October 19, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

A Watershed Moment for Fleet

Fleet marketing consultant Tod Trousdell is highly enthusiastic about the recently concluded AFLA Conference which he calls “a watershed moment for fleet.” Today, he gives us his thoughts on both the meeting and what he sees as the key challenges facing fleet.

Why do a fleet utilization study? Ed Smith, president of Agile Fleet, says, “At the highest level, goals of a fleet utilization study are ultimately to capture and present vehicle use metrics in a way that provides a clear understanding of utilization.”

We like this: ALD Announcement May Signal Rise in Fleet Vehicle Subscriptions. “At a time when business’ mobility needs and attitudes are changing so rapidly, vehicle subscriptions offer a way of getting closer to the end customer and allow greater control over the customer experience.”

Drive Safety,

Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: An All-Encompassing Maintenance and Repair Solution

This noteworthy new partnership benefits fleets by integrating nationwide Bridgestone/Firestone offerings into the Wrench app.

VIDEO: EVs and Residual Values

  EVs, Closed-Ended Leases, Residual Value and Risk

As electric vehicles are adopted more widely, closed-ended leases may become more common, and that would translate to more risk when it comes to residual values.

VIDEO: The Hidden Flaw

  The Hidden Flaw is Now Playing

There’s a critical flaw that’s hiding in virtually every fleet’s supply chain. Sometimes in plain sight.

WATCH “The Hidden Flaw.”


eDriving Partners with Jerry to Secure Personal Car Insurance Savings for Mentor App Users

eDrivingSM, a Solera company, is helping commercial drivers save money on personal car insurance by incorporating Jerry into its award-winning smartphone app, MentorSM.

For Mentor users, Jerry is available in-app, and provides customized quotes from more than 50 insurance carriers in 45 seconds.

“We’re delighted to be expanding our value proposition to clients by offering Mentor with Jerry to those organizations keen to further engage their employees by helping them source personal insurance savings through their driver safety program,” said Ed Dubens, CEO/ Founder of eDriving.


KINTO Europe Implements Sofico’s Miles Platform Across Europe

KINTO Europe, the recently launched joint venture between Toyota Motor Europe and Toyota Financial Services, is implementing Sofico’s Miles Enterprise software platform across Europe to manage all its vehicle usage transactions.

So far, Miles Enterprise has been implemented in five leading markets as part of a major pan-European roll-out across KINTO Europe’s operations.

In recent months, Miles Enterprise has gone live in KINTO’s fleet services businesses in France initially, followed by Italy, Spain and Germany. In addition, there is an ongoing phased implementation process in Belgium involving the retail, wholesale and fleet sides of the business in that country.


Agile Fleet Webinar: Vehicle Fleet Technology for Social Services Fleets

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 | 2 p.m. Eastern

The many departments of Social Services across North America promote and safeguard the well being of their communities by strengthening, empowering, and preserving the dignity of individuals and families, providing quality services and supporting clients in achieving self-sufficiency, and more.

If the pandemic has changed your fleet usage, now may be the time to rightsize, launch a shared vehicle fleet, or automate the one you have.

Live Event! Sign up now, space is running out. REGISTER TODAY!

Defining Fleet Success

By Steve Saltzgiver, Director of Strategic Innovation, RTA Fleet Management Software

As fleet professionals, we focus on the right metrics to track to monitor how our fleet is performing, and what reports to run to ensure we’re up to date on services and staying on budget.

But how can you determine if you have a successful fleet?

There has never been a clear definition for Fleet Success. Until now.


Fleet Utilization

Ed Smith, President, Agile Fleet

Understanding your fleet’s utilization is at the core of fleet right-sizing.

Many fleets undergo fleet utilization studies as a first step towards getting their fleets right-sized and under control.

But how is a fleet study conducted? How often should it be done? How do you articulate the goals of your study? What changes should be made as a result of your study?

We hear these questions and many more on this topic, so here is some guidance you may want to consider.



Vehicle Subscriptions

FMW Editorial Team

Does last week’s announcement regarding ALD’s acquisition of Fleetpool, the German car subscription company, rejuvenate the vehicle subscription business model and the mobility market opportunity in the North America?

ALD projects that the new partnership will allow it to soon offer digital car subscription services to its customers across Europe – including business and private customers.

The company sees this service as a major trend in the mobility sector, forecasting that subscriptions will account for up to 20 percent of vehicle sales within this decade.



5 Challenges Facing Fleet

By Tod Trousdell, Fleet Marketing Consultant/Partner, RobertsTrousdell Communications

By many accounts, this year’s Automotive Fleet Leasing Association (AFLA) conference in San Antonio was a watershed moment for Fleet.

After 18 months of little to no face- to-face interaction, more than 300 fleet influencers gathered for what turned out to be three fruitful days of robust interactions with customers and colleagues most had not seen since the start of the pandemic.

And while attendance was noticeably lower than recent years, most attendees seemed to be reveling in an equal mix of personal and professional interactions that renewed spirits and deepened fleet’s resolve to not only overcome the events of the past two years, but to launch what many feel will be a renaissance for the industry.

With that in mind, here’s a look at five continuing challenges facing fleet as it emerges from a successful AFLA conference, and charges into what hopefully will be yet another enlightening and fruitful era for this great industry.



How Easy is it to Use the F-150’s On-Board Scales and Smart Hitch? We Find Out


Truck owners: How often have you “done the math” to verify payload weight before the front-end loader dumps a bucket of mulch into your half-ton pickup?  Now, your 2021 Ford F-150 will take the guesswork out of this, with the truck’s new Onboard Scale w/Smart Hitch option.

Load-leveling sensors used by other systems measure the suspension’s deflection at each corner. VIN-specific predetermined payload capacity is programmed at the factory and all loads are expressed as estimated amounts under or over that amount.

The Smart Hitch feature utilizes the same sensors as the scales feature, but it helps ensure the trailer hitch’s tongue weight remains in spec. This is trickier because (at least for now) the user must somehow determine and program in the overall weight of the trailer.

Read the article at MotorTrend.

Good IIHS Headlight Ratings Linked to Lower Crash Rates


The headlight ratings program developed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is reducing dangerous nighttime crashes in the real world, a recent study shows.

Nighttime crash rates per mile are nearly 20 percent lower for vehicles with headlights that earn a good rating in the IIHS evaluation, compared with those with poor-rated headlights, the study found. For vehicles with acceptable or marginal headlights, crash rates are 15 percent and 10 percent lower than for those with poor ratings.

“Driving at night is 3 times as risky as driving during the day,” says IIHS Senior Research Engineer Matthew Brumbelow, who conducted the study. “This is the first study to document how much headlights that provide better illumination can help.”

Read the article at IIHS.

NICB Releases Annual ‘Hot Wheels’ Report: America’s Top Ten Most Stolen Vehicles


For the second year in a row, the Ford full size pick-up was the model most targeted by thieves, followed by the Chevrolet full size pick-up, which supplanted the formerly second-place Honda Civic.

“Auto thefts saw a dramatic increase in 2020 versus 2019 in part due to the pandemic, an economic downturn, law enforcement realignment, depleted social and schooling programs, and, in still too many cases, owner complacency,” said David Glawe, president and CEO of the NICB. “For many people, a car is the second largest investment they will ever make behind a home. No matter what kind of vehicle you have, take steps to protect your investment – lock your car and take your keys.”

Thefts for all models in the top 10 were up in 2020 compared to 2019, but only Ford, Chevrolet, and GMC full size pick-ups and the Honda CR-V saw double digit theft increase percentages. In this year’s list, six of the top 10 most stolen vehicles were Japanese models.

Read the article at NICB.

How Do You Service an Electric Car?


As for when you should have your electric vehicle serviced, well that comes down to each manufacturer. Some EV drivers have gone tens of thousands of miles without a service and with no known defects.

Many EVs are heavier than their combustion counterparts so can suffer a little more tire wear.  Instead of friction brakes clamping down and expelling heat, that energy is used to slow the car and recharge the battery. It means that many EV owners go years without having to change a brake pad or disc!

The battery in an EV is one of the things that gets the most attention when it comes to talking about maintaining EVs. The battery will degrade over time, but it isn’t something that needs to be serviced in a manner that we’re accustomed to.

Read the article at InsideEVs.

A Gap in Understanding

AAA Newsroom

A new survey from AAA finds that 40 percent of Americans expect driver support systems, with names like Autopilot, ProPILOT or Pilot Assist, to have the ability to drive the car by itself, indicating a gap in consumer understanding of these technologies and reality.

AAA also tested these systems and found that they are in fact not designed to take over the task of driving and can be significantly challenged by every day, real-world conditions such as poor lane markings, unusual traffic patterns and stationary vehicles.

As this type of technology becomes more commonplace on the road, AAA cautions consumers not to take vehicle system names at face value and, although meant to assist in the driving task, should never be used as a replacement for driver engagement. In order to reduce the misuse of driver support vehicle systems, drivers are encouraged to educate themselves by requesting a demonstration at the dealership as well as thoroughly reading the vehicle owner’s manual.

Read the article at AAA Newsroom.


A New Record for Used Vehicle Prices

Consumer Affairs

Three-year-old vehicles – typically the cars and trucks that are most in-demand — increased in value by 4.6%. Throughout the entire month, buyers paid more than the Manheim Market Report (MMR) values. Despite there being higher prices, 65% of shoppers ended up buying a vehicle, compared to 52% in 2019.

Every type of vehicle saw price increases in September, but some increased more than others. The price of a van rose nearly 41% from September 2020. Pickup trucks, already among the most expensive used vehicles, rose by another 17.8%. Overall, prices were up 27.1%.

Dealers may have gotten top dollar for their inventory in September, but they sold fewer vehicles. Cox Automotive, the parent company of Manheim, reports that total used vehicle sales were down 13% year-over-year on a seasonally adjusted basis (SAAR). Consumers who are able to find a new vehicle to their liking, there may have never been a better time to trade in a used car or truck.

Read the article at Consumer Affairs.


AFLA in San Antonio

Photo credit: La Cantera Resort & Spa

By Rich Mallek, Director of Business Development, FLD Remarketing

Like many of the attendees at last week’s annual Automotive Fleet Leasing Association (AFLA) conference, I was decidedly unsure how the event would turn out.

After more than 18 months of virtual meetings and halting interactions, I wondered whether my colleagues in fleet were ready for what usually turns out to be several days of face to face meetings, close contact with long-time friends, and commiserating with people we may not have met before.

Especially considering that the annual NAFA show held the previous month in Pittsburgh had a markedly smaller crowd than years past, and many notable participants in NAFA’s usually bustling conference floor missing in action.

As I boarded my flight to San Antonio, many unanswered questions swirled in my head.


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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.

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

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

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