May 26, 2020

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Goodbye, Mr. Elliott!

We are going to miss Bill Elliott! He is leaving his post at AFLA to become president and CEO of the Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association. He has expertly guided AFLA over the past eight years and as his many friends will attest, he has been a delight to work with. At the same time, we are excited to post the news that Elizabeth Schlicht, CAE, who has adroitly served as associate executive director at AFLA, is now stepping in as executive director. We could not be more excited for Elizabeth and for AFLA!

Does B2B car sharing have a future? FMW interviewed Alex Thibault, vice president at Vulog, the leading maker of car sharing platform technology, and posed that very question. Thibault says, “The movement towards sharing in the corporate world will continue occurring organically under the radar, especially after the COVID shock, as a way for companies to rationalize costs and reduce risk that fleets will stay idle for long periods.”

Continuous driver monitoring is the theme of Trent Dressen’s latest article for SuperVision. Risky drivers can leave a fleet open to enormous liability but, offering a solution, Dressen says, “There’s an app for that.”

Stay safe! Keep well!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Good Advice for Vendors and Trusted Partners

Now is the time for vendors and trusted partners to keep supporting clients – to the best of their abilities, and with lots of empathy.

VIDEO: Resources for the Times

 NAFA Offers Timely Resources for the Pandemic

NAFA has some great resources to help fleet managers cope during the pandemic, including a COVID-19 Resource Center and some enjoyable virtual chats where you can stay connected with your peers.

Video Interview with YOU Here?

 Request for Zoom Video Interviews

We’re ramping up FMW’s video interviews via Zoom given the times, and are looking to speak with a variety industry experts (and we know that many of you are reading!).

Please feel free to suggest yourself, or someone you know. Any and all timely industry topics will be considered, and we look forward to speaking with you!

Email Ted Roberts to learn more:

The Fleet Spot

AFLA Announces Executive Director Transition

Bill Elliott leaves to become the President & CEO of the Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association; Elizabeth Schlicht steps in to lead AFLA into the future

“AFLA is an incredible organization, and I will always hold a special place in my heart for the corporate fleet industry,” said Elliott. He continued, “I’m incredibly proud of the success that we have had over the past eight or so years. AFLA has an incredibly professional and dedicated board of directors who understand the importance of strategic leadership and organizational evolution, and I’m certain that AFLA is well positioned to succeed as the leading corporate fleet and mobility association well into the future.”

Elizabeth Schlicht, CAE has been appointed as AFLA’s new Executive Director after working with the organization for more than 6 years. “Returning to AFLA is a wonderful opportunity and I’m excited to roll up my sleeves, partnering with the board as we move forward with the organization’s strategic plan for the future.”


Wheels-ALD Partner with Shouqi Car Rental & Leasing in China

Wheels Press Release

Des Plaines, Ill, May 14, 2020 – Wheels Inc., a leader in the automotive fleet management and services industry, along with its global partner ALD Automotive, announce a partnership with Shouqi Car Rental & Leasing (Shouqi) in China. As part of their strategy to increase coverage in Asia, Wheels-ALD will partner with Shouqi in providing automotive leasing and fleet management services to global corporations in China.

The partnership includes cross referrals, common participation to global fleet tenders, comprehensive fleet services such as fuel provision, insurance, accident management; and overall support including transparent commercial terms and global fleet reporting using the platform.


Wholesale Prices Rebound in the First Half of May After Historic Fall


As used retail sales have started to recover, both retail and wholesale supply are coming down.

Retail supply peaked in early April and was down below normal as of May 15. Wholesale supply has also come down dramatically but remained about twice the normal level as of May 15.

Wholesale used vehicle prices (on a mix-, mileage-, and seasonally adjusted basis) increased 5.74% comparing the first 15 days of May to the month of April. This brought the mid-month Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index to 133.0, a 4.8% decrease from May 2019.

Read the article at Manheim.

Cybersecurity Expert: Many Fleets Are Unprotected Against a Massive, Calamitous Hack

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

Most fleets are unaware that they might be defenseless against a cyber-attack that could disable all of their vehicles, according to a long-time veteran of the cybersecurity industry.

In an extensive interview with Fleet Management Weekly, Dan Sahar, vice president of product at Upstream Security, a cloud-based automotive cybersecurity company, said that the adoption of telematics and the proliferation of other digital connections has created a growing number of “connected” vehicles that are vulnerable to long- and short-range hacks from criminals that could disable every vehicle they operate.


More Efficient Fleet Management

By Trent Dressen, Director of Sales, SuperVision

“There’s an app for that” has become a common catchphrase that pretty much sums up today’s reliance on and easy access to technology.

The fleet industry has become a beneficiary of this technological boom with the ability to access all types of data related to vehicles, location drivers and more.

Aside from the convenience of these customized technology solutions, which help make the fleet manager’s job easier, is the added safety that goes along with many of today’s digital products.

Among these is a powerful tool that every fleet has at its disposal to pinpoint the riskiest drivers in the fleet and act before a crash or a fatality occurs: continuous driver monitoring.



Fleet Spectator

By Mark Boada, Executive Editor

It’s a tough time for the business-to-business car sharing industry. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic chilled the market, the by-the-hour rental business was suffering.

In February, Share Now, born by the merger of BMW’s and Daimler-Benz’ car sharing divisions and operating as Car2Go, closed its doors in the U.S. and Canada, after exiting all cities in Europe except Brussels, Florence and London last December. Then, in April, GM, announced that it was shutting down Maven, its car sharing division, citing as its reasons the pandemic’s effect on demand and that the business was “not profitable.”

Alex Thibault is vice president of Vulog and general manager of its North American operations. Vulog is the leading maker of car sharing platform technology and counts some of the biggest names in the ride-hailing and rental car companies in the world. In this interview with FMW, Thibault comments on the state of the business-to-business, or B2B, car sharing business and the broader car sharing industry as well.



Hertz Files Chapter 11

The Detroit Bureau

Hertz Global Holdings Inc. has filed Chapter 11, with plans to halt its purchase of new cars and light trucks for the foreseeable future, a move that will contribute to the sharp decline in the American market this year.

One uncertainty is how the bankruptcy filing will impact the used-car market. By slashing new car orders, Hertz could reduce the amount of near-new products flowing back onto dealer lots in the year or so ahead.

“Hertz has over a century of industry leadership and we entered 2020 with strong revenue and earnings momentum,” Hertz President and CEO Paul Stone said in the company’s statement. “With the severity of the COVID-19 impact on our business, and the uncertainty of when travel and the economy will rebound, we need to take further steps to weather a potentially prolonged recovery.”

All of Hertz’s businesses in the U.S. and abroad, including its Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, Firefly, Hertz Car Sales, and Donlen subsidiaries, remain open and serving customers.

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

Fleet Trends & Issues

Pandemic Alters Carmakers’ Driverless Plans

The Detroit News

With demand for car-sharing and ride-sharing diminishing sharply, companies are shifting their focus to using driverless vehicles to deliver goods before they ferry people – a reversal of a robo-taxi future envisioned just a few years ago, courtesy of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Ford Motor Co. is postponing the commercial deployment of its autonomous vehicles. Waymo had to temporarily suspend its on-road testing and its ride-hailing offerings in Arizona. Uber recently announced layoffs of 3,500, citing the pandemic.

General Motors is shutting down Maven, the car-sharing service that debuted in 2016 as the wave of the future. COVID-19 is changing how people perceive mass transit, and that shapes how GM will develop vehicles like the Origin, which is designed to transport many people.

Read the article at The Detroit News.

Study: Traffic Will Be Worse After Lockdown Ends


There are going to be a million studies on the coronavirus and its impacts in the years and decades to come, but we’re already getting data about driving and public transit, and what it means going forward in terms of ride sharing, purchasing, and traffic congestion.

A month ago, traffic was down more than 50 percent, according to MS2 a transportation data agency. Last Friday, as people slowly started to venture out, traffic was down just 29 percent.

If you don’t want to take buses, subways or rideshares, how are you supposed to get around? Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, technology services and digital transformation, found that 46 percent of those 11,000 respondents plan to use their car more frequently. They know where the car has been and who has been in it.

Read the article at MSN.

Detroit Three Have A New Competitor In The Electric Pickup War – It’s Called Endurance

Detroit Free Press

Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns plans to dominate the all-electric pickup market segment with the Endurance for years, even though he is taking on big guns Ford Motor Co. and General Motors.

The coronavirus pandemic caused the cancelation of the Detroit Auto Show next month, so Lordstown Motors will do a “virtual” reveal instead, likely in late June. Burns expects to take pre-orders for all 20,000 pickups the automaker will build next year.

Burns insists the Endurance will match, even outperform, a traditional gasoline pickup in every way. It can go from zero to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and has better traction than a traditional pickup.

Read the article at Detroit Free Press.

The Ten Most Dangerous Roads In The World, And How Self-Driving Cars Would Fare


Will we have AI self-driving cars that will allow us to take a wild ride on a dangerous road, doing so by telling the AI to maximally take risks on such roads, giving the humans quite a thrill (one presumes)?

For now, the automakers and self-driving tech firms have their hands full with getting self-driving cars to safely take people to the local grocery store, and thus this inquisitiveness about coping with especially dangerous roads is considered an edge or corner case (not something to be dealt with right now).

In the future, you might see advertising for brands of AI self-driving cars that showcase they can readily drive on scandalously dangerous roads, which might become a marketing pitch to differentiate one AI driving system from another. Take a look at a recently reported list of the Top Ten alleged most dangerous roads in the world.

Read the article at Forbes.

‘The Journey Goes On’

International Fleet World

Intended to help customers restart their business and get back to work with safe, sustainable and cost-effective mobility solutions, the new ‘The Journey Goes On’ proposition will be launched progressively across Arval’s eight largest territories (France, Italy, UK, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Poland and Belgium) over the coming weeks and adapted to local customer needs.

It’s built on three main pillars: Adapted operations to comply with social-distancing and driver safety, Flexible, shorter-term leasing solutions available right now to help businesses restart, Sustainable and alternative mobility solutions.

Alain van Groenendael, Arval Group chairman and CEO, said: “Arval changed its brand signature a few months ago to ‘For the many journeys in life”. More than ever, we believe that our mission is to help our customers, their drivers and individuals, to face the new journey we are all engaging in. They are all calling for more flexibility, as well as more safety. We want to be there for them, and that’s what ‘The Journey Goes On’ is all about.”

Read the article at International Fleet World.


Customer Driven

Companies are facing adversity and unfortunately, it may seem like you have little control over challenges thrown your way when dealing with COVID-19

By Art Liggio, CEO and president of Driving Dynamics

There is no way around it, the coronavirus pandemic has completely altered the way fleet-based organizations operate. For some, work has halted, and others are challenged to keep up with new demand. The uncertainty has left companies scrambling to reduce health exposure, keep employees safe and working, and business viable.

While the many hardships faced cannot be dismissed, there is light at the end of this tunnel and perhaps even opportunity. Together, let’s explore four ways you can encourage positivity and foster productivity to support drivers and the success of the business during these tough times.



Cost Reduction Opportunities

Or you can craft fleet cost reduction opportunities right from your vehicle life cycle


Call it what you may – sleight of hand, wizardry, magic… With the challenges and concerns your fleet is facing today as a result of the pandemic, you may feel like you’re going to need some impressive tricks to rebound.

Don’t worry, no illusions required. Just some solid, short-term strategic maneuvers to reduce your operating costs.

You can easily use the vehicle life cycle as a guide to organize your strategy. Think in terms of buying the vehicle, driving the vehicle, servicing the vehicle, and finally selling the vehicle at the end of its useful life. If you create a goal to materialize two or more opportunities in each phase, you’ll end up with more than a half-dozen new strategies – without any hocus pocus.
Here are some idea starters:


Fleet Management Resources


The Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association. Advancing corporate fleet worldwide.

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 80 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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