February 23, 2021

Follow us

Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

A Renewed Focus on Priorities

Check costs, increase productivity, accelerate safety – perennial items on fleet managers’ priority lists and under the microscope as we cautiously rebound from the economic downturn.

In Ed Pierce’s interview with Wheels senior product manager Sara Sweeney, we get an in-depth look at how the FMC’s new partnership with GM’s OnStar integrates with each of those priorities.

Vehicle relocation is a vital area where significant cost savings can be achieved. Teri Ross, PARS vice president, sales and client relations, says, “Many fleet managers know relocation providers like PARS as singularly focused on moving vehicles from point A to point B. But today’s moves are much more complex.”

Don’t miss our podcast with Donlen’s Keon Kim wherein he talks with Ted Roberts about the power of predictive analytics and what the technology means for Donlen’s clients.

Last week, while the nation watched with dismay and sorrow over the dire situation in Texas as the state suffered basic utility outages, those of us in Fleet knew that our friends in the great state were on the front lines. If you have a story you wish to tell, please email me.

Drive safety, keep well!

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Curb Management and Smarter, Safer Deliveries

Coord offers cities and fleets smart curb management that saves time and money, all while improving efficiency and increasing safety.

VIDEO: Preventative Maintenance

 How to Increase Preventative Maintenance Intervals

With today’s new technologies it’s possible to get away from static preventative maintenance intervals. In fact, those intervals can nearly double for some vehicles.

PODCAST: Predictive Analytics

 The Power of Predictive Analytics

For Donlen, Predictive Analytics means analyzing a wide spectrum of fleet data and finding fixes and improvements that offer significant opportunities.

The Fleet Spot

Complimentary Fleet Strategy Session on Adapting to COVID-19 Changes

The pandemic has dramatically reduced the usage of fleet vehicles everywhere. Have you formulated your plan to rebound in this new reality? For a limited time, the experts at Agile Fleet are offering complimentary one-on-one Fleet Strategy Sessions to fleet managers who want to create a plan for surviving and thriving in a COVID-19 world.

During the session, the experts at Agile Fleet will: Help you identify solutions to your pandemic-related issues resulting from vehicles sitting idle; Use your fleet’s data to help you calculate the financial impact the pandemic has had on your fleet; Share proven, COVID-19 related real-world strategies (used by your peers) to address fleet waste and utilization reductions; Offer strategic recommendations regarding lease renewals, vehicle replacements, reductions in budget, and technology solutions; and Assist in creating a 3-year plan to address your specific challenges.

REQUEST a Fleet Strategy Session

Donlen Named One of the Top 100 Global Outsourcing Providers for the 15TH Year

Donlen announced that it has been selected for The 2021 Global Outsourcing 100 list by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals®. This marks the eleventh consecutive year,  and fifteenth out of the last sixteen years, that Donlen has won this award.

“We are proud that our customers choose Donlen to help them manage their strategic fleet management initiatives,” said Jim Wohlever, Donlen Senior Vice President of Customer Experience. “Winning this award, especially during the COVID pandemic, tells us that our customers have embraced outsourcing non-core capabilities to Donlen so they can succeed. Thank you to all of our valued customers and employees for making this possible.”


Jeff Jenkins Joins RTA as VP of Sales & Marketing

“Jeff joining the team has been a dream of mine for the past 5 years, as someone whose career, work ethic, and energy I’ve always admired,” said Josh Turley, CEO of RTA.

Jenkins brings more than two decades of fleet operation experience to the role. He started his career as a dispatcher with Knight Transportation, and since then has held every operational role in the transportation industry. Prior to joining RTA, Jenkins served as CEO of a mid-sized trucking company in East Texas.

“I am excited to bring a different perspective to RTA to help deliver on their vision of fleet success through their great maintenance software platforms. Through the past 20-plus years in transportation operations I have seen how important fleet maintenance is for the overall health and productivity of fleets, and in enabling them to be successful and efficient,” Jenkins said.


Work Truck Week 2021 Highlights Path Toward Zero Emissions

Registrants can now access event platform, see exhibitor listings and schedule

The event will feature Green Hour educational sessions March 9–11 on reducing emissions and improving fuel economy, including a keynote presentation by Paul Rosa, senior vice president of procurement and fleet planning for Penske Truck Leasing.

WTW21 is a reimagined way to connect the commercial vehicle community and provide the product news, market trends and operational insights the industry has come to expect from The Work Truck Show® in a virtual environment. It runs online March 8–12, 2021. REGISTER NOW

Learn more

Fleet Spectator

By FMW Editorial Staff

As companies look to rebound from the recent economic downturn, those with fleet operations are reassessing budgets, resizing fleets, uncovering hidden costs, and finding innovative ways to achieve operational efficiencies.

Fleet vehicle transport and relocation services provide a unique opportunity to reduce costs and increase productivity. Success depends on a carefully- planned schedule of ancillary services as part of a move.

These services might include one or more of the following: vehicle legalization, maintenance, de-identification, body repair, storage, and others. With a single-source, end-to-end solution, companies reduce vehicle downtime and keep drivers more productive.



Wheels & OnStar

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

The recent announcement of a newly-formed partnership between Wheels and GM’s OnStar Business Solutions promises to deliver a wide array of vehicle information with significant safety and operational benefits to the partners’ fleet customers. OnStar-embedded hardware is available across most of the automaker’s vehicle lineup.

Wheels senior product manager Sara Sweeney provided Fleet Management Weekly with an in-depth look at the benefits of the partnership for fleets: “Access to the OnStar data can help our customers tackle today’s important business concerns. First, they can improve driver behavior and safety. Next, they can enhance fleet operational efficiency and customer service. Finally, they can gain insight into fleet electrification strategies,” says Sweeney.

OnStar-connected data coming directly from the vehicle includes vehicle location, trip information, maintenance status, risk, or driver behavior indicators. Driving events, seatbelt usage, and speed are examples of the safety behavioral data points. There is also data collected on vehicle idling and hours driven. This data provides greater insight into how the vehicle is being used and how well it meets the driver and the company’s needs.



Tough on Safety

By Adam Danielson, Director of Sales

Safety is one of the fleet industry’s most critical issues as it seeks to reduce crashes and improve safety standards. The benefits of creating a robust fleet safety culture go far beyond reducing crashes, it can also improve the entire organization while mitigating risk.

Where do you begin?
Continuous MVR monitoring, combined with a fleet safety program and other behavioral monitoring tools, is the ideal solution for effectively monitoring drivers’ risk profiles, ensuring compliance and safety, reducing liability, and minimizing business losses for any industry that employs drivers.

What to do with all that data?
When you add MVR monitoring, safety policies, training, vehicle anti-collision technologies, CSA scores, connected vehicles and telematics together, you create the beginnings of a very robust safety culture and A LOT of data. Too much data for the average fleet manager to manage and use effectively.How do you make the data actionable for your fleet?


Fleet Trends & Issues

Kia Hit by Hackers Temporarily Hampering Sales, Convenience Features

The Detroit Bureau

The South Korean automaker isn’t providing many details, but Kia acknowledged it was hit by a cyberattack that disrupted the company’s operations.

Problems with its IT infrastructure surfaced as owners found they were unable to make payments or unlock their vehicles remotely. Car owners weren’t the only one stuck as dealers discovered they couldn’t complete any transactions using the company’s proprietary portal.

Several websites reported that hackers belonging to a specific “gang” had demanded $20 million to release its grip on Kia’s operations. “We are aware of online speculation that Kia is subject to a ransomware attack. At this time, and based on the best and most current information, we can confirm that we have no evidence that Kia or any Kia data is subject to a ransomware attack,” the company said.

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

2021 JD Power Dependability Study Sees Lexus, Porsche Ruling the Roost


JD Power polled owners of three-year-old cars to see just how many problems they’ve experienced and created the annual Vehicle Dependability Study. The results for 2021 tell a tale of a changing automotive industry, where brands that might have once been derided as cheap or unreliable, made it into the top five.

Lexus and Porsche have consistently offered exceedingly well-built vehicles that function despite increasing levels of technical complexity. Lexus has been in the top spot for 9 of the last 10 years. Porsche is ranked second, with the Porsche 911 ranked as the most dependable car of all, overall.

Kia is the third-ranked brand making it the best-scoring mass-market brand (non-luxury) by a long shot. It’s followed by Toyota and Buick, rounding out the top five.

Read the article at CNET.

Some Car Companies Are Making a Lot More on Destination Fees Than Others: Study

The Drive

When purchasing a vehicle, your bill of sale may include a number of charges on top of the MSRP. The big one is the destination freight fee; the price varies wildly from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model.

The destination freight fee for a small EV is $895 for 2020 models and an additional $100 for 2021 models. For a truck, the price increased from $1595 to $1695 for the newest model.

A study by Consumer Reports discovered that automakers raised destination fees by thirty percent between 2011 and 2020, which is two and a half times the average inflation rate. CR is advocating for new rules requiring automakers to include destination charges in advertised prices in print and online.

Read the article at The Drive.

Here are all the Promises Automakers Have Made about Electric Cars

Car and Driver

Plenty of automakers have jumped on the EV bandwagon with their own EVs or a plug-ins, and self-recharging hybrids. So far, no major legacy automaker has put all its eggs in the EV basket. Whether because of looming regulatory targets or the increased public interest in electric cars, that seems to be changing.

This year, GM released the all-new 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV and revised Bolt EV. GMC Hummer EV production starts this fall. BMW will show the first all-electric M badge car and Stellantis plans to launch 10 hybrid or electric models across its brands (including a plug-in Wrangler) by the end of 2021.

Jaguar Land Rover says it will begin testing a hydrogen fuel-cell prototype sometime in 2021 or early 2022. Mercedes plans to introduce 10 new EVs through its EQ brand by the end of the year, including the 2022 EQS. Ford intends to start production of an EV F-150 by the middle of 2022.

Read the article at Car and Driver.

The Changing Workplace

McKinsey & Company

Perhaps the most obvious impact of COVID-19 on the labor force is the dramatic increase in employees working remotely. Roughly three-quarters of people using digital channels for the first time during the pandemic say they will continue using them when things return to “normal.”

Other kinds of virtual transactions such as telemedicine, online banking, and streaming entertainment have also taken off. These virtual practices may decline somewhat as economies reopen but are likely to continue well above levels seen before the pandemic. This shift to digital transactions has propelled growth in delivery, transportation, and warehouse jobs.

The largest negative impact of the pandemic is expected to fall on workers in food service and customer sales and service roles, as well as less-skilled office support roles. Jobs in warehousing and transportation may increase as a result of the growth in e-commerce and the delivery economy, but those increases are unlikely to offset the disruption of many low-wage jobs.

Read the article at McKinsey & Company.


Safety & Risk

By Art Liggio, CEO and President, Driving Dynamics

For anyone who has even spent a modest amount of time on the roadways this past year, it is quite evident that the frequency of drivers engaging in aggressive driving has increased substantially.

Hard facts clearly support this observation. New York City’s speed cameras, for instance, have been issuing about the same number of tickets since the COVID crisis began despite a 51 percent plunge in vehicles on the road. NHTSA recently released its preliminary 2020 crash report covering the first 9 months of the year.

While miles driven in 2020 went down dramatically, the number of traffic fatalities for this period was up 4.6 percent. Another way of looking at this is that the rate of fatalities per miles driven has jumped 18 percent. Sad, disheartening news for sure.



A First for Mazda


Mazda just topped Consumer Reports’ annual ranking of the most reliable automotive brands for the first time. Mazda’s North America sales grew last year despite the Covid pandemic, thanks to the popularity of its CX-9 seven-seat sport utility vehicle and CX-30 crossover.

To determine the rankings, Consumer Reports buys vehicles anonymously from dealerships for road testing. It conducts tests for braking, handling, comfort, convenience, safety and fuel economy, and includes survey responses from Consumer Reports subscribers in its analysis.

BMW, Subaru, Porsche and Honda rounded out the top five spots on the Consumer Reports 2021 Brand Report Card. Alfa Romeo fell to the bottom of the list of 32 brands, behind Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Jeep and Lincoln.

Read the article at CNBC.

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.

Index to FleetManagementWeekly.com 

Fleet Management Weekly Newsletter Archive
Access to back issues of the FMW newsletter.

FMW Mobility
How mobility is rapidly changing the fleet management landscape.


FMW Fleet Videos
Video clips of industry leaders speaking on a variety of engaging hot topics in fleet.

FMW Autonomous Vehicles
The constantly evolving landscape of autonomous vehicles.

Contact Us

FMW Fleet Trends & Issues
A wide scope of topical news for today’s fleet professionals.

FMW Fleet Safety
News and practices to help you bring your drivers home safely, every day.

Media Kit