August 10, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

What is Driving the European Fleet Market?

We were delighted to have had the opportunity to interview Samuel Kellner-Steinmetz, the chief sales officer of Bavaria-based Fleet Logistics Group, the largest independent fleet management supplier in Europe.

His insight into what is driving the European fleet market is particularly timely in the wake of yesterday’s release of the latest IPCC climate change report, a “code red for humanity”, according to the UN Secretary General.

We are relieved to learn that President Biden’s much-needed $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill has passed the Senate today. It is now headed for the House of Representatives, so if you have an opinion about the bill, do let your Representative know how you feel.

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Key Factors Impacting the Resale Market Now

Some of the key factors influencing the resale market in the summer of 2021 include disruption to the supply chain, the chip shortage and inflation. But look for a large supply of used vehicles to enter the market either later this year or sometime next year.

VIDEO: Smart Vehicle Transport

  Vehicle Transport: Consultative Services Save Time and Money

Consultative services on vehicle transport can help your fleet save time and money, in addition to keeping your drivers productive.

VIDEO: Shopmonkey

  All-in-One Shop Management Software That Benefits Fleets

Shopmonkey’s software can be found in coast to coast – everywhere from one-man independent shops to franchise level shops, and the benefits for fleets are definitely worth checking out.


Kurt Taylor of Merchants Fleet Named to 2022 Constellation Research Business Transformation 150

Recognized Exemplar of Leadership in Driving a Digital Future

Merchants Fleet is pleased to announce IT Vice President Kurt Taylor has been recognized by Constellation Research on its 2022 Business Transformation 150, an elite list of executives leading business transformation efforts around the globe.

“I’m incredibly proud of the Technology team at Merchants Fleet, for ensuring our clients had the insights and support they needed to keep their operations running smoothly during the pandemic,” said Taylor. “We look forward to providing our clients with continued innovation that will help them make analytics-driven decisions as they begin to explore EV (Electric Vehicle) adoption.”


Polestar Signs Leaselink deal with Ebbon-Dacs in UK and Netherlands

Independent Swedish electric performance car manufacturer, Polestar, has signed a deal with Oxford-based automotive technology provider, Ebbon-Dacs, to directly deploy its market-leading Leaselink e-procurement platform to process new car orders in the UK and the Netherlands.

The new arrangement has seen a launch in the UK with a major international leasing company, with a similar scheme running in the Netherlands. The solution will then be rolled out to lease companies in both countries who are existing users of Ebbon-Dacs’ Leaselink platform.


AFLA Coffee Break Discussion: Back to Travel: Hitting the Road Again

August 24, 2021 – 2:00pm CT – Registration is limited to 50 people

Refresh your week and connect with your AFLA colleagues at an upcoming themed Coffee Break Discussion Series. Each month we feature a new topic and always leave time for connection with each other.

This month, join us for a discussion around the Hitting the Road Again: Getting Back to Travel. Register now and watch your email for more information on who will be joining us around the Remo coffee table.

Martin Brown Moves to Chair at Fleet Alliance as New-Look Board Focuses on Growth

Martin Brown is to become Chair of leasing provider Fleet Alliance as a new Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer strengthen the board to oversee company expansion.

Joining the Glasgow-based fleet management and leasing broker are experienced automotive executives, Andy Bruce and Nigel McMinn, both formerly of automotive retailer Lookers plc. Bruce is appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and McMinn Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Martin Brown, commenting on the new-look executive board, said: “I am delighted to welcome Andy and Nigel to lead our next phase of expansion. Their experience of creating growth, considerable manufacturer relationships, and extensive knowledge gained in the retail sector, will be invaluable to the company as we position ourselves for the future.”

Fleet Alliance is a member of EV100, the global group of businesses committed to switching fleets to zero emission vehicles by 2030, and recently announced it would be working with the Eco3 Partnership to become a carbon neutral company. At the beginning of the year, Fleet Alliance was awarded Platinum Investors In People accreditation.


Global Fleets

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

Samuel Kellner-Steinmetz, the Chief Sales Officer of Fleet Logistics Group, recently sat down with Fleet Management Weekly to provide insight into the current European fleet market as new challenges and opportunities demand the remaking of European and global fleets.

Headquartered near Munich, Germany, Fleet Logistics is Europe’s largest independent fleet management supplier, serving as the link between the leasing company and the company operating the fleet.

He says, “The world has undergone two significant dislocations in the recent years. First, there’s the COP21 Paris Climate Agreement. The second dislocation is COVID-19.

How do these two events affect the acceleration of electric vehicles, among other trends in Europe and worldwide?”



Reducing Fleet Costs

By Ed Smith, President, Agile Fleet

What would you say if I told you that you could reduce fleet costs tomorrow?

You can. Did you know that having, communicating, and consistently enforcing policy can dramatically reduce fleet costs? I like to say that having good fleet policies is like having a money tree. If a cost-saving policy is communicated and enforced consistently, it will save you money every time.

Do you have a money tree?

Despite the obvious benefits and the relatively low cost of developing them, many fleets do not have written policies. If they do, they do not have systems in place to efficiently communicate and enforce them. Why? Seriously, why?

One great example of such a policy is limiting the use of personal vehicles for official use. There are many reasons it is not a good idea to have employees using personal vehicles for business purposes in most cases. Cost is chief among those reasons.



Work Truck Forum

By Ron Zima ADpPR and George Survant

Fleet managers face many challenges in improving their fleet’s fuel efficiency. Perhaps the most daunting of those challenges is idle reduction.

Based on numbers provided by Argonne National Laboratory, Americans and Canadians annually spend 6.6 Billion Gallons of gasoline and diesel idling for zero mileage and minimal if any benefit.

Further research reveals that Individual fleets across all sectors are spending an average of 40% of engine hours at idle when not in motion, generally not in traffic or performing a business function, such as running power take off (PTO) to run a bucket on a utility truck.

Unrequired idling is an enormous waste of money and contributes to an estimated 33 million tons of CO2 and other pollutants annually in a time when it is widely recognized that we must reduce emissions as quickly as possible. Electrification of our fleets can help, but it will take decades to completely convert all fleets.



GM Teases Two New Zero-Emission Commercial Vehicles, a Truck and a Van

Car and Driver

CEO Mary Barra said General Motors will introduce two new zero-emission vehicles for its commercial customers.

These will be a full-size battery-electric cargo van that will carry the Chevrolet name and a medium-duty truck that will be powered by both the company’s Ultium electric batteries and its Hydrotec hydrogen fuel-cell technology.

These new EVs could replace or complement the current Express van and Silverado 4500HD

Earlier this year, GM launched a new business called BrightDrop and said it will offer electric delivery products for release later this year. The new electric vans will be designed for standard and “last mile” delivery solutions for commercial customers. Two vehicles have been announced so far.

Read the article at Car and Driver.

What is Ford Co-Pilot360? And Which SUVs, Cars, and Trucks Have the Safety Tech?


The automaker that implemented mass production and affordable cars over 100 years ago is now making modern driver-assist features more accessible. Ford offers the Co-Pilot360 active safety suite in some form on almost every model it sells.

Unlike the more basic systems, BlueCruise works with a seriously impressive collection of hardware. The sensors included high-resolution GPS, three radar units, and a camera mounted high on the windshield. There’s also an infrared camera mounted behind the steering wheel facing the driver to monitor the driver’s attention level.

The system adds lane-following capability (new to Ford), and once the vehicle is centered in its lane and is located in a Hands-Free Blue Zone, a “Hands Free” icon appears alongside an image of the vehicle with concentric circles emanating out to indicate the system is monitoring its surroundings.

Read the article at MotorTrend.

Infrastructure Bill Includes Per-Mile Road Tax Test That Will Track Drivers’ Travel

The Drive

Automakers are being pressured by federal and state governments to ramp up electric car production, and U.S. President Joe Biden is signing an executive order that targets half of all new car sales to be electric by 2030.

As fewer cars visit the pump, the amount of tax revenue decreases and needs to be made up elsewhere, something that’s addressed in the upcoming infrastructure bill with a pilot program for a national per-mile tax that would tax drivers based on their annual mileage rather than at the pump.

A per-mile fuel tax is a controversial topic that many drivers have mixed feelings on, and they’ll likely continue to have shifting opinions as electric vehicles become more prominent on the roads they share.

Read the article at The Drive.

Ford and Bosch Will Test Smart Parking Technology in a Detroit Garage


The city of Detroit, in partnership with both Ford and Bosch, is about to open a new Smart Parking Lab, hosted in Detroit’s Bedrock Assembly Garage.

It’s a real-world environment to test future autonomous technologies that could be used to refine autonomous valet parking into a product.

Opening in September, the facility will also enable these companies to test if it’s possible to introduce automatic smart charging into the system. Rental company Enterprise is going to test how this technology could streamline its own processes. It hopes that cars that drive themselves to a valet station, then recharge themselves before parking back on the lot ready for pickup will reduce dead time between rentals.

Read the article at Autoblog.

Zero Emission Vehicles

The Car Gossip

President Joe Biden’s executive order signed last week establishes a nonbinding target for zero- emission vehicles – battery-electrics, plug-in hybrids and fuel cells – to make up half of all new passenger vehicles sold in 2030. It also directs the EPA and NHTSA to work on longer-term fuel economy and emissions standards for vehicles produced after the 2026 model year.

Major automakers including the Detroit 3, Toyota Motor North America and Volkswagen Group of America last week announced their support of Biden’s goal of reaching a 50 percent ZEV sales share in 2030, with executives from Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Stellantis and the UAW joining the president as he signed the executive order outside the White House.

The industry’s commitment, however, hinges on efforts from the administration and policymakers to put forth measures that foster greater consumer adoption EVs, including purchase incentives, charging infrastructure, R&D investments and incentives to boost domestic EV manufacturing and supply chains. “The biggest thing that’s happening here is there’s a realization, on the part of both labor and business now, that this is the future. We can’t sit by,” Biden said.

Read the article at The Car Gossip.


Crash-Free Culture

By Paul Atchley, PhD, eDriving’s Brain Science Advisor

In a recent article, we examined what it takes to be a safe driver.

In that post we explored the skill of driving as described in the SPIDER model (Visual Scanning, Hazard Prediction, Identification, Decision Making and Execution of a Response ) by Donald Fisher and David Strayer.

In this article we will examine the other side of the safe driving equation; risk, and will explore why behaviors such as Speeding, Distraction and Fatigue pose such a threat (the “Triple Threat”).

In my work with safety professionals, I have occasionally heard variations on the following question: “Why should we ban phones when drivers engage in all sorts of risky behaviors while driving?”



Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, President of ITA Communications. Fleet.

I have been privileged to write this Fleet Management Weekly column for several years now, and I always invite readers to drop me a line with any marketing questions or suggestions.

I have gladly responded to individuals with the best answers to their questions, and I have learned from other expert marketers’ ideas.

In this column, I’d like to focus on several inquiries concerning news vs. promotion.

As marketers, it is easy for others in a business to assume that marketing is analogous to selling. We know that it’s more complex, but sometimes face stiff resistance to the complexity and subtleties of an effective marketing program.

Here is a great example of a challenge for marketers:


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Driving Dynamics
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Fleet Street
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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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