales at Driving Dynamics

Bringing 30+ years of sales and sales management experience combined with more than two decades promoting driver safety in the transportation industry, Jim Naatz has been appointed vice president, sales at Driving Dynamics.

Mr. Naatz comes to Driving Dynamics from Lytx, a San Diego-based video telematics company, where he sold its suite of safety-related products and services.

“My passion for safety and knowing I could make a difference, through education and awareness, in combating the fact that more 37,000 people die on our roads annually is what drew me to Driving Dynamics. I look forward to adding my dedication and expertise to the collective knowledge of the organization.” said Jim Naatz, Driving Dynamics vice president, sales.


Disruptive Leadership

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

For the past decade or so, the press has been filled with stories about how difficult millennials are to manage. We’re talking about people born approximately between 1980 and 1996, and the complaints about them are legion: They lack a work ethic, question and disrespect authority, are needy, and want to be pampered.

The description sounds like a nightmare. But as a business leader for a number of years, that negative portrayal doesn’t fit. That’s not to say I haven’t come across individual employees with those traits, but I don’t think they are any more prevalent among people between the ages of 22 and 38 than they are among any other age group.

The reason I don’t share the negative perception of millennials is because I’ve seen a very different type of millennial.



Fleet Spectator

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

Amid all the political brouhaha coming out of Washington, one thing seems to have been forgotten: the sorry state of America’s highways and bridges.

I was prompted to ponder them when the bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy in August. Signs are that rain-induced corrosion of the bridge’s steel cables that ultimately caused them to snap. 38 people died and another 15 were injured as a result.

The incident reminded me of the collapse of another bridge 11 years earlier, almost to the day. It was the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which killed 13 people and injured 145 more. And that brought me back to a number of sad facts about both the quality and inadequacy of our roadways.



Globally Speaking

They’re all the same, but different, speakers say

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

Fleet managers around the world share many of the same frustrations, but at last week’s AFLA 2018 Corporate Fleet conference, a panel of fleet management association leaders from three different countries, while agreeing on that sameness, pointed to some marked differences in conditions in each of them.

The UK is plagued by a number of stressors, not least among which are rising taxes on fleet-provided cars, which is causing their number to decline, and uncertainty over the effects of Brexit, the scheduled departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. By contrast, in Australia fleet car sales are growing, powered in part by a relatively novel form of lease. And in Mexico, fleet management is still in its infancy, with low levels of professionalism, while fleets are plagued by chronic difficulties in license and titling, the recovery of stolen cars, and many of the routine functions fleet managers handle in other countries.

READ MORE for highlights of the presentations made by each of the speakers during the conference’s session “Understanding the Global Fleet Market.”

Fleet Trends & Issues

A Smartphone-Like Ecosystem Could Unlock the Winner in the EV Race


Cars, SUVs, crossovers and trucks certainly could be the “ultimate mobile devices” if automobiles and the transport industry learned how to develop and leverage a “smartphone ecosystem” for electrified vehicles, integrating the emerging trends of autonomous, connected and shared vehicles.

The value lies in the seamless integration of renewable energy, connectivity, access to charging networks, smart use of parking and people-friendly spaces in cities, recognition of more fleet operators and the myriad of technology enablers required for self-driving. Some have claimed that a car is only a smartphone on wheels.

Read the article at Forbes.

Seeking Accident Reduction, San Diego Plumbing Fleet Hits It Big With Its New Telematics System

Dramatic reduction in accidents, reduced fuel consumption, increase in productivity

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

Ask Rhett Wheeler, operations risk manager who doubles as the fleet manager for Bill Howe Plumbing, Inc. in San Diego, what kind of return the company has enjoyed from its investment in telematics and he’ll tell you this: “We haven’t calculated the precise numbers, but with our accident reduction, fuel savings and improvement in productivity, it’s got to be 100 to one.”


Trump Administration’s Updated Driverless Vehicle Policy Seeks to Ease Regulations

The Washington Post

The Trump administration updated the federal driverless vehicle policy to cover buses, transit and trucks in addition to cars, and it remains voluntary, putting the onus for safety on the companies developing the technologies rather than government regulation.

The updated automated vehicle policy says the Department of Transportation “will modernize or eliminate outdated regulations that unnecessarily impede the development of automated vehicles” and argues that “conflicting State and local laws and regulations surrounding automated vehicles create confusion, introduce barriers, and present compliance challenges.”

Read the article at The Washington Post.

Forget Trump: Europe Plans to Push for More Ambition on Climate


Carmakers are discovering there are limits when it comes to influencing European Union climate policy. The European Parliament ignored industry warnings by voting for CO2 cuts of 20 percent in 2025 and 40 percent in 2030.

The EU wants to send a strong message regarding climate change amid public outrage over Volkswagen AG’s cheating on tests. “Politically in the EU the stance is hardening toward the need for action on climate protection,” said Raphael Danglade, program executive for energy and climate at the Friends of Europe think tank in Brussels.

Read the article at Bloomberg.

Equipment Leasing

By Anthony Sasso, Head of TD Bank Equipment Finance

The transportation industry is experiencing a fundamental shift as fleet companies are adjusting to increasing expenses and changing industry dynamics.

Fuel prices have surged, wages have increased due to the driver shortage, and the federal funds rate, which has surfaced from historic lows, is expected to continue to rise.

To stay competitive, fleet companies are looking to acquire capital equipment that mitigates expense and meets the ever-changing consumer demands. And with the rapid pace of technological and efficiency improvements, such as increased mileage per gallon, collision avoidance, automatic transmission and alternative fuel options, many companies are looking to engage in shorter term lease options. According to 63% of fleet managers surveyed in April at the NAFA Institute & Expo, the expected cycle of upgrading to newer trucks and trailers will be shortened in the next three to five years.



Deadly SUVs

The Verge

The number of people killed while driving or riding in SUVs rose 3 percent in 2017. It’s even more deadly to be outside of one. The number of pedestrians killed in crashes involving SUVs has skyrocketed by 81 percent in the last decade according to the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s report.

The way SUVs are designed with larger bodies and higher carriage mean pedestrians are more likely to suffer deadly blows to the torso. And higher clearance means victims are more likely to get trapped underneath a speeding SUV instead of pushed onto the hood or off to the side.

Read the article at The Verge.


Women and the C-Suite


Women are a long way from being equally represented on the way to and in the C-suite. Increasing the number of women at every level of an organization is possible if its leaders are ready to use practical solutions.

The strategies are to (1) actively increase the pipeline of women in middle and senior management roles, (2) improve the culture and receptiveness of organizations toward women leaders, (3) develop creative solutions to structural job design issues that hold women back, and (4) move more women into general management and P&L roles from which CEO and other top management appointments are made.

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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