August 17, 2022

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Editor’s Analysis & Top Industry News

Changed Priorities Ahead

Paul Lauria, founder of Mercury Associates, is no stranger to FMW. We always appreciate the opportunity to sit down with him to learn his thoughts on the state of the fleet industry. Although he has recently retired from the fleet management consulting giant, he continues to serve the company as Senior Advisor.

Mercury advises both public and private fleets, thus Lauria has a superb vantage point from which to survey all facets of the industry.

In our latest interview with Lauria, he boldly states, “I believe that fleet management is going to change more in the next decade than it’s changed in the last century.” And then he tells us why.

Drive Safety!
Janice Sutton
Editor in Chief

VIDEO: Used Vehicle Market Outlook for the Remainder of 2022

The used vehicle market outlook is somewhat murky, but it looks as though we could be in something of a “flat spot” for a while.

VIDEO: Merchants Fleet

  What the Acquisition by Bain Capital Means for Merchants Fleet

Merchants Fleet has seen explosive growth in the past few years, and now their recent acquisition by Bain Capital means that they are poised to grow even more.

VIDEO: Driver Recruitment

  A Sophisticated and Proven Driver Recruitment Process

This sophisticated recruitment process uses insights from your senior-most drivers to effective and well-targeted ads, and makes it possible to respond to interested drivers very quickly.


CEREBRUMX Simplifies Fleets Management Across North America as Azuga’s Connected Vehicle Data Partner

CerebrumX announced its partnership with Azuga to offer valuable real time insights from the connected vehicle data.

Recent global market insights have highlighted a rising demand to improve fleet efficiency among fleet operators using vehicle telematics, which is accelerating the industry growth. Azuga offers affordable and easy-to-use Global Positioning System (GPS) fleet tracking software solutions to fleet operators that enable driver safety.

“By teaming up with CerebrumX, we’re thrilled to go beyond tracking and offer real-time insights to make fleet management and operations efficient and seamless.” said Ananth Rani, CEO, Azuga.


National Safety Council - National Safety Month VOXX Automotive and ESS Ink Deal

VOXX Automotive Corp. announced it is partnering with Emergency Safety Solutions, Inc. (ESS), to make Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol (H.E.L.P.™️) available to virtually every passenger and commercial vehicle on the road.

“There are more than 280 million vehicles on the road today in the U.S. that would benefit from this lifesaving technology being built in, which presents an incredible roadway safety opportunity,” said Pat Lavelle, President and Chief Executive Officer, VOXX International Corporation.

“The interfacing of enhanced factory hazard lights and GPS-based digital alert technology is cutting edge. Our goal is to greatly reduce these preventable incidents, related injuries, and deaths. This really is a game changer to help us achieve that objective.”


Explosive Growth Lands Merchants Fleet on Inc 5000’s Fastest Growing Private Companies List for Second Time

Merchants Fleet announced it has been named to Inc 5000’s list of fastest-growing private companies in America for the second time in three years.

The list represents a one-of-a-kind look at the most successful companies within the economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent businesses. Facebook, Chobani, Under Armour, Microsoft, Patagonia, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

“We are proud to be the fastest-growing in our industry, and now again seen as one of the fastest growing in the world,” said Brendan P. Keegan, Chairman, CEO and President of Merchants Fleet.


NETS Hybrid Conference ~ October 5-6, 2022 — Agenda Now Available

Mark your calendar! Plan to join NETS on October 5 & 6, 2022 at the beautiful Marriott at Eagle Crest, Ann Arbor, Michigan

NETS annual STRENGTH IN NUMBERS® Benchmark Conference convenes each year to bring together Global, Corporate, Government, and Non-profit employers.

Check out the Conference Agenda


An Expert’s Look at the Industry

“I believe that fleet management is going to change more in the next decade than it’s changed in the last century”

By Ed Pierce, Contributing Editor

Mercury Associates is widely known in the fleet industry as the largest fleet management consulting firm in North America.

Their consulting services help organizations better manage their fleets to boost performance and control costs. With the recent push towards fleet electrification and sustainability, they have been instrumental in guiding fleets as they navigate the integration of electric vehicles in an increasingly changing industry.

Paul Lauria founded and directed Mercury Associates for 20 years, serving as its President until his recent retirement. In his current role as Senior Advisor, he continues to consult for individual Mercury clients.

We sat down with him to hear his take on the current and future state of the fleet industry and how electrification fits in with other challenges facing fleet owners.



Road Safety Awards

Together with partner Innovation Group Australia, eDrivingSM, a Solera company, and a leading global provider of digital driver risk management solutions, has been named the winner of the Technology Program Award at The Australian Road Safety Foundation’s 11th Annual Road Safety Awards.

eDriving and Innovation Group were presented with the award for eDriving’s innovative digital driver safety app, Mentor. Mentor is made available by eDriving to fleet operators in Australia and New Zealand through the Innovation Group partnership.

eDriving’s Mentor app is a smartphone-based digital driver safety program that identifies driver risk using a validated FICO® Safe Driving Score, and remediates risky behavior with training, coaching and gamification.

“We’re delighted that Mentor has been recognized for its contribution to keeping those who drive for work purposes safe across Australia and New Zealand,” said Ed Dubens, CEO/Founder of eDriving. “This is great news for reinforcing the value of our partnership with Innovation Group in helping to reduce driver risk in Australia.”

Drew Schnehage, Managing Director of Innovation Group Australia, added: “Thank you to the Australian Road Safety Foundation for the nomination and our win of the Technology Programs Award. We are proud to be the exclusive resellers of the award-winning Mentor by eDriving offering.”



Headlight Technology

Driving after dark presents a riskier proposition for drivers, as opposed to vehicle operation during daylight hours.

Research conducted by Ford in the UK has found that 40% of crashes occur after sunset, despite the fact that markedly fewer people are behind the wheel at that time.

In an attempt to keep night drivers focused for safety, engineers at Ford are testing an innovative headlight technology that projects pertinent information such as speed limit, weather and directions directly onto the road ahead.

Ford envisions a time when even more crucial information will be projected ahead, such as crosswalks, bicycle lanes and road markings that have been obscured by wear and weather.



New Technology Implemented on NYC Fleet Cars to Reduce Speeds and Save Lives

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) Commissioner Dawn M. Pinnock announced the implementation of active intelligent speed assistance (ISA) technology in 50 city fleet vehicles as part of a new pilot program to reduce speed limits and save lives.

ISA technology restricts a vehicle’s maximum speed, preventing it from exceeding local speed limits.

“Speeding ruins lives, so we must take action to prevent it, and New York City is leading by example by implementing new technology to reduce speeds on city fleet vehicles,” said Mayor Adams. “Our streets must be livable for everyone, and this technology will ensure that speeding is impossible in city vehicles. We must ensure that everyone can share the street space safely, because traffic safety is public safety.”

via NYC.gov

Estée Lauder Pledges 100% Electric Fleet of Vehicles by 2030

The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) has made a commitment to transition 100% of its global corporate fleet of vehicles to electric by 2030.

As part of this commitment, ELC has also become the first company in prestige beauty to join the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative, which brings together companies who are committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles (EV).

While ELC’s latest commitment addresses its directly controlled fleet, the company is also furthering its efforts to reduce emissions from transportation and distribution activities. Additionally, the company continues to invest in its existing electrification infrastructure with installations of EV charging stations across many of ELC’s owned facilities worldwide.

via Beauty Packaging

Here’s Everything You Need to Know About the New Electric Vehicle Tax Credit

Consumers will finally have a bill that reduces the cost of an eligible vehicle at the time of sale instead of at tax time, a huge win for car buyers looking to reduce their monthly payments as vehicle costs skyrocket.

The act sets the tax credit to a flat $7,500 for new vehicles rather than being calculated based on overall battery capacity. Eligible cars must have an MSRP of under $55,000 to qualify. Eligible purchasers must meet max income requirements.

An estimated 70 percent of new battery electric vehicles being sold today would become ineligible for the tax credit almost overnight due to the sourcing requirements. Vehicles must be assembled in North America, and starting in 2025, any vehicles that have minerals sourced or processed from locations that the U.S. have deemed “countries of particular concern”- namely, China and Russia – would become immediately ineligible.

via The Drive

SoCalGas, Ford to Reduce Emissions with F-550 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Truck

Southern California Gas Co. today announced it is working with Ford Motor Company on a demonstration project to reduce commercial fleet emissions by developing a F-550 Super Duty Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Truck.

This collaboration is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SuperTruck 3 program, which aims to significantly reduce emissions in medium and heavy-duty trucks.

SoCalGas was chosen to evaluate how the truck can meet the rigorous demands of utility work and because of its climate and geographical location.


EV Infrastructure

Transitioning commercial fleets to cleaner options has companies quickly adding electric vehicles but also increasing their focus on infrastructure improvements to make those transitions successful.

IKEA is adding more than 225 chargers for its delivery fleet as part of a target of zero-emissions home deliveries by 2025. IKEA is also adding public charging stations to 25 US locations and there will be more than 200 of what the company says are “ultra-fast” chargers. Delta is supplying EVgo with 1,000 fast chargers that have speeds up to 350 KW. EVgo says it has the nation’s largest public fast charging network, with more than 850 charging locations across 60 metropolitan areas.

Rivian has developed a fleet management system that Amazon is already using in its electric delivery vehicles. The Rivian platform is designed to centralize electric delivery vehicle management and increase fleet efficiency. Rivian says the system is based on a subscription model, and all Amazon electric delivery vehicles have it installed.

via Environmental Leader



Across industries, geographies, and company sizes, organizations have been allocating more resources toward improving ESG (environmental, social, and governance). More than 90 percent of S&P 500 companies now publish ESG reports in some form, as do approximately 70 percent of Russell 1000 companies.

A major part of ESG growth has been driven by the environmental component of ESG and responses to climate change. But other components of ESG, in particular the social dimension, have also been gaining prominence. One analysis found that social-related shareholder proposals rose 37 percent in the 2021 proxy season compared with the previous year.

Many companies today are making major decisions, such as discontinuing operations in Russia, protecting employees in at-risk countries, organizing relief to an unprecedented degree, and doing so in response to societal concerns. They also continue to commit to science-based targets and to define and execute plans for realizing these commitments. That indicates that ESG considerations are becoming more—not less—important in companies’ decision making.

via McKinsey


The Price of New Car Ownership

Given what we’ve all experienced in this inflationary era, it should come as no surprise that the average annual cost to own a new car in 2022 has increased markedly from 2021.

AAA reports that new vehicle owners this year will pay, on average, $10,728 per year, or $894 per month, to operate their new ride. Last year those figures were $9666 per year or $805.50 per month.

In its newly released study, AAA looked at 45 models in nine vehicle segments to come up with a new car’s average cost of ownership and operation. Each model was evaluated in terms of costs for fuel, maintenance & repair, insurance, license & registration, taxes, depreciation and financing. It comes as no surprise that the most impactful factor here is the steeper cost of gasoline.


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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.

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

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