May 25, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Is that a light at the end of the tunnel?

In FLD’s quarterly White Metal Market Report, Bill Bishop gives us a stark look at the cascading effects of the semiconductor chip shortage on the wholesale medium duty truck market. Bishop doesn’t sugarcoat the seriousness of the chip situation, but he does see a faint light at the end of the tunnel.

Ed Pierce wraps up his reporting on the Cambridge Mobile Telematics panel discussion on distracted driving. If you missed the first part, you’ll find it here.

More on driver safety:Supervision sales executive Adam Danielson talks to using actionable data to improve driver safety, specifically in the area of continuous MVR monitoring.

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer and we are grateful to feel a new sense of optimism as we celebrate this holiday. Bless those vaccines.

We honor the men and women in the military who have given their lives for this country. Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.” ~ Author unknown

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Different Sectors Rebound at Different Paces

We are seeing a rebound from the pandemic all around, and different sectors of industry are rebounding at different paces.

VIDEO: Ready for EVs?

 How to Prepare a Business Case for the Adoption of Electric Fleet Vehicles

There are some great resources out there to help you prepare a business case for the adoption of electric vehicles, and in many states a great place to start is with your energy company.

VIDEO: Fleet is an Investment

 The Bottom Line

When you look at financing strategically you can fund acquisitions more efficiently, and unlock your fleet’s power to generate revenue for your business.

The Fleet Spot

NETS 2021 Strength IN Numbers Annual Road Safety Conference

October 19-21, 2021 — Mark your calendar now for NETS 2021 virtual conference.

NETS conferences bring together Global, Corporate, Government, and Non-profit employers.

Conference participants include NETS member companies from diverse industries, representing a collective global fleet of more than half-a-million vehicles, ~80% passenger vehicles, that travel nearly 11 billion miles annually

Why should you participate in NETS Conferences?


Brendan P. Keegan Accepted into Newsweek Expert Forum

Merchants Fleet announced CEO Brendan P. Keegan has been accepted into Newsweek Expert Forum, an exclusive professional organization where speakers, authors and experts share strategic insights and analysis.

Keegan was hand-selected to join the community based on his proven expertise in the fleet industry. He is a regular contributor to Fast Company and Newsweek, and also publishes a widely followed LinkedIn blog.

“It’s an honor for me to participate in this forum, with my peers across numerous industries” said Brendan P. Keegan. “This experience will help shape the conversations Merchants has with our fleet partners around the world.”

Scott Gerber, founder of Newsweek Expert Forum, says, “We are honored to accept Brendan into the Newsweek Expert Forum. When experts gather in curated, private settings, they can share advice and build trusted relationships that further their mutual success. Brendan brings important insights about fleet technology to this community.”

GBTA Poll: Positive Signs for a Return to Business Travel


Results from the recent Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) poll reflect increasing optimism, growing momentum for a return to business travel and an increase in bookings – largely due to the success of the vaccine roll-out and introduction of vaccine passports.

Continuing the month-on-month positive trend for a restart of business travel, three in four GBTA buyer and procurement respondents feel their employees are ‘willing’ or ‘very willing’ to travel for business.

“Government policies remain the greatest obstacle to opening travel, particularly in the UK, Europe and Canada, said Suzanne Neufang, CEO of GBTA.

Read the article at GBTA.

NAFA Webinar: Fleet Pulse: The Top Fleet Priorities for 2021

Wednesday, May 26 — 12:00 — 1:00 PM EDT

In 2021, fleet professionals are faced with complex and often conflicting priorities. Hear the most common fleet questions, challenges, and priorities as identified by North American fleet managers. More importantly, get answers to these challenges which are specific to the 2021 fleet operating environment and economy.

This supplier webinar is presented by ARI.


Data and Safety

By Adam Danielson, Director of Sales, SuperVision

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. Organizations have an ever-increasing flow of data that they can use to make their fleets safer.

Acquiring the data is only the first step — if the business does not act on what the data is showing, safety improvements are left on the table and the organization opens itself to liability risks.



Telematics and Safety

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

This is the second part of the Cambridge Mobile Telematics’ panel discussion about distracted driving, “The Road to Safety for Your Fleet Drivers: Why Behavior Change is Key to Eliminating Distracted Driving.”

The panel included Judy Columbus, senior fleet analyst for GlaxoSmithKline; Brian Kinniry, Product Development Director for CEI; Emily Stein, president of the Safe Roads Alliance; Joel Feldman, president of CMT director of marketing Ian Murphy served as host.

Among the topics covered by the panel were monitoring driver performance and fleet driver safety education. How much is too much? How much is not enough? How much is just right?



Wholesale Medium Duty Trucks

By Bill Bishop, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, FLD

Over the last five years, FLD’s quarterly White Metal Market Report has prided itself on keeping our finger on the pulse of what’s driving the used medium duty vehicle space.

And during that time, we’ve been able to get a solid beat on how the industry was faring based on a bevy of economic indicators like the unemployment rate, the strength of the US dollar and housing starts.

My how things have changed!

As the global pandemic slows – at least here in America – many industries are moving back towards what we’d like to think of as “normal.” And while that may be possible for some sectors, the medium duty truck market – and the entire fleet space for that matter – is having a hard time finding its footing.

At this point, many of the traditional indicators we follow seem to be falling into more of a rhythm, but it’s not a good one.


Fleet Trends & Issues

Revealed! These 25 Vehicles Are IntelliChoice’s Best Value Award Winners for 2021

Motor Trend

When you buy a new car, the price you pay over time isn’t what’s on the sticker.

Depreciation, maintenance, and other hidden costs help determine how much you’ll truly spend once you leave the dealership. Now, after analyzing total ownership costs for nearly every vehicle on the market, IntelliChoice is announcing the winners of its 2021 Best Overall Value of the Year (BOVY) awards.

This year, Intellichoice examined the five-year ownership costs of nearly 2,400 vehicles, accounting not only for depreciation and maintenance but also for insurance, financing, fees, fuel, and repair costs.

And the winners are…

What to Do if You’re Driving and Hear a Tornado Warning

The Drive

If you’re on the road in your vehicle and there is a tornado warning, solution number one is to avoid driving into a storm altogether. But if there is no option, pull over and evaluate the situation.

“If the tornado is far away from you, drive your car to the nearest sound structure–a gas station, convenience store, home, et cetera–that is out of the system’s path and seek shelter there until the warning has expired,” said meteorologist Shane Hinton.

It’s tempting to pull under an overpass or bridge for shelter, but those structures act as a wind tunnel, potentially funneling the tornado right into you and exposing you and your vehicle to even more peril.  You may need to head for a ditch.

Read the article at The Drive.

We Need to Build More EV Chargers, but Where?

Car and Driver

An EV charging network is popping up across the country, driven by efforts from private companies and various government initiatives.  Where will future chargers be built?

The study’s resulting charging maps imagine a network of chargers splayed at roughly even intervals, with clusters around the state’s population centers, where dozens or even hundreds of chargers will be necessary to support the higher number of EV owners and the lower likelihood that those owners will be able to charge their EVs at home.

“The infrastructure needs to be there, and users need to be educated about these vehicles” before they’ll feel comfortable purchasing one,” Mehrnaz Ghamami, an assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering at Michigan State University says.

Read the article at Car and Driver.

NHTSA Launches Influencer Campaign to Educate Drivers on Safety Features


The U.S. Department of Transportation launched a new series of safety videos featuring Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained, demonstrating for the public the potential lifesaving benefits of several advanced driver assistance systems available in many new vehicles.

“Understanding what advanced driver assistance technologies can and cannot do for the driver is critical to everyone’s safety,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Acting Administrator.

This new campaign builds on NHTSA’s successful 5-Star Safety Ratings program by continuing to educate consumers about safety features and new safety technologies. NHTSA is pursuing a comprehensive safe system approach, which recognizes that everyone – including those who design, build, operate, and use the road system – shares in the responsibility for road safety.

Read the article at NHTSA.

Here Comes the F-150 Lightning

By Mike Sheldrick, Senior Editor

Ford pulled off what will be remembered as one of 2020’s biggest corporate PR coups with its “reveal” last week of the 2022 F-150 Lightning, available for actual sale and delivery next spring.

It was widely applauded in the business and automotive press, and Ford quickly racked up nearly 50,000 $100 deposits.

Presumably, these would be refundable, and in any case, they don’t count for much on a vehicle whose base price will be just under $40,000 (or even $30,000 with state and federal rebates). Still, because the F-150 has been the nation’s pickup leader for over 40 years, these deposits shouldn’t be dismissed as insignificant.

What may be most impressive is that this base version, the F-150 Lightning Pro, is aimed squarely at business fleets. There is the price of course, which is only slightly more than a base ICE F-150, and as befits a work truck, the seats are vinyl but just as important, it looks like a pick-up truck.



Motorcycles and Safety

By: Art Liggio, President and CEO, Driving Dynamics

Several years ago, I purchased my first motorcycle. Since then, I complete one or two advanced safety courses almost every year to ensure that my skills remain current and that I take all precautions to safely operate a two-wheeled vehicle.

Most importantly, I continually practice these skills to keep myself and others safe when taking the bike out for an enjoyable weekend ride.

Why am I telling you this? My safety and that of other riders is not solely dependent on us – we also rely on those with which we share the road.



Customer Driven

By Laura Jozwiak, Senior Vice President of Sales and Client Relations, Wheels, Inc.

Picture this: It’s your fifth Zoom call of the day. As you listen to a colleague review agenda topics during a client meeting, a notification pops up for an email from another key client.

You see the subject line flash quickly — and there seems to be a problem. You click over to your inbox to read what is going on and get absorbed in the new issue at hand — typing away and trying to resolve it.

Mid-paragraph, your ears focus back to the Zoom call as you hear, “Do you agree, Laura?” Agree to what? You wonder with building anxiety.


Fleet Management Resources


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

The fast, easy way to remarket without risk. Get an offer in hours, paid in a few days. Improve TCO. Save time, money and resources.

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

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

Fleet Street
Fleet Street has 30+ years of experience and knowledge using a spectrum of wholesale and retail channels to simplify your involvement in the remarketing process.

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

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.

NAFA Fleet Management Association
NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location, or fleet composition.

Wheels, Inc.
First in fleet for 80 years. Wheels helps you build tomorrow’s fleet today.

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