Auto Focus

Trump and Regulations: An Alt-Fuel View

With 2025 emissions targets back in review, manufacturers, alt-fuel, and alt-power suppliers weigh in on the potential impacts of Trump’s initiatives. READ MORE

Tags: CARB, Work Truck Show, Fuel Economy Standards, EPA, Alternative Fuels, Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, March 20, 2017 1:59 PM | » Comments(0)

Why GM’s Telematics Announcement is a Really Big Deal

Enabling a telematics connection at the factory — and not through an aftermarket hardware installation — is a game changer for fleets.

Enabling a telematics connection at the factory — and not through an aftermarket hardware installation — is a game changer for fleets. READ MORE

Tags: OnStar, Telematics, Telogis, Connected Car, Spireon, Commercial Link, 4G LTE

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, March 13, 2017 12:14 PM | » Comments(0)

Four Thoughts From the 2016 Conference Calls

Sifting through the notes of Avis Budget Group’s and Hertz Global Holdings’ recent fourth quarter conference calls give us some trend lines to watch out for in 2017. (Of course, this gives us an incomplete snapshot, as Enterprise Holdings is privately held.) READ MORE

Tags: Avis Budget Group, Rental Rates, Hertz Global Holdings Inc., Fleet Vehicles, Mobility Service, Ride-Hailing

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, March 1, 2017 12:07 PM | » Comments(2)

Recall Repairs Are Not Afterthoughts

It's easy for small commercial fleet operators to neglect recall repairs. If "fleet" isn't your first business priority, recalls must be. READ MORE

Tags: Driver Safety, Recalls, NHTSA

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, February 27, 2017 2:56 PM | » Comments(2)

What Does the Future Hold for Fleet Sales to Car Rental?

With domestic automakers pulling back on rental fleet sales and lower overall light-duty sales projected, the car rental industry will have to adjust.

With domestic automakers pulling back on rental fleet sales and lower overall light-duty sales projected, the car rental industry will have to adjust. READ MORE

Tags: New Car Sales, Rental Fleets

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, February 7, 2017 2:08 PM | » Comments(0)

Who is the Local Operator of the Future?

In an autonomous vehicle environment, the business model will change, but fleet management will be more important than it is today.

In an autonomous vehicle environment, the business model will change, but fleet management will be more important than it is today. READ MORE

Tags: Shared-Use Mobility, Autonomous Vehicles, Ride Hailing

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, January 24, 2017 12:00 PM | » Comments(0)

Five Business Model Trends for 2017

As new forms of mobility take flight, the borders with traditional car rental are starting to erode.

As new forms of mobility take flight, the borders with traditional car rental are starting to erode. READ MORE

Tags: Peer-to-Peer, Mobility, On-Demand, Ride Hailing

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, December 28, 2016 2:09 PM | » Comments(0)

Are Commercial Drone Deliveries Imminent in the U.S.?

Amazon just delivered its first package by drone in England. Will U.S. delivery fleets be able to take advantage soon?

Amazon just delivered its first package by drone in England. Will U.S. delivery fleets be able to take advantage soon? READ MORE

Tags: Amazon.com, Delivery Fleets, Drones

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, December 15, 2016 12:28 PM | » Comments(0)

Autonomous Vehicles and the Changing Role of the Fleet Manager

With fewer drivers and substantially longer fleet lifecycles, fleet managers will pivot to new job functions.

Olli is an autonomous electric shuttle created by Local Motors. By the end of the year, Olli will be in testing in four jurisdictions.

With fewer drivers and substantially longer fleet lifecycles, fleet managers will pivot to new job functions. READ MORE

Tags: Driverless Vehicle, Mobility, Autonomous Vehicles, Local Motors

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, December 2, 2016 11:37 AM | » Comments(0)

2017: Fleet Mix Will Be Paramount

Car rental companies are migrating to vehicle segments with better residual values, though not without bumps in the road. READ MORE

Tags: Residual Values, Fleet Management, Vehicle Depreciation, Hertz, Avis Budget Group

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, November 16, 2016 9:44 AM | » Comments(0)

Auto Rental Summit: Five Trend Lines

Trend lines at this year's Summit centered on shifts in model mix, data protection issues, increasing labor costs, workforce engagement, and new platforms to rent cars.

Taking in the seminars, discussions, and networking at the 2016 Auto Rental Summit, trend lines emerged around shifts in model mix, data protection issues, increasing labor costs, workforce engagement, and new platforms to rent cars. READ MORE

Tags: Residual Values, Wholesale Market, Labor Costs, Auto Rental Summit, Millennials, Data Privacy

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, October 26, 2016 1:55 PM | » Comments(0)

Why Do We Visit Capitol Hill?

Members of the American Car Rental Association met with U.S. senators, representatives, and their aides last week. Here’s why bringing the message to this forum matters.

Our delegation visited the offices of U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). Chaffetz explained the importance of face-to-face interaction to understand the issues. He said peer-to-peer issues would likely be taken up by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Members of the American Car Rental Association met with U.S. senators, representatives, and their aides last week. Here’s why bringing the message to this forum matters. READ MORE

Tags: District of Columbia, ACRA, Excise Taxes, Like-Kind Exchange, Peer-to-Peer, Politics, American Car Rental Association

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, September 28, 2016 9:55 AM | » Comments(1)

The Customer Isn’t Always Right

Not caving to a customer with a blatant agenda may have consequences, especially for a small rental company that relies on stellar Yelp ratings to advertise. But business integrity must prevail.

Not caving to a customer with a blatant agenda may have consequences, especially for a small rental company that relies on stellar Yelp ratings to advertise. But business integrity must prevail. READ MORE

Tags: Customer Service, Alaska, Customer Satisfaction, customer relationship, Yelp, CSI, Online Review Websites

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, September 15, 2016 4:07 PM | » Comments(0)

The Truth Behind Compact Van Depreciation

Why are large van values holding up better than their compact counterparts, and will it last?

Why are large van values holding up better than their compact counterparts, and will it last? READ MORE

Tags: Cargo Vans, Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV200, Nissan NV, Ford Transit, Compact Vans, Chevrolet City Express, Ram ProMaster City

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, September 6, 2016 11:26 AM | » Comments(0)

Car Rental’s Call to Action on Autonomous Vehicles

The car rental industry has built-in advantages to support a world with driverless cars, but it needs to take the next step in partnering with autonomous vehicle stakeholders.

The car rental industry has built-in advantages to support a world with driverless cars, but it needs to take the next step in partnering with autonomous vehicle stakeholders. READ MORE

Tags: Driverless Vehicle, Uber, Autonomous Vehicles, Ride Hailing

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, August 22, 2016 3:22 PM | » Comments(3)

Iran — a Growth Market for Car Rental?

The second largest economy in the Middle East is poised for foreign investment, if post-nuclear deal jitters can be eased.

The second largest economy in the Middle East is poised for foreign investment, if post-nuclear deal jitters can be eased. READ MORE

Tags: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Middle East, UAE

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, August 3, 2016 9:42 AM | » Comments(2)

Rentals and Terrorist Activity: Time to Hone the Plan

Terrorist activity is frequently tied to a rental vehicle. In today’s heightened risk environment and the potential for terrorism from within, local operators need to hone an action plan.

Photo courtesy of San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Terrorist activity is frequently tied to a rental vehicle. In today’s heightened risk environment and the potential for terrorism from within, local operators need to hone an action plan. READ MORE

Tags: Liability, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Terrorism

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, July 19, 2016 4:13 PM | » Comments(0)

How Technology Is Addressing Car Rental Underutilization

Three new companies that don’t own fleet are renting your cars through their apps — and pulling traditional car rental into the new mobility agenda.

Three new companies that don’t own fleet are renting your cars through their apps — and pulling traditional car rental into the new mobility agenda. READ MORE

Tags: Peer-to-Peer, Lyft, Uber, Mobility, HyreCar, Skurt, Turo, Ride Hailing

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, June 29, 2016 11:58 AM | » Comments(0)

Trends in the Low-Cab Forward Market

After a day with Isuzu, here are some thoughts on low-cab forward sales, diesel versus gas, and how hard is it to tilt that cab by hand, really?

"Bow to your partner." The Isuzu NPR diesel model (left, 12,000 lbs. GVWR) squares off with its gas (13,000 lbs. GVWR) counterpart.

After a day with Isuzu, here are some thoughts on low-cab forward sales, diesel versus gas, and how hard is it to tilt that cab by hand, especially on Isuzu's new Class 6 FTR? READ MORE

Tags: Isuzu, Isuzu N-Series, Cabovers

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, June 27, 2016 3:45 PM | » Comments(2)

How Car Rental Companies Are Not Like Airlines

The comparison comes up regarding consolidation and its ability to improve pricing — but it’s not apples to apples.

The comparison comes up regarding consolidation and its ability to improve pricing — but it’s not apples to apples. READ MORE

Tags: Fleet Management, Consolidation, Mergers & Acquisitions, Car Rental Rates, Airlines

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, June 8, 2016 10:07 AM | » Comments(6)

8 Ways Fleets Are Adapting to Urban Migration

In the new mobility eco-system, goods, services, and people still need to be moved — the hard part will be figuring out how and where fleets will take advantage.

In the new mobility eco-system, goods, services, and people still need to be moved — the hard part will be figuring out how and where fleets will take advantage. READ MORE

Tags: Carsharing, vehicle to vehicle communication, Logistics, Electric Vehicles, Last Mile Delivery, Urban Mobility, Ride Hailing

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, May 18, 2016 9:40 AM | » Comments(0)

$3 Weekly Car Rental Rates are Unsustainable

Better technology, education, transparency, and a way to show the correlation between price and customer service are needed.

Better technology, education, transparency, and a way to show the correlation between price and customer service are needed. READ MORE

Tags: Customer Service, Rental Rates, CarTrawler, car rental demand, Auto Europe, Brokers

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, May 3, 2016 10:38 AM | » Comments(9)

A Seminal Moment for the Global Car Rental Industry

The 2016 International Car Rental Show convened the first meeting of association directors from around the world that represented an important step to communication, problem-solving, and idea-sharing between the groups. READ MORE

Tags: American Car Rental Association, Car Rental Industry, International Car Rental Show

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, April 20, 2016 3:20 PM | » Comments(0)

For the Future of Car Rental, See China

The new “mobility service providers” in China (and India) may show us a world without rental counters first.

The new “mobility service providers” in China (and India) may show us a world without rental counters first. READ MORE

Tags: India, China, eHi Car Service, China Auto Rental Inc.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, March 29, 2016 11:06 AM | » Comments(4)

Fleet Management? They Have No Clue

It’s all well and good that the general public doesn’t really understand fleet management — though there are a few situations it sure would help.

It’s all well and good that the general public doesn’t really understand fleet management — though there are a few situations it sure would help. READ MORE

Tags: Fleet Management

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, March 9, 2016 10:52 AM | » Comments(1)

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Chris Brown

Executive Editor

Chris is the executive editor of Business Fleet Magazine and Auto Rental News. He covers all aspects of the fleet world.

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