November 9, 2021

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

The Upside of an M&A

We know that many of our readers are working with FMCs who are currently involved in Mergers & Acquisitions. Contributing Editor Ed Pierce has an excellent piece today on this exact topic, and he acknowledges that fleets’ first concerns might focus on possible disruptions. But he also points out that “often overlooked after a merger or acquisition is the opportunity for a customer of an acquired or merged supplier to improve even a satisfactory relationship.” Read more here.

A Sustainable Future

“Climate change is one of the most important issues of our time,” said Neil Cawse, Chief Executive Officer of Geotab. To this end, the company has set an ambitious target of Net-Zero by 2040 (a full decade earlier than the Paris Agreement) and released its first-ever Geotab Sustainability Report. We hope to see more and more companies do the same.

Ted Roberts

VIDEO: Donlen Proud to Be Part of the Climate Group’s EV100

Donlen has solidified its commitment to electric vehicle adoption by joining the Climate Group’s EV100, which is a group of companies dedicated to shaping the market for EVs by building demand and establishing electro-mobility as a mainstream transport solution.

VIDEO: Residual Values

  FMCs, EVs and Residual Values

As electric vehicles become more commonplace, is your fleet management company taking a look at the risks that might ensue due to changes in residual values?

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.


Holman Enterprises Announces Leadership Appointments

Holman Enterprises announced a series of key leadership appointments designed to help drive the organization’s continued evolution and further align Holman’s unrivaled automotive core competencies.

Rick Tousaw, Holman’s Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, will now lead the newly created Holman Commercial Team.

The Holman Commercial Team is comprised of four fundamental areas – Market Development, Product & Service Development, Customer Experience, and Marketing – and will support the company’s strategic vision for sustained growth and strengthen Holman’s position as a prominent leader in the automotive industry.

“Operating in support of all the Holman businesses, this newly established team will focus on driving key commercial initiatives forward, ensuring we continue to align our organization with what truly matters to our customers, and fueling our shared success for many years to come,” said Tousaw.


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Bob Barna Named Strategic Sales Manager at Masterack

Brian Barber, Vice President of Sales & Client Services of Masterack, LLC, a JB Poindexter & Co business, is pleased to appoint Bob Barna to the position of Strategic Sales Manager for US Fleet.

Barna comes to Masterack with over 23 years of proven leadership and North American sales success. His impressive resume includes four years as a Senior Strategic Sales Vice President at LeasePlan USA where in just two years he generated 420% of his sales goals. He also served as Vice President of Strategic Sales – Large Fleets at Donlen, and most recently, Regional Sales Manager at Merchants Fleet.


How to Get Your Driver Risk Management Program Funded

By Sarah Bechtold, Senior Vice President, Global Driver Risk Management, eDriving

Whatever the size of your fleet, a formal, comprehensive safety program is important.

Official statistics remind us regularly that vehicle crashes are a common cause of work-related injuries and fatalities, and we know that such crashes are very costly for organizations. According to the latest NETS (Network of Employers for Traffic Safety) report , on-the-job highway crashes cost employers $26,081 per crash, $66,119 per million miles of travel, and $78,418 per injury.

A comprehensive driver risk management program addresses employers’ responsibilities to keep those driving for work purposes safe. But there’s one common hurdle that can prove the biggest challenge for organizations: getting the program funded.

Here are some recommendations to help you obtain that all-important funding approval:


Mergers & Acquisitions

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

Because of the depth and breadth of the fleet industry products and services, we have seen that there’s a good chance that a supplier may be acquired or merge with another supplier.

At first, the potential disruptions are top of mind concerns. Pricing, service levels, billing and other systems, strategic partnerships are all critical in contributing to the smooth operation of the fleet.

Often overlooked after a merger or acquisition is the opportunity for a customer of an acquired or merged supplier to improve even a satisfactory relationship. Can the affected supplier formulate better processes, products, services, and pricing? Can the newly merged or acquired business apply additional resources to improve its capabilities and competitive edge?

If there was ever a time for the supplier affected by the change of ownership to focus on its customer base and market position, it is now. Smart management knows that a positive customer experience can calm the market waters and keep the sharks (competitors) at bay.



AFLA in San Antonio

By Maria Neve, VP Sustainability and Electrification, Donlen

It was just so exciting to see everyone at AFLA in San Antonio! From the networking events to the sessions, from the keynotes and dinners to the stay at the beautiful La Cantera Resort, and even the impromptu conversations in the hallways, the event was simply a delight to attend.

So, what did we learn during our three days of meetings?

As always, the AFLA sessions provided a wealth of information from a well-rounded slate of speakers providing multiple points of view. Historically, when the industry gathers, there are always topics of mutual concern. This year, top of mind topics were supply chain slowdowns, chip shortages, OEM manufacturing pauses, and the electrification of fleets.

Electrification is not only everywhere in the mainstream media but was also a pervasive topic of conversation with the professionals at AFLA.




Business Wire

With transportation accounting for about 15 to 20 percent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions, Geotab, a global leader in IoT and connected transportation, announced its commitments to helping fight climate change, including an ambitious target of Net-Zero by 2040 (a full decade earlier than the Paris Agreement).

Acknowledging the pivotal role it plays as an enabler of low-carbon fleets and supporting infrastructure, Geotab has outlined its sustainability commitments as well as a report card of its current progress in its inaugural Geotab Sustainability Report.

“Climate change is one of the most important issues of our time,” said Neil Cawse, Chief Executive Officer of Geotab. “Our commitment to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 is not just about us — it’s about creating a better world for the generations to come.

And as a global leader in connected transportation, we have a unique opportunity to work with our peers and partners to help move the commercial transport ecosystem to carbon neutrality.”


Biden’s $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Passes US House with Billions for EV Sector


The US House of Representatives passed a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill Friday night, handing President Joe Biden a win. The bill passed the Senate in August and now heads to Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

The bill sets aside $7.5 billion to create a nationwide network of EV charging stations and expedite the adoption of electric cars this decade. Another $65 billion will fund an investment in clean energy and renewables for the nation’s electricity grid, and promises to create a more resilient system. Most notably for the auto industry, the bill boosts the EV tax credit by $5,000.

In a statement, Biden called the bill “a once-in-generation bipartisan infrastructure bill that will create millions of jobs, turn the climate crisis into an opportunity, and put us on a path to win the economic competition for the 21st Century.”

Read the article at Roadshow.

Revised EV Tax Credit Could Discount Electric Trucks Costing Up to $80,000

The Drive

The electric vehicle tax credit in the Build Back Better bill has raised its price ceiling for vans, SUVs, and pickup trucks to $80,000, up from $64,000, $69,000, and $74,000, respectively.

The income levels necessary to be eligible for the credit have gone down. If one’s individual income is above $250,000 or their household income exceeds $500,000, they no longer qualify for the incentive. This is down from $400,000 and $800,000. The $55,000 cap for sedans has stayed where it is, effectively making smaller, more expensive cars less attractive from an incentives standpoint.

Non-unionized domestic automakers like Tesla and Rivian are upset and a company like Lucid, which isn’t unionized and makes no vehicles besides sedans above $55,000, would currently receive little if any of the credit despite being an American company building EVs in Arizona.

Read the article at The Drive.

Where the Heck Are We Going to Charge All of the Electric Cars?


One in three U.S. housing units does not have a garage, according to the 2019 American Housing Survey, and many of those households do not have their own parking spots. Some studies suggest we’ll need as many as one charger for every two electric vehicles.

Where to charge them? Many cities are experimenting with EV charging at the curb and so far, that is working much the same way as street parking: every driver for him or herself.

Even at low voltages, however, curbside charging is a challenge. “You’d think they’d be simple projects—pole-mounted, streetlight-mounted—but the way it’s looking right now is they’re all kind of one-off, and you don’t get a cost reduction from scaling. It’s going to be cheaper to put it in a garage in almost any scenario. Curbside will be a niche.”

Read the article at Slate.

ZipCharge Go is a Suitcase-Size Powerbank for EVs

Photo courtesy of ZipCharge


ZipCharge has launched a new type of charging product for EVs that might be able to convince people worried about range anxiety to switch from gas vehicles.

The British startup has introduced a powerbank for EVs called ZipCharge Go at the Cop26 climate summit. It’s about the size of a suitcase and weighs around 50 pounds — plus, it has wheels and a retractable handle, so users can put it in their trunk and easily take it out when they need to charge.

According to the company, the Go can provide up 20 miles of range after being plugged into the car for 30 minutes. A higher capacity version will be able to provide an EV up to 40 miles of range. The device works with any plug-in hybrid or EV with a Type 2 socket, and it can charge that vehicle to its full capacity between 30 minutes to an hour.

Read the article at Autoblog.

Ford Pro

Ford’s E-Transit pilot began in Europe in August. Now, the company has launched a similar program in the U.S., but here, it will include Ford Pro, a year-old new business within Ford that will offer commercial products, services and distribution.

Initially, Ford will launch its U.S. E-transit Van with two partners: Penske Truck Leasing, and National Grid, an international utility company. Both will take delivery of a pre-production version of Ford’s all new electric van, which will soon begin production for an early 2022 debut at dealers.

The new E-Transit vans and Ford Pro, following the F-150 Lightning are further evidence of Ford’s commitment to commercial fleet vehicles.



Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, President of ITA Communications. Fleet.

In a recent blog by the marketing firm, Strum, Karen McGaughey, vice president of client services, suggested four ideas to help businesses focus their 2022 marketing planning and budgeting.

As the past year has shown, the “new normal” is defined by uncertainty and disruption. With time to adapt to a chaotic business environment, smart companies have learned the importance of flexibility in planning and budgeting. This year’s supply chip manufacturing disruptions at the beginning of the year turned into a much larger and deeper challenge for a wide and diverse number of industries.

The key to successful marketing planning in this era of unpredictability is striking the right balance between responsiveness and higher costs. Look to construct a balanced plan and budget with a mix of highly nimble investments that deliver more immediate results yet build long-term value.



Team Building


The best leaders cultivate a climate that is both comfortable and intense. They remove fear and provide the security that invites people to do their best thinking. At the same time, they establish an energizing, intense environment that demands people’s best efforts.

If you want the people on your team to venture beyond artificial job boundaries and do what’s needed, help them see what’s most important at any given time. You can help your team know where to focus by defining the W.I.N. (What’s Important Now) and keeping it front and center.

People generally need two types of information to achieve top performance. The first is clear direction: What is the target, and why is it important? (In other words, the W.I.N.) The second is performance feedback: Am I hitting the target? Am I doing it right?

Think of feedback as critical information—data that people need in order to calibrate and adjust their approach—rather than a critique. When feedback is simply much-needed information, and not a personal judgment, the feedback is easier to both share and receive.

Read the article at Strategy+Business.

Fleet Management Resources


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NAFA Fleet Management Association
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