January 26, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

FMW Launches Podcasts — This Week: Paul Lauria

FMW is excited to debut our first podcast in this publication. We proudly feature Paul Lauria, president and co-founder of Mercury Associates talking with Ted Roberts about the state of today’s fleet industry. Mercury offers consulting services to a wide variety of fleets, both public and private, giving Lauria a somewhat unique perspective.

If telematics is your beat, you will not want to miss Donald Dunphy’s interview with Colin Sutherland on Geotab’s new GO9+ upgrade.

Finally, we wish Ron Breslow, a true gentleman who enjoyed a 40-year career with FLD, a long and happy retirement. We love the story of a young kid from Philly looking for his life’s work. He sure found it!

Stay safe, everyone!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: An E-Lesson in Navigating Situations of Civil Unrest

Protests. Police stops. Civil unrest. Are your fleet drivers aware of these hazards and prepared to make smart journey choices during these troubling times? Driving Dynamics has a new e-lesson to help make sure that they are.

VIDEO: Safer Braking Technology

 Safer Braking Technology Can Help Protect Your Fleet

Even before COVID-19, many drivers were already selfish and self-absorbed, and it’s only gotten worse. It’s good to know that safer braking technology from Pulse can help to keep your fleet more protected.

PODCAST: Paul Lauria on the Fleet Industry

 State of the Fleet Industry Today

The ongoing perfect storm: succession planning to avoid a brain drain during the time of the pandemic.

The Fleet Spot

President Biden: Replace Entire Federal Fleet with EVs

Tech Crunch

President Joe Biden said Monday the U.S. government would replace the entire federal fleet of cars, trucks and SUVs with electric vehicles manufactured in the United States, a commitment tied to a broader campaign promise to create 1 million new jobs in the American auto industry and supply chains.

“The federal government also owns an enormous fleet of vehicles, which we’re going to replace with clean electric vehicles made right here in America, by American workers, creating millions of jobs — a million auto worker jobs.”

The opportunity is a large one. The U.S. government had more than 645,000 vehicles in its fleet in 2019, the most recent data available from the General Services Agency. Of those, about 224,000 are passenger vehicles and more than 412,000 are trucks.

Read the article at Tech Crunch

RepairSmith Welcomes Senior Executives to Leadership Team

RepairSmith Release

Today, RepairSmith, the company whose mission is to deliver convenient auto repair everywhere, announces that Alison Burnham, PhD, has been promoted to Chief Data & Analytics Officer.

Additionally, two new executives are joining the RepairSmith team, automotive industry experts Tom Peterson as Senior Vice President of Fleet and Dave Pributsky as Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships.

“We are investing in best-in-class talent and technology to grow our convenient repair and maintenance service for car owners and fleets,” said Joel Milne, RepairSmith CEO. “I am excited to welcome our new executives to our leadership team as we focus on expanding into new markets and advancing our services with optimizations and new features this year.”


Motus Research: COVID Neglect Has Caused Soaring Maintenance Costs

By Ken Robinson, Market Research Analyst, Motus

Motus automotive data (captured and analyzed across the world’s largest retained pool of drivers) helps the company keep a pulse on industry trends.

Motus today shared insights around how not servicing a vehicle regularly as a result of COVID has led to increased maintenance issues, including:

  • Battery replacements—these have increased more than 180% over pre-pandemic levels
  • Vehicles not starting – reports of vehicles not starting due to an unknown issue have increased by 15% since March
  • Premature brake wear – when a vehicle sits idle, rust can develop on brake rotors and cause damage to other brake components

The full findings are available here: https://www.motus.com/vehicle-maintenance-during-covid/

Want to Make Your Case for Motor Pool? Here’s How

By Ed Smith, President, Agile Fleet

If you are reading this you probably already know that your organization can save tens of thousands – even hundreds of thousands of dollars — by sharing vehicles, reducing unneeded vehicles, and automating fleet management processes.

You know that by automating things like vehicle reservations, dispatching, and billing and reporting, your organization can experience incredible time savings (for fleet managers) and convenience (for users of the fleet.) We’ve seen our customers do all these and more.

And in a COVID-19 environment, it’s even more crucial to reduce costs. Budgets are getting cut everywhere. The single most effective way to reduce fleet costs is to reduce unneeded vehicles and share them efficiently.


A Career in Fleet Remarketing

Ron Breslow Joined FLD Remarketing As Kid, Retires As Partner

If careers were hat racks, Ron Breslow would likely appear to be the biggest haberdasher in town because he wore just about every hat that existed in the remarketing world!

Office guy, driver, lot manager, auction lead, vice president, partner — pretty much whatever the main cog in a company wheel needs to do. To hear Breslow say it, it’s possible that over the years, he’d be out waxing cars when he wasn’t making major business decisions.

In a tenure that lasted over 40 years, the just recently retired partner of Delray Beach-based fleet services company FLD Remarketing handled just about every position the company ever had and some that may not have even existed!

“Hell, if someone needed me to sweep the parking lot,” I probably did that too,” mused Breslow, now retired and comfortably ensconced in his Florida home, not far from the office where he helped pioneer the modern vehicle remarketing industry.



Continuous MVR Monitoring

According to conventional wisdom, pulling a driver’s motor vehicle record (MVR) once a year is enough to identify risky drivers. In fact, it gives risky drivers a long grace period before discovery and unnecessarily raises the fleet’s risk profile and potential for a costly liability claim.

By Adam Danielson, Director of Sales

Among the most common objections to implementing a continuous motor vehicle record (MVR) program is that a once-a-year MVR pull is “good enough” to identify risky drivers.

This objection, which reflects conventional wisdom about MVRs, is true enough for most drivers. In fact, the vast majority of drivers will not have a violation necessitating the pulling of an MVR and intervention by fleet personnel or management.

However, even the best driver can engage in risky behavior resulting in a violation — raising the fleet’s risk profile, the potential for a serious crash, and a liability lawsuit.

Once-a-year MVR pulls are a gift to risky drivers, giving them a grace period of almost a year before a violation is discovered — putting the company at risk for a liability lawsuit if this behavior escalates into a serious injury or fatality accident.



Fleet Telematics

By Donald Dunphy, Contributing Editor

In early January, Geotab announced the availability of its upgraded GO9 port-connected telematics device.

The GO9+ features Wi-Fi connectivity that provides businesses with full real-time visibility of vehicles with the added component of up to four hours of usage with the ignition off. GO9+ will be offered through AT&T initially, with networks in Canada launching the solution mid-2021.

“It’s an art form these days to develop a product like ours that fits into a very small form yet meets all the necessary regulatory standards,” said Colin Sutherland, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Geotab. “This product has been in development for over a year and a half. Because it is a Wi-Fi enabled device with a cellular modem, gaining the certifications for such a device through the AT&T network can be quite complex.”

Further, Sutherland explained, the Wi-Fi component required additional certification as per the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which meant additional strategic planning for the product cycle.

The GO9+ platform arrives as fleets start considering how their present telematics options will fare when 3G wireless mobile telecommunications technology shuts down in 2022 in the United States.


Fleet Trends & Issues

Majority of Electric Vehicle Owners are Intent on Purchasing Another One in the Future, J.D. Power Finds

J.D. Power

Among the early adopters who own an electric vehicle (EV), 82% say they “definitely will” consider purchasing another EV in the future, according to the inaugural J.D. Power U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Ownership Study. However, satisfaction with the current ownership experience is a key influencer for whether owners will purchase the same brand of EV again.

“Brand loyalty can be fickle among EV owners,” said Brent Gruber, senior director of global automotive at J.D. Power. “While early adopters of EVs say they’ll remain loyal to EVs in general, staying with the same brand is not a sure thing. Auto manufacturers will have to keep EV owners and shoppers interested in their products beyond just the cost equation.”

Read the article at J.D. Power.

Electric Vehicles Close to ‘Tipping Point’ of Mass Adoption

The Guardian

Thanks to the plummeting cost of batteries, electric vehicles are close to the “tipping point” of rapid mass adoption experts say. This week the first factory production began of batteries capable of giving a 200-mile charge in five minutes.

Global sales rose 43% in 2020, but even faster growth is anticipated when continuing falls in battery prices bring the price of electric cars dipping below that of equivalent petrol and diesel models, even without subsidies. The latest analyses forecast that to happen some time between 2023 and 2025.

The tipping point has already been passed in Norway, where tax breaks mean electric cars are cheaper. The market share of battery-powered cars soared to 54% in 2020 in the Nordic country, compared with less than 5% in most European nations. In a recent poll of 2,000 electric car owners, 91% said they would not want to go back.

Read the article at The Guardian.

Off-Lease Cars: What Are the Best Deals?


As an influx of off-lease vehicles is expected to enter the market this summer, a new study by car search engine iSeeCars.com reveals which 3-year-old used cars depreciate the most to present the best deals for consumers.

While the average vehicle depreciates 39.1 percent after the average car lease term of three years, the highest-depreciating vehicles lose more than half of their value, resulting in significant savings for consumers opting to buy a 3-year-old vehicle instead of a new one.

“Three years is a popular age for used car buyers because the cars have taken a major depreciation hit, but likely have many of the latest modern safety and technology features,” said iSeeCars CEO Phong Ly. “ Some of these bargains provide good opportunities for car shoppers as reliable vehicles that are discounted because they simply aren’t as popular in their vehicle segments.”

Read the article at iSeeCars.

Biden to tell U.S. Agencies to Review Fuel Efficiency Standards, Overturning Trump

The Detroit News

President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing agency heads to review dozens of Trump-era rules that would affect public health and the environment – including fuel economy standards that impact all global automakers selling vehicles in the United States.

Biden is likely to roll back changes made under Trump and institute more stringent fuel economy standards akin to the Obama standard. The new president is expected to be more proactive toward realizing the all-electric future envisioned by major automakers, saying that he wants to see 500,000 charging stations installed to support the transition to EVs.

The administration also is likely to drop the Trump administration’s rule arguing that California can’t set its own greenhouse gas and mileage standards.

Read the article at The Detroit News.

Climate Change


We need breakthroughs in the way we generate and store clean electricity, grow food, make things, move around, and heat and cool our buildings, so we can do all these things without adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. We should create the National Institutes of Energy Innovation.

The lesson for climate change is that we can’t avoid a climate disaster through technological innovation alone. We also need policy innovations to make sure that scientists’ breakthroughs make it from the lab to the market, and that they’re affordable enough for developing countries as well as rich ones.

Governments need to work together to develop common goals, share knowledge, and make sure that clean technologies developed in one country will spread quickly to others. We’re already seeing the impact of climate change. So even as we develop and deploy ways to prevent future warming, we also need to adapt to the effects that higher temperatures are having around the world.

Read the article at GatesNotes.


Federal Highway Funds

The Detroit Bureau

In his first week in office, President Joe Biden has made it clear that climate change is one of his top concerns, with plans to address issues like tailpipe emissions, fuel economy and the push for battery-electric vehicles on his agenda.

The Federal Highway Fund is teetering on insolvency, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), even as studies warn the nation’s highways and bridges are in increasingly poor condition. With federal gas taxes providing the vast majority of the fund’s revenues, there may be no other option but to increase those taxes or find a new way of raising funds.

There is “a lot of work to do to improve the infrastructure in this country, a mission that will not only keep more people safe, but also grow our economy as we look to the future,” Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Transportation Department nominee told a U.S. Senate panel, adding, “We need to look at any responsible, viable revenue mechanism we can all agree on to replenish highway fund coffers.”

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.


Being Innovative

Fast Company

Forward-thinking individuals have a number of things in common. They build a successful product or company, reap their rewards, and then struggle to do so again. The reality is, most people struggle to be innovative more than once.

There are things all great innovators share in common that keep them motivated, engaged, and passionate about continuously pushing the creative boundaries of what the rest of the world deems “possible.”

One of the great qualities of an innovative thinker is someone who is curious, open-minded, and willing to think outside of normal paradigms. Where most people find comfort in uniformity, innovators tend to reject it. They want to stretch beyond what is comfortable—so much so that it ends up making a lot of other people feel a bit uncomfortable in the process.

Read the article at Fast Company.

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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