August 6, 2019

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Departure and Arrival

We have worked so well with Phil Russo during his 14-year tenure with NAFA Fleet Management Association and I speak for our entire FMW team in wishing Phil great success in his next endeavor. One of my favorite memories of Phil is watching him onstage with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes at NAFA I&E in Atlantic City in 2013. Pure joy.

Bill Schankel, CAE, and interim CEO at NAFA, told FMW: “Phil said he loved his time with NAFA and made many great friends. He’s also been a great resource for me during my two years here at NAFA. It will be full-steam ahead here at NAFA, and we’re in the midst of launching some terrific, new initiatives that will add a lot of value for members. Watch for our announcements over the coming weeks.” Sounds exciting!

We celebrate a new arrival! We congratulate our UK editor Andrew Boada and his wife Helen Miller on the birth of a baby daughter on Sunday. Another treasured grandchild for executive editor Mark Boada!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Validation of the FICO® Safe Driving Score Used by eDriving’s Mentor

The FICO Safe Driving Score used by eDriving’s Mentor has been validated with benchmarking against the naturalistic driving data from the second Strategic Highway Research Program, spanning three years, nearly 3,000 drivers and over 30 million miles driven.

Administered by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, this dataset represents the largest of its kind and is the “gold standard” for such validation research. And that means you can feel very good about using Mentor and the FICO® Safe Driving Score to reduce risk and make major improvements to driver safety within your fleet.

For more info regarding Mentor by eDriving and the FICO® Safe Driving Score, CLICK HERE.

VIDEO: Keep Your Fleet Department Humming

 Getting Your Fleet Department’s Processes Right

To keep your fleet department humming, it’s important to make sure your processes are on the right path.

VIDEO: ASE-Certified Technicians Come to You

 Vehicle Repair Time: From 2 Days to 2 Hours

Wrench has combined an online platform to maintain your fleet and your drivers with ASE-certified technicians who come to you, and the results have been impressive.

The Fleet Spot

Phil Russo Leaves NAFA After 14 Years

Phillip E. Russo, CAE, NAFA’s Chief Executive Officer, has left the association after more than 14 years at its helm.

“I have loved my time with NAFA,” Russo said. “I’ve made many great friends and have so many great memories.”

Russo, who led NAFA since 2005 as its Executive Director and CEO, had an employment contract that was set to expire at the end of this year. Russo and the NAFA Board of Directors agreed on an exit strategy that will permit Russo to leave before then.

Under Russo’s leadership NAFA accomplished the following:
– A rebrand which included a name change, a logo redesign, and a revision of bylaws
– Growth in annual conference sponsorship
– An increase in reserve funds
– An increase in member engagement through a fleet sustainability credential, a micro-certificate exam, extensive government affairs activities, and an online community initiative

Read more.

Have You Registered for AFLA? Have You Booked Your Room at the Gorgeous Arizona Grand Resort & Spa

Many of you already know that the AFLA Conference is amazing for learning and networking, and may likely also know that this year is the 50th anniversary (with all kinds of great extras in store!). But do you know how absolutely gorgeous the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa is?

Nestled at the base of America’s largest urban park and wilderness preserve, Arizona’s only AAA Four Diamond all-suite resort features spacious one and two-bedroom suites. AFLA has negotiated a special rate of $199/night for AFLA attendees at the Arizona Grand. All rooms are first-come, first-served and rates are only guaranteed until August 23, 2019.

REGISTER for AFLA and book your room HERE

Merchants Fleet Expands Fleet Consulting Group

Merchants Fleet has expanded its fleet consulting group by hiring three senior fleet consultants: Chad Edmonson, Lawrence Liu, and Eric Miller.

The hires bring a combined fifty years of experience from the fleet and financial industries and are based across the country.

The expansion is the latest success in the company’s FleetIQ initiative, which is dedicated to recruiting and retaining the best talent in the fleet industry. To date, the initiative has attracted over 50 professionals to the Merchants team.


Auto Truck Group to Build New State-of-the-Art Production Facility in Fort Wayne

Auto Truck Group, a work truck upfitter of truck and van equipment announced plans to build an all-new production facility in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The company plans to invest more than $6 million to build a 72,000 square-foot manufacturing complex which is scheduled to open early next year and is poised to nearly double the production capacity of Auto Truck Group’s current Fort Wayne location.

“Our Fort Wayne facility and its employees have played a vital role in our company’s continued success and as a result of this unprecedented growth, we’ve quickly outgrown our current location,” said Pete Dondlinger, President, Auto Truck Group.

Read more.

Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketer

Last month, we began our discussion of inbound marketing by addressing the three-phased start to developing an effective program – Discovery, Brainstorming Phase, and Planning Phases.

Conor Bond, marketing blogger for Wordstream, succinctly defines the value of an effective inbound marketing effort for any B2B business: “It allows you to build trust with high-quality leads who demonstrate an active interest in your product or service, particularly important if your business has a relatively long sales cycle.”

In the fleet industry, prospects generally require time to assess myriad needs, research different offerings, and weigh the pros and cons of each alternative. For suppliers then, building brand awareness and trust over that long buyer decision process is mandatory.



The Role of Driver Coach

What interests the boss fascinates the worker

By Jim Noble, VP of Risk Engineering, eDriving

Road safety is moving in the wrong direction, and our unsafe driving habits are contributing to this. We know that about 94% of crashes are caused by incorrect driver behavior and attitudes – not skills – and, because of this, attempting to improve driver skills is not the solution.

Instead, it’s guiding drivers to safer attitudes and behaviors that will have a lasting impact on road safety, and one of the ways to encourage drivers to form good habits is through coaching.

Consider this: people tend to remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear and 30% of what they see. But they tend to remember 90% of what they do.



In the Public Interest

Department plans to go all-hybrid by 2024

The New York City Police Department will begin patrolling the city’s streets with hybrid cruisers this fall, and plans to convert all of its 10,000 vehicles to hybrid models over the next five years.

The move is expected to save the NYPD millions of dollars a year in fuel costs and significantly reduce tailpipe emissions.

The first of the department’s new vehicles will be the Ford Fusion-based Police Responder Sedan, the first true hybrid built for police purposes. Although it sounds and drives like a typical police vehicle, Ford estimates the cars will save more than 1,500 gallons of fuel per car per year. The department currently spends about $15 million a year on gasoline.

The bulk of [the] fuel savings come during the five hours Ford estimates a police car spends idling nearly during a typical eight-hour shift. The electric motor on the hybrid allows the gas engine to turn off, saving more than 900 gallons a year per cruiser.


Fleet Trends & Issues

Study: Carsharing Showing ‘Powerful’ Global Growth

Carsharing has shown “powerful momentum” over the last three years, expanding into another 1,000 cities worldwide, an increase of some 47 percent, according to a new report by movmi, a Canadian mobility consulting company.

The study found that as of 2019 there are 236 carsharing service operators worldwide, in 3,128 cities spread out over 59 countries. The United States ranks first with 33 different operators, followed by Italy with 27 and Russia with 21. Canada, with 20, and Germany with 21 rounded out the top five countries measured by the number of operators. The world’s top five cities, the report found, were Moscow, Berlin, Los Angeles, London and San Francisco.

The study looked at all three types of carsharing models: station-based, in which drivers pick up and return vehicles at the same location; free-floating, by which vehicles may be picked up and left off anywhere in a defined area; and peer-to-peer, through which private individuals rent out their own vehicles.


The 20 Late-Model Cars Most Likely to Be Stolen

Car and Driver

A list of the 2016–2018 model year cars that are most likely to be stolen has been compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The agency created a method that calculates the relative likelihood that a car might be stolen, compared to the average frequency of thefts among all vehicles during the same time period.

Just because a car or truck doesn’t make this list doesn’t mean it’s theft-proof or never stolen—it just isn’t stolen frequently enough to crack the top 20.

Read the article at Car and Driver.

Colorado Defies Trump’s Attempt to Weaken Emission Regulations

The Detroit Bureau

As the Trump administration prepares to formally move on its plans to cut the federal mileage and emissions standards, the move could become moot.

Colorado is the latest state to strike a deal with automakers, following California’s move last week.

Agreements have now been set up with eight different automakers, ensuring the desired higher standards are met.

“This agreement will ensure that Coloradans have access to the range of clean car choices that are increasingly available to consumers in other states,” said Colorado Transportation Department Executive Director Shoshana Lew.

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

Ex-Audi Chief Charged With Fraud in Diesel Scandal

The New York Times

German prosecutors have charged Rupert Stadler, former chief executive of the Audi luxury car division of Volkswagen, with fraud for the company’s role in a diesel emissions cheating scandal.

Prosecutors said Stadler knew about the manipulation but continued to allow the cars to be sold or failed to take any action to prevent their sale.

The charges were the latest in Germany’s efforts to investigate and prosecute the architects of the scandal that has rocked the country’s automobile industry.

Read the article at The New York Times.

Hackable Cars


Los Angeles-based Consumer Watchdog released a study warning that the danger of fleet-wide hacks of connected vehicles is increasing, and recommends that automakers should install a 50-cent electronic “kill switch”.

Infotainment systems are connected to both the Internet and a vehicle’s CAN bus, a decades-old technology that links the engine, brakes and other key components.

‘White hat’ hackers have shown that Tesla and Jeep vehicles can be manipulated. The “kill switch” would give drivers the option to cut the connection between the internet and safety-critical features (like the brakes and the engine).

Read the article at Forbes.


Being Smart

State Farm

According to a new study by State Farm, Americans who drive vehicles equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) or Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), admit to using their smart phones while driving at significantly higher rates than those without the latest tech.

Take your eyes off the road for less than five seconds to focus on another task – while driving at 65 mph – the length of a football field in 3.2 seconds. Anything can happen in 100 yards.

“Innovations such as Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Assist are designed to make our roadways safer,” said Laurel Straub, State Farm Assistant Vice President, Enterprise Research. “These systems are meant to assist drivers, not replace them.”

Read the article at State Farm.


Autonomous Vehicles

The Washington Post

An autonomous vehicle continuously scans, detects, processes and, microsecond by microsecond, responds to what it sees or senses under, around and above the vehicle. Even weather is factored in.

Communication between autonomous vehicles is key to safe and effective autonomous operation.

Phasing out non-autonomous vehicles, necessary for sufficient vehicular intercommunication, must be staged over time region by region. Dominant autonomous car production and use throughout the country are years away.

Read the article at The Washington Post.

Fleet Management Resources


Offering a nationwide vehicle delivery and relocation service; serving the corporate and commercial fleet industry.

eDriving partners with its clients to engage with drivers and their managers to create a culture that supports lasting behavioral change to reduce collisions, injuries, license violations as well as a fleet’s total cost of ownership.

SuperVision is a fleet driver management solution for MVR & license monitoring, fleet management, fleet safety oversight and driver performance and retention.

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.

WEX fuel cards and fleet management solutions give you powerful tools to reduce spending — for any business, any fleet, any size.

Driving Dynamics
Driving Dynamics was established to help corporate fleet drivers develop expert, safe driving skills using proven, advanced driving techniques.

PARS’ mission is to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices for all of your transportation needs.

Wheels, Inc.
First in fleet for 79 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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