Auto Focus

What a Connected Fleet Means to Avis (and Car Rental)

Counter bypass is just the beginning. The promise of a “data-driven ecosystem” that connects renters with the rental agency, retail services, and even the city is a better managed fleet, an improved user experience, and new revenue opportunities during the rental itself.

Within three model years, automakers such as Ford pledge that 90% of new models will be connected. (Photo via Safercar.gov)

Counter bypass is just the beginning. The promise of a “data-driven ecosystem” that connects renters with the rental agency, retail services, and even the city is a better managed fleet, an improved user experience, and new revenue opportunities during the rental itself. READ MORE

Tags: Telematics, Carsharing, Avis Budget Group, Mobility, Mobile Apps, Connected Car

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:35 PM | » Comments(0)

Should Peer-to-Peer Renters Pay Airport Car Rental Fees?

The question is central to the City of San Francisco’s lawsuit against Turo for operating without a permit at San Francisco International Airport.

Photo courtesy of Turo.

The question is central to the City of San Francisco’s lawsuit against Turo for operating without a permit at San Francisco International Airport. READ MORE

Tags: ACRA, Peer-to-Peer, Turo

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, January 31, 2018 2:23 PM | » Comments(2)

Hard Times Ahead for the Compact SUV Segment?

The hottest segment today is facing a glut of models and volume in tomorrow’s wholesale market.

The 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, among many new entrants in small SUV segment, debuted at the LA Auto Show in November. (Photo by Paul Lim.)

The hottest segment today is facing a glut of models and volume in tomorrow’s wholesale market. READ MORE

Tags: Residual Values, Black Book, Compact SUVs, Used Vehicle Values, RVI

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, January 24, 2018 2:14 PM | » Comments(2)

Another Ridiculous “Used Fleet Vehicle” Scandal

While media reports concentrate on the sting and the “outrage,” where’s the empirical evidence that fleet vehicles are less mechanically sound than vehicles sold from private owners?

Photo © JThomas (cc-by-sa/2.0)

While media reports concentrate on the sting and the “outrage,” where’s the empirical evidence that fleet vehicles are less mechanically sound than vehicles sold from private owners? READ MORE

Tags: Regulations, CPO

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, January 9, 2018 3:09 PM | » Comments(1)

Will IoT Herald a New Era in Fleet Efficiency?

With the ELD rule finally in effect, small fleet operators need to hunt for new efficiencies. In transportation logistics, Internet of Things (IoT) systems could have similar lasting impacts as telematics.

With the ELD rule finally in effect, small fleet operators need to hunt for new efficiencies. In transportation logistics, Internet of Things (IoT) systems could have similar lasting impacts as telematics. READ MORE

Tags: Telematics, Logistics, ELD Mandate, IoT Solutions

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, December 22, 2017 2:41 PM | » Comments(0)

Will Cars Become Transportation Appliances?

Media-ites drive a Volkswagen GTI - virtually - at the 2017 L.A. Auto Show. (Photo courtesy of Andy Lundin.)

The cars are still the stars, but this year’s L.A. Auto Show revealed an auto industry at a crossroads. READ MORE

Tags: Mobility, L.A. Auto Show, Subscription, Volvo, Mazda

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, December 6, 2017 8:32 AM | » Comments(0)

U.S. Car Rental: Sanity in the Face of Disruption

A newfound austerity in fleeting is producing a domino effect of benefits for 2018. READ MORE

Tags: Fleet Management, Fleet Sales, Carsharing, Rental Rates, Ride Hailing

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, November 29, 2017 9:57 AM | » Comments(1)

Understanding The Fleetification of Everything

As fleet miles increase exponentially, and as new stratum of fleet enter both consumer and business use cases, the "founding fathers" who gathered at Fleet Forward in Miami last week have some work to do. READ MORE

Tags: Fleet Management, Mobility, Fleet Events, Fleet Forward Conference

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, November 15, 2017 12:12 PM | » Comments(0)

The Problem with Valuing Safety Technology

As advanced safety technologies have migrated to mainstream vehicles, retaining value for these options at resale remains an issue. READ MORE

Tags: Vincentric, Active Safety Systems, Safety, Drivers

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, October 17, 2017 10:01 AM | » Comments(0)

ELD Mandate: Is Your Head Still in the Sand?

If you think you have 11 weeks to implement an Electronic Logging Device system to meet the Dec. 18 compliance deadline, you really don’t — for a few reasons.

If you think you have 11 weeks to implement an Electronic Logging Device system to meet the Dec. 18 compliance deadline, you really don’t — for a few reasons. READ MORE

Tags: Telematics, FMCSA, CSA, Hours of Service, ELD Mandate, AOBRD

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, October 5, 2017 11:12 AM | » Comments(0)

Who Controls Your Vehicles’ Data?

In the name of security, an automaker’s alliance is advocating denial of third-party access to the OBD-II port. Is this going too far?

In the name of security, an automaker’s alliance is advocating denial of third-party access to the OBD-II port. Is this going too far? READ MORE

Tags: Telematics, BMW, ACEA, NHTSA, Cybersecurity, OBD-II, Cyberattacks

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, September 27, 2017 10:21 AM | » Comments(0)

A Shared Mobility Model Takes Shape for Fleets

Technology that allows cab drivers flexible access to a shared fleet is leveling the playing field for an 89-year-old taxi company. READ MORE

Tags: Shared-Use Mobility, Mobile App, Ride Hailing, Verizon, Taxi

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, September 13, 2017 8:54 AM | » Comments(0)

Safety Tech: Crash Avoidance or Sensory Overload?

As advanced safety technologies become even more pervasive on mainstream vehicles, are we creating “stupid drivers?"

As advanced safety technologies become even more pervasive on mainstream vehicles, are we creating “stupid drivers?" READ MORE

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, August 15, 2017 3:23 PM | » Comments(1)

Own the Fleet, Own the Future

In the dialogue surrounding new transportation paradigms, fleets have been off the public radar until recently. Here’s what’s going on, and a way for you to participate in the conversation. READ MORE

Tags: Fleet Management, Carsharing, Mobility, Ride Hailing, Fleet Forward Conference

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, August 2, 2017 11:45 AM | » Comments(0)

Car Rental Rates Up, Fleet Sales Down — Correlation?

Car rental companies’ recent fleet discipline is needed now more than ever.

Car rental companies’ recent fleet discipline is needed now more than ever. READ MORE

Tags: Fleet Sales, Hertz, Avis Budget Group, Incentives, Car Rental Rates, 50-City Survey, Manheim Index, Used Vehicle Values

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, July 17, 2017 2:15 PM | » Comments(1)

Hertz, Avis Autonomy Partnerships: Good First Steps on a Long Path

Two new autonomous vehicle project partnerships bring the importance of fleet management to the fore.

Two new autonomous vehicle project partnerships bring the importance of fleet management to the fore. READ MORE

Tags: Hertz, Avis Budget Group, Donlen, Lyft, Uber, Autonomous Vehicles, Waymo

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, June 27, 2017 10:52 AM | » Comments(0)

An Inside Look at Car Rental in China

A trip to a new car rental convention in Guangzhou reveals a booming market, yet one facing unique challenges.

Chris Brown presents a gift to the Chairman Huang of the Guangzhou Car Rental Association.

A trip to a new car rental convention in Guangzhou reveals a booming market, yet one facing unique challenges. READ MORE

Tags: China, Carsharing, eHi Car Service, China Auto Rental Inc., Bike Sharing, Shouqi Car Rental

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, June 2, 2017 11:36 AM | » Comments(0)

Auto Manufacturers: Mobility Disruptors or Fleet Providers?

Maven’s Alex Keros shares insights into evolving smart mobility business models and new opportunities with fleet management.

Maven’s Alex Keros shares insights into evolving smart mobility business models and new opportunities with fleet management. READ MORE

Tags: Carsharing, General Motors, Mobility, Battery-Electric Vehicles, Maven, Ride Hailing

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, May 22, 2017 4:34 PM | » Comments(0)

What is Your Time Worth?

Personal observations of retail and travel transactions reveal just how much a consumer’s time is worth today, and how increasingly intolerant we are of inefficient transactions. READ MORE

Tags: J.D. Power, Customer Satisfaction, Timeliness

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, May 10, 2017 11:47 AM | » Comments(0)

Safeguarding Your Business with Brokers

While the high-profile bankruptcy of Atlas Choice has left many car rental companies wary of working with brokers, rental companies can take steps to protect themselves and ensure a productive relationship.

While the high-profile bankruptcy of Atlas Choice has left many car rental companies wary of working with brokers, rental companies can take steps to protect themselves and ensure a productive relationship. READ MORE

Tags: Bankruptcy, prepaid rentals, Brokers

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, April 20, 2017 9:58 AM | » Comments(2)

My Number One Takeaway from ICRS 2017

This year’s International Car Rental Show (ICRS) opened the door to new business models facing transportation today — yet adapting to these new technologies is not the first key to survival.

This year’s International Car Rental Show (ICRS) opened the door to new business models facing transportation today — yet adapting to these new technologies is not the first key to survival. READ MORE

Tags: Carsharing, Europcar, Mobility, International Car Rental Show, Autonomous Vehicles, Ride Hailing

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, March 31, 2017 4:34 PM | » Comments(4)

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, GHG Phase 2

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: Hertz, Avis Budget Group, Rental Rates, 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)

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Chris Brown

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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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