Auto Focus

6 Takeaways from the 2018 International Car Rental Show

Technological solutions are finally moving from reality to theory, peer-to-peer platforms are being redefined, China has the biggest room for growth, while Sixt’s U.S. aspirations have only just begun. READ MORE

Tags: China, Sixt, Peer-to-Peer, International Car Rental Show, eHi Car Services

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, April 18, 2018 11:10 PM | » Comments(1)

The Irony of Customer Service in the Digital Age

Photo courtesy of Bobit Business Media.

Sure, any company would jump at the chance to use technology to reduce labor costs. But it also comes with some big, red, flashing warning lights. READ MORE

Tags: Customer Service, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Loyalty

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, April 9, 2018 11:37 AM | » Comments(0)

Market Forces Driving Car Rental in 2018

Photo courtesy of Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr. Photo cropped.

An analysis of the conference calls of Avis Budget Group and Hertz Global Holdings reveal trends and initiatives involving fleet right sizing, pricing, ancillary revenue opportunities, and renting to ride-hailing drivers. READ MORE

Tags: Zipcar, Pricing, Hertz, Avis Budget Group, Quarterly Report, Quarterly Earnings, Ancillary Revenue, Autonomous Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, March 19, 2018 10:49 AM | » Comments(0)

Trends Moving the Truck Market

The announcement of the new Hino XL, Hino's first entry into the North American Class 8 market, was the Work Truck Show's largest press conference to date. (Photo by Chris Brown)

Storylines that emerged from the 2018 Work Truck Show include the increasing need for on-site productivity, inclusion of active safety systems in trucks, DPF frustrations affecting product decisions, data management, and the growing link between fleet management and company revenue. READ MORE

Tags: Telematics, Biodiesel, Work Truck Show, Active Safety Systems, Propane Autogas, DPF, CNG, Electric Infrastructure, Data Management, Amazon Alexa

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, March 14, 2018 3:45 PM | » Comments(0)

MIT Study Reinforces the Newfound Importance of Fleet

Uber and Lyft drivers make far less when factoring vehicle expenses, though the actual numbers are now in dispute. A proper lifecycle cost analysis would’ve helped, and shows the benefit of collaboration with fleet professionals.

Photo: ©iSdddtockphoPhototo.com/jxfzsyPho

Uber and Lyft drivers make far less when factoring vehicle expenses, though the actual numbers are now in dispute. A proper lifecycle cost analysis would’ve helped, and shows the benefit of collaboration with fleet professionals. READ MORE

Tags: Lifecycle Costs, Lyft, Uber, Ride-Hailing

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, March 2, 2018 4:37 PM | » Comments(1)

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 Vehicles

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: Peer-to-Peer, American Car Rental Association, 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

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 Services, 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

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, NHTSA, OBD-II Device, Cybersecurity, 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, 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.

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

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)

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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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