June 14, 2022

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Big Changes in the Fleet World

Change is constant all around us, and it seems to be accelerating. We were quite excited to learn yesterday that Athene has signed a Stock Purchase Agreement with LeasePlan Corporation to acquire LeasePlan USA and combine it with Wheels Donlen. We anticipate great things to come from this merger! READ MORE here.

The ElectraMeccanica SOLO
I had a blast driving ElectraMeccanica’s three-wheeled SOLO in EV in Portland, OR, a couple weeks ago, and then had the pleasure of learning even more on a Zoom interview with CEO Kevin Pavlov the next day. WATCH the VIDEO to learn what this sporty little one-seater can do for your fleet.

EVs: Forth Roadmap Conference
Speaking of EVs, I am quite excited to attend the Forth Roadmap Conference in Portland, OR, on June 29th and 30th. Hopefully I will see a few of you there. You can learn more HERE.

Ted Roberts

VIDEO: Tip #1: Order Your Vehicles Early

Industry expert Khalid Latif has some great strategies to procure and maintain your fleet vehicles in this challenging time. The number #1 tip is to order your vehicles early.

VIDEO: ElectraMeccanica’s SOLO EV

  Purpose-Built SOLO EV Offers Big Benefits for Fleets

From food delivery to security and beyond, the SOLO EV from ElectraMeccanica is efficient and fun – and it offers significant benefits to fleets.

VIDEO: Southgate Lease Services

  Unique Offerings from a Unique FMC

Southgate Lease Services has a somewhat unique mixture of offerings, including cargo vans, pickup trucks and Class 8 trucks. They also do customer loans in addition to leases.


Global Commercial Vehicle Market on Upswing in '22 Global Commercial Vehicle Market on Upswing in ’22

June 10, 2022 – The “Global Light, Medium, and Heavy Commercial Vehicle Outlook, 2022” report from Research and Markets indicates that despite COVID-19 virus surges in some places, the overall sentiment for the year remained positive.

All regions except for China (which contributes annual sales volumes averaging about 40%) witnessed growth in commercial vehicle sales in 2021, indicating a return to normalcy after a dismal 2020. Most truck manufacturers will have at least one electric model on the road this year.

Despite the analyst’s optimism for the market, the Russo-Ukrainian war, the ongoing semiconductor shortage, rising inflation, and still-climbing oil prices are among the factors that could affect sales.

via Research and Markets

Holman Invests in AmpUp for EV Management Software Holman Invests in AmpUp for EV Management Software

Holman announced an investment from its venture capital division in AmpUp, a leading electric vehicle (EV) management software company. AmpUp’s innovative technology allows organizations and fleet operators to efficiently monitor and manage their EV charging infrastructure to simplify charging schedules and optimize energy consumption.

“As a growing number of organizations embrace EVs and the associated infrastructure becomes increasingly robust, enhanced visibility to charging data will be vital to effectively managing EV chargers and optimizing charging strategies at scale,” said Emily Graham, Director of Sustainability, Holman.


Sofico Reports Record Growth, Seeks to Hire 130 New Staff Worldwide Sofico Reports Record Growth, Seeks to Hire 130 New Staff Worldwide

Sofico, the international software supplier for automotive financing, leasing, fleet and mobility management, is looking to hire 130 new staff worldwide as it continues to expand its operations following record results.

The Belgium based business has announced growth of 15% for the twelfth year in a row. This expansion in revenue – and in offices – has been reflected by an increase in recruitment which, since the beginning of the pandemic, has seen more than 140 new staff come on board, with barely any leavers.


2022 NAFA Leadership Experience NAFA Leadership Experience ’22: Expanding Influence, Energizing Innovation

For a second consecutive year, NAFA will offer an opportunity for members to bolster their leadership skills by attending the 2022 NAFA Leadership Experience.

The re-imagined four-module virtual interactive event will be conducted on June 30, July 14, July 28 and August 11.

Entitled Expanding Influence, Energizing Innovation, the focus this year is on the capacity to be both innovative and influential, a mandatory skill set necessary to succeed in the current business climate.


The Future of Fleet Management

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

Fleet Management Weekly had the opportunity to speak with LeasePlan’s Greg Buckland, Chief Information Officer (CIO), to learn more about how LeasePlan is applying technology to enhance its services and to gain his perspective on what fleet managers can expect from future AI applications.

Buckland says, “Traditionally, when you consider a change in technology, you do it to make something more secure, faster, automate a process or eliminate obsolete technology. Our changes are being made through the eye of the customer and their experience. Any technological change is intended to provide what the client needs in a frictionless way with the greatest level of scalability and efficiency.

We not only look at how we deliver services, but which services our clients really need and ask ourselves if a completely different product or model can better solve the problem. This requires not only a technology change, but also a mindset change.”



Athene to Acquire LeasePlan USA

Combination builds upon LeasePlan USA’s +50-years of fleet management expertise, providing the Company with enhanced mobility solutions and deep capital support from Athene

LeasePlan Corporation and LeasePlan USA to enter into an international Cooperation Agreement, ensuring continuity and growth for global customers.

LeasePlan Corporation announced that Wheels Donlen’s parent company, in which Athene is the lead investor, has signed a Stock Purchase Agreement with LeasePlan Corporation to acquire LeasePlan USA, and subsequently combine the business with Wheels Donlen to create a unified fleet management business.

This combination creates a strong competitor in mobility, which will allow Wheels Donlen and LeasePlan USA to provide enhanced solutions to corporate fleets.



Business Equipment Financing

By Anthony Sasso, President, TD Equipment Finance (TDEF)

Businesses and financial institutions are continuing to pay close attention to the Federal Reserve, which recently raised its benchmark short-term interest rate by 0.5%, marking the largest increase since 2000.

Along with these additional anticipated Fed rate hikes, there is a great deal of uncertainty with political tensions overseas and we are continuing to see economic challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, including significant labor shortages and supply chain delays.

While there are many factors outside of our control, business owners can take key steps now to prepare their businesses for future uncertainties, so they can feel confident, no matter what the future holds.



U.S. Gas Prices Now Top $5 a Gallon

June 11, 2022– Gasoline prices in the U.S. just hit $5 a gallon for the first time, and there’s little relief in sight. Analysts warn gas prices are likely to go even higher still given that the global factors pushing up crude prices are unlikely to ease anytime soon.

Two main factors are driving the surge in gas prices: the recovery from the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As a result, Brent crude prices are above $120/bb after surging over 50% this year.

Gas prices have been a big driver of inflation, which has surged to its highest rate in nearly 40 years. Recent polls have consistently shown record gas prices and high inflation are a major contributor to pessimism about the state of the economy as the U.S. heads to midterm elections in November.

via NPR

Efforts to Curtail Distracted Driving Not Working

June 8, 2022 – Driving while distracted is something that all drivers do at some time, and it’s not just about cellphone use. Eating, drinking, talking with passengers, daydreaming, and staring at crash scenes or roadside signs all take the driver’s attention from operating the vehicle.

The Governors Highway Safety Association issued a report last week outlining more than two dozen recommendations to help states address the ongoing problem.

“People both say it’s a major safety concern, but also refuse to look in the mirror and say, maybe I could be part of this problem,” said Adam Snider, GHSA’s director of communications. “The data has been fairly consistent over the past decade in terms of the percentage of crashes impacted by distracted driving…”

via SmartCitiesDive

Inflatable Seat Belts: Buyer Beware

June 10, 2022 – In 2009, Ford Motor Company announced an innovative new safety technology called “inflatable seat belts” as an option for its 2011 Ford Explorer.

Soon after Ford launched this new device, Mercedes-Benz adopted the technology for its S-Class. Later, Lexus used inflatable seat belts in the 2012 LFA supercar.

What was the reason these brands felt the need to create them? Why did Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus discontinue using this seat belt technology in new cars?

If you’re buying a used vehicle, you’ll need to know about inflatable seat belts still found in some 2011 to 2020 model cars. If you own a child car seat, you may want to look at your car seat owner’s manual to see if it is compatible with them.

via Kelley Blue Book

Biden-Harris Plan Nationwide EV Charging Network

June 9, 2022 – In keeping with President Biden’s commitment to jumpstart the construction of a national network of 500,000 EV chargers by 2030, the U.S. DOT’s Federal Highway Administration announced rules on proposed minimum standards and requirements.

“To support the transition to electric vehicles, we must build a national charging network that makes finding a charge as easy as filling up at a gas station”. said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These new ground rules will help create a network of EV chargers across the country that are convenient, affordable, reliable and accessible for all Americans.”

No matter what kind of EV a user drives, what state they charge in, or what charging company they plug into, the minimum standards will ensure a unified network of chargers with similar payment systems, pricing information, charging speeds, and more.


Fleet Marketing

…Is Still the Best When Business Results Matter

By Ed Pierce, Fleet Industry Marketing Consultant

With the hyperbole and hype about digital marketing activities such as social media, content marketing, SEO, and PPC, the first digital marketing tool, email, is still one of the best.

It’s important to nurture leads, convert prospects, and reward repeat customers. Using tested email marketing best practices will help you do just that. These tips can also help you make the most of your email marketing strategy.

When setting up a digital marketing campaign, targeted email is a key component. It enables you to reach out directly to customers, while at the same time enabling you to test different variations of the same email.

Let’s break down the three essential stages of targeted email marketing campaign.



Interview with Shlomo Crandus

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

Last year, the merger of Wheels and Donlen made waves in the fleet management world.

The combination of these two powerhouse companies has created a true force to be reckoned with in the fleet management industry.

With the advantages that scale will bring coupled with both legacy organizations’ relentless focus on customers, Wheels Donlen is well positioned for success.

As the two companies become one, they needed to align on a platform strategy that would allow them to best serve their expanding customer base – ensuring that the existing platform strengths of each legacy company could be maximized while also building enhancements to help their customers achieve their fleet and business goals.



Crash-Free Culture

By Ed Dubens, CEO/Founder of eDriving

The latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the number one cause of workplace deaths is motor vehicle crashes, accounting for more than 37 percent of all work-related deaths.

It’s a sobering statistic, which is why this month’s National Safety Month, is an ideal opportunity for businesses with employees “driving for work purposes” to consider if they are doing everything they can to keep their drivers safe.

Sadly, too often, driver training is a “checkbox” exercise to simply meet health and safety requirements, or an initiative implemented in response to an incident or collision, especially one involving injuries. Road safety needs to be ingrained in company culture. “What interests the boss, fascinates and engages the employees” is a popular eDriving mantra.


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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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