March 16, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

A Customer Driven Mindset

What does it mean to have a customer driven mindset? In our latest podcast, Laura Jozwiak, senior VP of sales and customer relations at Wheels, Inc., talks with Ted Roberts about techniques we can all use to improve service to our customers.

From market and economic forecasts to the journey to zero emissions, there is a lot of reason for optimism in the work truck sector. This week, contributing editor Ed Pierce gives us extensive highlights from the recently concluded virtual Work Truck Week, WTW21.

Subrogation is an area where if it is not managed properly, a fleet can leave an awful lot of money on the table. To learn how it’s done, read How to Collect Every Last Subrogation Dollar for Your Company!

Drive Safety,

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Word on the Street: A New Way to Remarket Vehicles

Traditional remarketing is looking more and more like a thing of the past, and word on the street is that there’s a new and better way. A way that’s built on human connection.

VIDEO: A Tough Year

 Finding the Silver Lining: A Fleet Manager’s Reflection on a Tough Year

It was a tough year for all of us, full of challenges and heartbreak, but you have to look for the silver lining.

PODCAST: Customer Driven

 A Customer Driven Mindset

In this episode we speak with Laura Jozwiak about what it means to have a Customer Driven mindset, including how to walk in your customer’s shoes and how to provide excellent customer service.

The Fleet Spot

Holman Enterprises Launches New Automotive Podcast

MOTIVE powered by Holman explores the latest automotive, fleet, and mobility trends impacting the industry

The monthly podcast will examine the latest news and trends from across the automotive sector while also providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the industry, highlighting everything from the newest vehicles and ultra-luxury exotic cars to cutting-edge technology and fleet best practices.

“With the launch of MOTIVE, our goal is to explore the major topics and emerging trends relevant to the movement of people and goods,” said Peter Nogalo, host of MOTIVE powered by Holman and Marketing Manager, Holman Enterprises.


eDriving Launches Mentor Manager Coaching Toolkit

The new, comprehensive toolkit helps managers to effectively coach their most at-risk drivers and support the creation of a crash-free culture®.

Leadership and coaching of high-risk drivers are an essential part of eDriving’s proven, closed-loop risk reduction methodology. eDriving’s primary research confirms what other cognitive studies have shown – namely, that training, whether virtual or in-person, can only do so much to change high-risk behavior behind the wheel.

Ongoing reinforcement of low-risk behaviors and risk management objectives are critical to helping drivers develop new habits that will keep them safe while driving for work purposes.


Agile Fleet Welcomes New Marketing and Communications Specialist

Hailing from NAFA Fleet Management Association, Donald Dunphy brings nearly ten years of industry experience to Agile Fleet’s value-focused organization.

Agile Fleet announces it has named Donald Dunphy as its Marketing and Communications Specialist. The former Communications Manager/Editor for NAFA Fleet Management Association brings nearly ten years of fleet industry service to his new role.

“Agile Fleet is committed to providing content and information that helps fleet professionals do their jobs better, regardless of whether or not they are our clients,” says Agile Fleet President Ed Smith.


LeasePlan USA Improves the Driver Experience with New App

With a completely redesigned user interface built on a new, more flexible platform, the new version of MyLeasePlan mobile app empowers drivers to be more productive, freeing up time spent managing tasks and vehicle-related deadlines.

Drivers now have one place that digitally stores necessary documents, provides important updates, and helps them resolve unexpected issues right from where they are.

“At LeasePlan, we strive to continually develop and adapt quickly to provide digital solutions for customer needs before they arise. This app is a major step forward in our initiatives to further improve our customer-facing portals,” says Felipe Smolka, executive vice president of transformation.



By Ed Pierce,Contributing Editor

NTEA Provides Work Truck Industry Overview and Market Forecast

NTEA’s staff economist Steve Latin-Kasper shared the latest forecasts for North American economic activity, work truck and truck equipment sales and shipments, and metals and fuel prices.

Compared to 2020, Latin-Kasper projected 10% growth for the industry as a whole (and much better than that in some segments). The big winners currently expected are Classes 2–6. We expect Classes 7 and 8 to turn it around in the second half with some growth at the end of the year.

His list of positives and negatives for the year ahead comprised…



EV Work Truck Conversions

By Mike Sheldrick, Senior Editor

Fleets might be the lowest hanging fruit of all for EV makers. After all, fleet vehicles are chosen and operated to minimize cost maximize return on invested capital.

Eventually, the savings on fuel, maintenance, longer life ought to be a winning formula.

But for the startups aimed at fleets, particularly, the work truck segment the last few months have been tough sledding. Most recently, the gadfly short seller Hindenburg Research wrote a disparaging report on Lordstown Motors Corp. This was six months after it had released a similarly downbeat report on Nikola Motor Co.

Not everything in the pickup space is gloomy, however.



Commercial Fleet Management

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

All fleet managers can find value in the recently published Top Ten list of commercial fleet management trends that will impact asset tracking, operational efficiency, driver safety this year and in the years ahead.

Developed by Rastrac, a leading provider of GPS tracking devices and remote asset tracking systems, the trends include:

1. Adoption of Electric Fleet Vehicles

With the auto industry and people now embracing electric vehicles (EVs), it is only a matter of time before some fleets begin using electric cars and trucks.

One of the biggest concerns for fleet management companies is the cost of phasing out old vehicles and bringing in new electric vehicles. Most experts forecast that EVs will be priced competitively with gasoline-powered cars in the next few years.


Fleet Trends & Issues

Lordstown Motors Has Been Faking Orders, is Actually 3-4 Years From Production: Research Firm


Lordstown Motors was sort of the homegrown hero of recent EV startups: an impressive electric truck designed and built in America. However, everything is not as it seems with Lordstown, if a recent report is accurate.

Many if not most of these orders aren’t actually orders. Hindenburg Research calls them “mirages.”

The research indicates that the pre-orders weren’t actually pre-orders. They are nonbinding letters of intent to purchase, essentially a piece of paper saying customers intend to purchase but aren’t contractually obligated to do so.

Read the article at Jalopnik.

The 600-HP Canoo Electric Truck is a One-Size-Fits-All Rig for Adventurers

The Drive

Canoo is adding a ton of practical work features to the new model to its line-up of already slightly unusual electric vehicles.

Canoo’s truck is close in stature to the new Ford F-150, coming in about as high and two inches narrower, though on a wheelbase 10 inches shorter. Because it has no combustion drivetrain to accommodate, though, its extended cab is pushed far forward, giving its bed more space than the Ford.

A more complete sheet of specs is promised closer to launch, and that it’ll open pre-orders for its subscription-only pickup in the second quarter of 2022. Deliveries are slated to follow in 2023, by which time we’ll have a better idea of how the Canoo stacks up against offerings from Rivian, GMC, and Ford, arriving in that order over a year or so starting this summer.

Read the article at The Drive.

GM Aims to Make its Electric Vehicles go Farther and Cost Less With New Battery Partnership

The Verge

General Motors announced a new joint venture with SolidEnergy Systems, a spinoff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that is focused on improving the energy density in lithium-ion batteries.

“In the long run, what this is going to mean is more range and lower cost,” Kent Helfrich, executive director of GM’s global electrification and battery systems said. “And it’ll also mean most likely smaller batteries, so a lighter weight vehicle.”

The first vehicle to be built with an Ultium battery will be the forthcoming GMC Hummer EV, which the company says will have an estimated 350 miles of range. The Hummer is expected to go into production at the end of 2021.

Read the article at The Verge.

It’s Time to Talk about Privacy and License-Plate Readers (Again)

Car and Driver

When you’re driving on a public road, your license plate is public information. Cameras used as license plate readers (LPRs) can be mounted on stationary infrastructure like traffic lights or on things that move, like police cars or garbage trucks.

A discussion about massive data collection by cameras that can automatically read vehicle license plates has been going on for about a decade now. Most states do not have any explicit regulation on LPRs, which means their use was fairly wide open.

Law enforcement, unsurprisingly, is generally in favor of automatic LPRs. Chicago police said in 2020 that LPRs could help them solve more expressway shootings. In 2018, a Florida sheriff’s office said it used LPRs to recover stolen cars and a person wanted for sex crimes in another state. In a more recent case, the Journal noted, LPRs were used to arrest “a number of suspected rioters” who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Read the article at Car and Driver.


Fleet Management Weekly Staff

Although subrogation ensures fair compensation after an accident, too many fleets leave money on the table due to inexperience and the inordinate amount of time it takes to pursue owed compensation.

Yes, the collection process is complex. It is time-consuming and obstacle ridden. The amount of time it takes to investigate a claim fully, gather the proper recovery documentation, and negotiate a settlement places a heavy burden on already-busy fleet departments.

The onerous work and length of negotiations for subrogation has given rise to subrogation specialists, and more fleet operations now rely on dedicated and skilled subrogation experts who know how to collect every dollar that is rightfully owed to the fleet.



ACC and Speeding


Drivers are using adaptive cruise control (ACC) as a tool for speeding, possibly undermining the feature’s potential safety benefits, a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found.

ACC is a more advanced version of traditional cruise control that uses sensors to calculate and maintain a preselected following distance from the vehicle ahead, eliminating the need for the driver to repeatedly brake and reset the system. With the addition of lane centering, the vehicle also maintains its position within the travel lane automatically.

Drivers are substantially more likely to speed when using ACC or partial automation that combines that feature with lane centering than when not using either technology, the study showed. When selecting a speed to “set and forget,” many drivers choose one that’s over the limit.

Read the article at IIHS.


Remarketing Today

By Richard Mallek, Director of Business Development, FLD

Each quarter, FLD produces our quarterly White Metal Market Report, an in depth look at the factors affecting the wholesale used vehicle market.

And as in just about every industry, Covid has made predicting the future of the wholesale used vehicle – or really any used vehicle – market an exercise in futility. From shuttered businesses, to sheltering in place, the world is a much different place than any of us could have imagined just one short year ago.

Looking back, most of the companies and industries we work with were at a virtual standstill once the pandemic hit. And for the first few months, little happened as fleets took a wait and see attitude.

Then, something very surprising happened. Suddenly, the remarketing business kicked back into gear, and the second half of 2020 was a flurry of activity.


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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