November 4, 2014


Editor's Analysis & Top Industry News

Experts on the Fleet Market

We continue our conversation with Wheels' president Dan Frank, scion of the family that founded Wheels and the fleet management industry 75-years ago. In an excerpt of our recent interview with him published in last week's Fleet Management Weekly, we spoke with him about the relevance of driver safety and the role of telematics in managing the complexities of today's fleets. This week, we talk with him about the state of the fleet industry.

Have you been following industry expert Ed Pierce's monthly column on fleet marketing: 'A Call to Action (For Fleet Providers)'? This week, Ed speaks about the high value of an integrated marketing plan in his latest chapter: 'Einstein's Argument for Integrated Marketing' - don't miss it!

We are working with NAFA this coming week to film and report from the organization's International Fleet Academy in Orlando. Last year's IFA was superb and we're excited to once again meet and talk with our global fleet colleagues.

Check out our new, enhanced website:

Janice Sutton
Executive Editor

AAA: Tests Show Rear View Cameras Can Save Lives

AAA's Evaluations Found an Average 46 Percent Improvement in Blind-Zone Visibility

Rear-view camera systems improved rear visibility an average of 46 percent in AAA's tests. These systems are intended to improve driver awareness of the area immediately behind the vehicle in order to reduce the instance of back-over fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires a rear-view image in all passenger vehicles beginning in 2016, with full compliance by May 2018.



VIDEO: The Character of a Good Business Partner

As what was PHH transitions and transforms into Element Fleet Management they are working closely with customers to resolve any inevitable hiccups, and to help those customers understand what new benefits and opportunities are available.

VIDEO: Vehicle Transportation Has Evolved
  The Eyes and Ears for Fleet Managers

The transportation industry used to just involve picking up a vehicle at Point A and delivering to Point B, but it’s changed dramatically – and PARS has changed and evolved right along with it.

VIDEO: Communicating Safety
  The Beginning of a Good Safety Program

Safeway is at the beginning of implementing a good safety program, and driver communication about safety and distractions are paramount.

The Fleet Spot

Martin Brown, David Brennan, Ralph Morton UK's Fleet Alliance Wins Best Small Fleet Leasing Company and Customer Service Awards

Pictured: Martin Brown, managing director of Fleet Alliance (center) receives the award for Best Small Leasing Company from David Brennan, chairman of the judging panel, watched by Ralph Morton, editor of Business Car Manager.

For the second successive year, Glasgow, Scotland-based Fleet Alliance has won the Best Small Fleet Leasing Company of the Year Award in the Small Fleet Leasing Awards, organized by Business Car Manager.

And to round off an outstanding achievement, the company also won the Small Fleet Leasing Customer Service Excellence Award - showing what a clear favorite it was with this year's judging panel.


Michael Cole NAFA Names Michael Cole VP for Canada

NAFA Fleet Management Association (NAFA) is proud to announce Michael Cole, Team Lead, Strategic, for the Government of Ontario Fleet Management Center, has been named the Association's new Vice President for Canada and Northern Region Trustee effective immediately. Cole, who joined NAFA in 2007, has been active within the Association as Chair of the Ontario Chapter. He replaces Pedro Miranda, who announced in early-October that he would not be involved in fleet moving forward.


Rob Pilkington Ebbon-Dacs Eyes German Fleet Market, Opens Hamburg Office

Pictured: Robert Pilkington, Managing Director of Leaselink International Division of Ebbon-Dacs

Oxford, England-based Ebbon-Dacs, a leading European e-procurement specialist for major leasing and fleet management companies, has continued its expansion onto the European mainland with the opening of an office in Hamburg as a springboard for a launch into the German fleet market.

Talks have already begun with major leasing and fleet management companies in Germany, along with major dealer groups, manufacturers and importers. Germany boasts the largest new car market in Europe and one of the largest leasing markets, and many of Ebbon-Dacs' UK customers have head offices or a major presence in the country.


Ricardo Fonzaghi LeasePlan International’s Ricardo Fonzaghi to Speak at NAFA IFA

LeasePlan USA has agreed to be a sponsor for NAFA's International Fleet Academy held November 5-7 in Orlando, FL.

LeasePlan will also participate on two panels during the conference. Ricardo Fonzaghi, international sales manager, LeasePlan International, will give insight into Regional Differences for South America from an FMC perspective Wednesday, November 5 and will also help outline the pros and cons of outsourcing Friday, November 7.


Fleet Marketing

By Ed Pierce, Principal, ITA Fleet Communications

As a provider of fleet services and products, you are well aware of the competitive nature of this marketplace. Making inroads is a laborious, time-consuming and expensive proposition! A big part of that expense is marketing, for good reason.

Fleet managers already have a tough job choosing between all of the options available to them. Every day, they are inundated with marketing messages, delivered through fleet press, corporate communiques, social media, blogs, sales reps, and more.

Standing out, being recognized, and more importantly, becoming known for the qualities your brand represents are challenging, even with a large budget. Add in the dollars associated with a sales team that expects market pre-conditioning and continuous brand reinforcement, and it becomes clear that the impact of marketing is greater than many businesses believe.

READ MORE to learn about Einstein’s argument for integrated marketing.

Telogis Latitude in Dana Point

Last week we were fortunate enough to attend the Telogis Latitude event at the absolutely gorgeous St. Regis Monarch Bay in Dana Point, CA, just south of Laguna Beach.

Given the explosion and evolution of telematics all around us, the event was eye-opening and insightful. Telogis, a key player in the telematics space, is moving quickly and growing rapidly - their technology being adopted by a host of OEMs, including Ford, GM, Volvo, Mack Trucks, Isuzu, and more - with even more possibilities for richer, deeper data points when their technology is built into vehicles from the beginning.


The Fleet Industry Today

Dan Frank, grandson of Wheels' founder Zollie Frank, and son of Wheels' CEO Jim Frank, is just the third president of the company that this year is celebrating its 75th anniversary. In 1939, Wheels became the first automobile leasing and management company in the United States.

When we spoke with Dan at the recent AFLA Conference, we asked him to give us his thoughts on the state of the fleet industry and he said this about growth opportunities, ” I think as the economy continues to evolve we will see different areas continue to get stronger, other areas will get more efficient, and maybe they will need fewer people and those will shrink. We have traditionally seen that, but I think in the big picture, as vehicles get safer, more fuel efficient, more cost effective, companies are going to want to deploy more of them.”


Fleet Trends & Issues

The States Where Electric Car Sales Are Skyrocketing

The Atlanta metropolitan area has become the fastest growing market for electric cars in the United States. Last March, the state of Georgia had a grand total of 1,469 registered electric vehicles. 12 months later that number grew to 10,482, a whopping 614 percent increase.

So why are electric cars becoming so popular in Georgia? Several factors are contributing to the boom, with the state's $5,000 tax credit the most obvious. Atlanta is spread out over a massive area and the vast majority of people commute to work alone by car. Unsurprisingly, that results in widespread gridlock.


Tech Troubles Plague Auto Reliability

Drivers continue to report problems with infotainment systems in new cars and trucks, according to Consumer Reports’ Auto Reliability Survey.

Of all the areas in its annual survey, the category including in-car electronics generated more complaints from owners of 2014 models than any other category.

“It’s this plague that is, like, infecting across the industry,” Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports, told reporters during an Automotive Press Association meeting Monday in Detroit.


Focusing on the 2015 Ford F-150 MPG

With full-size pickup trucks, buyers typically fixate on horsepower, torque, towing capacity or some other burly statistic. It's not normal to be intensely focused on fuel economy the way people are with the 2015 Ford F-150.

But given all the hype around the F-150's aluminum body -- which made the 2015 model an amazing 700 pounds lighter than the one it is replacing -- everyone seems to be waiting, almost breathlessly, for a magical miles-per-gallon rating.


Vincentric Releases Hybrid Analysis; One-third of Hybrids Save Consumers Money 

Vincentric, the automotive industry leader in cost-of-ownership data, released its most recent Hybrid Analysis in which 10 of 31 hybrid vehicles analyzed were identified as having a lower total cost-of-ownership than their closest all-gasoline counterpart. Over the past three years the percentage of cost-effective hybrids has dropped from 44% in the 2012 analysis, to 39% in 2013, to now just over 32%.

Among the 10 hybrids with lower ownership costs were the Lexus CT200h and the Toyota Avalon Hybrid, which when compared to their all-gasoline counterparts had savings of over $7,600 and $3,200 respectively. Additional hybrids from Acura, Audi, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, Lincoln, and Toyota also showed cost advantages. However, when the costs to own and operate all 31 hybrid vehicles were taken into account, the average five-year cost-of-ownership for hybrids was $1,339 more than their all-gasoline powered counterparts.


Packing for Safety and Survival

When you're driving in terrible weather, your odds of making it home could depend on how well you're prepared.

• Grabber Space Blanket
It’s useful in the event of heat loss, and you can also stick it under your tires to gain traction when you’re spinning your wheels in a snowbank.

• Gerber E-Tool With Pick
A regular shovel is too large to carry around all the time, so get a foldable one that can chop through the nastiest of frozen snow and muck. The E-Tool also has a sharp pick in the event that tree roots, rocks, or zombie snow wolves are what stand between you and the open road.


Smart, Easy GPS Tracking

If you are going to invest in a telematics solution to track your trucks, it is crucial to install GPS tracking devices properly to get accurate fleet data. It may seem like it will reduce upfront costs and save time to have one of your guys do the install in-house, but what you may not realize is that self-installations are not free in most cases, can end up taking more time, and may be done incorrectly causing a huge headache down the road. Proper installation of GPS tracking devices is critical to the software working the way it is supposed to, so make sure that you get them set up the right way the first time to ensure that you see the full benefits of fleet tracking sooner.


Share the Road

Whether traveling on rural roads or inner-city streets, you're likely to see a lot more bicyclists pedaling their way alongside four-wheeled traffic. Bikes have become hip again, it seems, especially with Generations X and Y.

Unfortunately, new research reveals that with the increase in bicycle usage, there's a concurrent increase in crashes, the annual cycle death rate rising from 621 to 722 between 2010 to 2012, reports the Governors Highway Safety Association, or GHSA.

That's an alarming 16% jump even as overall highway deaths - including automobiles, motorcycles, pedestrians and bicycles - has been declining.


Fleet Management Resources 
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GPS Insight
GPS Insight offers GPS tracking solutions to meet your organization's unique requirements and challenges.
PARS' mission is to provide you with high-quality service at competitive prices for all of your transportation needs.
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LeasePlan is the world's leading high-touch service provider for vehicle leasing and fleet management.
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North America's largest accident management and fleet driver safety company.
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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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