October 5, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Tackling Challenges

In today’s issue, PARS’ Teri Ross gives an insightful Update on COVID-Impacted Transport Challenges. She has some great ideas for dealing with the current landscape.

Secret Weapon Against Driver Risk
Official figures revealed a 10.5% surge in deaths on U.S. roadways in the first quarter of 2021. Ed Dubens has a timely article in Crash-Free Culture today, explaining why Managers are the Secret Weapon in Your Driver Risk Management Toolbox. It’s a very worthwhile read.

To all of our friends at AFLA – a great big Hello! We wish we were with you. I was lucky enough to attend the board meeting remotely on Sunday, and I am happy to see that things continue to move onward and upward for this great organization!

Ted Roberts

VIDEO: Positive Findings from Enterprise Fleet Management’s EV Suitability Assessment Study

Enterprise Fleet Management recently conducted an EV Suitability Assessment of their existing vehicles – and they got some encouraging news.

VIDEO: Fleet Solutions

  Shell Fleet Solutions Can Save You Time and Money

Shell Fleet Solutions is able to draw from the power and resources of Shell as a global brand, and for fleets that can translate into a savings of time and money.

Video Interview with YOU Here?

  Request for Zoom Video Interviews

We’re ramping up FMW’s video interviews via Zoom given the times, and are looking to speak with a variety industry experts (and we know that many of you are reading!).

Please feel free to suggest yourself, or someone you know. Any and all timely industry topics will be considered, and we look forward to speaking with you!

Email Ted Roberts to learn more: ted@fleetmanagementweekly.com.


Chip Shortage Tanks GM’s Third-Quarter Sales


General Motors’ U.S. vehicle sales during the third quarter plummeted by more than 30% from last year as an ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips interrupted vehicle production and cut dealer inventories.

About 447,000 vehicles were sold from July through September, down 32.8% from a year earlier when sales volumes were depressed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The decline was slightly wider than industry analysts’ expectations of 28.9% and 31.5%.

The chip shortage has caused GM to shut plants for weeks, if not months.

Read the article at CNBC.

Brendan P. Keegan, CEO of Merchants Fleet, Invited to the Fast Company Executive Board

Merchants Fleet announced CEO Brendan P. Keegan has been invited to join the Fast Company Executive Board, an invitation-only organization comprised of company founders, executives, and leaders who are defining the future of business across the globe.

“For me, Fast Company is synonymous with innovation—and innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Merchants Fleet,” says Keegan. “I am honored to be invited to participate in this esteemed organization, and I look forward to sharing thoughts and ideas with my colleagues on the board, in our collective pursuit of transforming the business world.”

Keegan was invited to join the board based on his demonstrated expertise and thought leadership in the fleet industry. He is a frequent editorial contributor to Fast Company, Newsweek, Entrepreneur, and Inc., and also authors a widely followed LinkedIn blog.

Fleet Liability Blog Series Part 1: Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle

By Adam Danielson, Sales and Business Development Director, SuperVision

Liability associated to fleet-related crashes is the cause of budget-busting payouts and other less tangible headaches, such as damaged public perception.

On November 30th, 2000, a woman was tragically killed by a moving truck while walking in the common area of an apartment complex behind her home in Dallas. The truck was owned by a moving company, and operated by that company employee.

It was alleged in the ensuing wrongful death lawsuit that not only did the employee not have a commercial driver’s license, he also did not have training or experience in driving a vehicle of such size.


These Are The World’s 10 Fastest-Selling EVs Right Now

Inside EVs

With EVs becoming increasingly popular in recent years, it’s interesting to see which models sell the fastest.

That’s exactly what the following list compiled by car lease comparison site LeaseLoco offers, uncovering the ten fastest-selling electric cars at the moment across the globe. Before delving into the data, it’s worth knowing how they arrived at these results.

Rather unsurprisingly, the number one spot goes to the Tesla Model 3, the all-time best-selling electric car in the world with 645,000 units sold since 2020.

Read the article at Inside EVs.

Fleet Marketing

Content marketing has gained prominence as a critical marketing tactic in this age of ever-expanding digital media channels. Its value can be seen in:

  1. Lead Generation. The most appreciated connection between marketing and sales. Content marketing can help nurture the very cold newcomer all the way to the very engaged advocate. It paves the way for a sales call.
  2. Thought Leadership. Content marketing can give SME’s within a company exposure to the entire target market and confirm authority of the person, the company, and the product.
  3. Key Use Cases. Highlighting successful implementations engages the curious, creates trust among prospecting, and strengthens relationships with customers.


Building an Effective Content Marketing Program for B2B Businesses

When systematically planned and implemented, a content marketing program attracts, engages, and retains an audience in the form of articles, videos, podcasts, and other media. Content can establish expertise, promote brand awareness, and differentiate your product or service in buyers’ minds in the buying process.



Crash-Free Culture

By Ed Dubens, Founder/CEO of eDriving

Are the Managers of your Drivers playing their part in creating a crash-free culture across your organization?

Official figures revealed a surge in deaths on U.S. roadways in the first quarter of 2021 – a 10.5 percent increase from the same period last year. And we already know that around 94% of collisions can be attributed to driver attitudes and behaviors, which tells us that the key to reducing collisions is to improve those attitudes and behaviors. But does that mean that your driver risk management program should focus purely on driver attitudes and behaviors, or those of managers, too?

eDriving’s primary research has proven what other cognitive studies have shown: namely, that training – whether virtual or in person – can only change the risk level of a driver so much. Personal performance coaching has been found to be one of the best methods of reinforcing safer, sustained low-risk behaviors.



Vehicle Transport Today

By Teri Ross, Vice President of Sales & Client Relations at PARS

The impact of COVID-19 has cascaded throughout our world to affect just about every aspect of our lives. Likewise, in the transportation industry, even after 18 months challenges remain. COVID disruptions touch many of the services provided to our clients and we must face the fact that some of these disruptions are going to resolve slowly.

In the following sections, I detail the lingering pandemic’s impact on each aspect of the delivery cycle and how to adapt. One thing is clear, we are now living in a world where patience is a true virtue.

New Vehicle Deliveries

New vehicle deliveries are still impacted by COVID slowdowns and the resulting lack of new vehicle availability due to the ongoing chip supply issue.

Communication with dealerships can be a struggle due to staffing cuts during last year’s business shutdowns. The fleet contacts who formerly worked at dealerships just a year ago are either no longer employed or are working shortened hours. This results in smaller windows of time for confirming deliveries.



Record Vehicle Prices Mean One Thing – Record Monthly Payments for New and Used Cars

The Detroit Bureau

If it is seems like there’s hardly a difference between the monthly payment on a new and a used vehicle, you’re right. Currently there’s just an 18% difference between the two averages — the smallest gap ever.

The average transaction price for a new vehicle is more than $42,000, which is a new record. Unsurprisingly, that has trickled down to the used vehicle numbers as well. Edmunds expects it to climb to a record high of $27,306, compared to $25,854 in Q2 2021 and $21,697 in Q3 2020.

“These high prices combined with higher interest rates on the used side have shrunk the difference between new and used monthly payments more than we’ve ever seen before. Consumers considering a used vehicle rightfully might pause at the fact that today’s used monthly payment is nearly the same as a new monthly payment five years ago — particularly when they factor in the maintenance that might happen sooner rather than later,”  said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of insights

Read the article at The Detroit Bureau.

Samsung is Bringing Digital Car Keys to its Phones, Starting in South Korea

The Verge

After announcing plans for digital car keys in its phones during the Galaxy S21 launch, Samsung is finally starting to add support for the feature. Samsung says support for the ultra wideband (UWB) and NFC-enabled digital car keys will hit South Korea first, and it will only work with one car to start — the all-electric Genesis GV60.

On devices that support UWB — the Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus and Ultra, Note 20 Ultra, and Galaxy Z Fold 2 and 3 — Samsung promises “passive entry,” meaning you can unlock and lock your car without pulling your phone out of your bag or pocket. With your phone nearby, you’ll also be able to start your car and make adjustments to mirrors, seats, and more.

The digital keys are stored in Samsung Pass — and protected by an “embedded Secure Element (eSE)” — and, according to Samsung, can be shared with anyone running Android 11 with its app downloaded.

Read the article at The Verge.

ABB Introduces ‘World’s Fastest’ EV Charger: Terra 360


ABB announced the launch of the “world’s fastest electric car charger” called Terra 360, which will be available in Europe from the end of 2021 (2022 in other markets).

The key feature of the Terra 360 is the dynamic power distribution between up to four vehicles (there are two plugs on each side of the charger). It means that drivers connected to the chargers will not have to wait on each other to end charging the previously connected EVs. According to ABB – this makes the Terra 360 well suited for refueling stations, urban charging stations, retail parking and fleet applications.

Read the article at InsideEVs.

On-Demand Options: Automakers Move Toward Subscription Services

Car and Driver

Monthly payments for music and TV have become the norm. The people making cars are paying attention.

Instead of building cars with many different option packages to spec, companies can produce one fully equipped model and charge consumers to turn on the features they want. “You’re going to have increased complexity in the car but less complexity in manufacturing,” says Sam Abuelsamid, principal analyst at Guidehouse Insights says.

Read the article at Car and Driver.

Changes at NETS

Joe McKillips, who has served as Executive Director of NETS since 2016, will step aside from his position at the end of the year to spend additional time with his family. Joe became NETS Executive Director in 2016 after a distinguished 26-year career with Abbott as Global Director of Commercial Environmental Health and Safety. During that time, he served on the NETS Board of Directors for several years, including two years as NETS Board Chair.

Terry Thomas, NETS Chairman, called Joe a selfless and tireless advocate for all that NETS stands for and enumerated Joe’s many accomplishments during his tenure as NETS Executive Director.  These include positioning NETS for continued growth streamlining back-office operations, continuing NETS/NHTSA project collaboration, and creating momentum for on-going expansion of NETS’ mission.

Moreover, Joe led a re-structuring of NETS membership options, replacing the previous “one size fits all” model with a three-tier system that makes NETS membership more attractive to a greater variety of organizations of all sizes.



Finding Your ‘Next Normal’

By Holly Hill, CAFS, Director of Business Development, FLD Remarketing

As just about anyone in the industry can attest to, the Covid pandemic has changed fleet in ways that none of us could ever have imagined.

From labor and chip shortages that have shuttered major automotive manufacturers, to supply chain stops and starts that have just about everyone searching for creative workarounds, the past 18 months have been unbelievably challenging.

So, with tempered expectations, I was anxious to attend this year’s NAFA I & E in Pittsburgh to see old friends and colleagues, exchange pandemic stories, and check in on folks I hadn’t seen in person since the NTEA conference in early March 2020.

As one might have expected, this year’s NAFA was unlike any I have ever attended over the last 20 plus years.



Fleet Management Today

Fleet Management Weekly Staff

While the business world has changed immensely since the COVID pandemic, best business practices have not.

Budget constraints, metrics-driven performance, customer experience, profitability … they all continue to define fleet operational performance.

The difference is the relative criticality of the different facets of fleet management. Supply chain has heightened attention. Vehicle lifecycle and replacement are getting much more attention. Asset management with the transition to EVs is another wrinkle, and there’s much more.

Managers could easily fall into a “chicken little” posture looking at a sky full of challenges raining down around them. Or, they could remember the best practices that still define a successful fleet operation.

ARI recently listed some of the steps necessary to keep from straying off the path that has always led to a successful fleet operation.


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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