Auto Focus

Data Metrics Expose the Small Fleet Challenge

August 28, 2014

For our readers who run small fleets, can you guess what percentage have “fleet” in their job title?

Tags: Fleet Managers, Small Fleets

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, August 28, 2014 12:11 PM | » Comments(0)

Has Consolidation Killed the Car Rental Entrepreneur?

In the midst of a new round of car rental company buyouts, the successful independent is becoming a rare commodity.

August 25, 2014

In the midst of a new round of car rental company buyouts, the successful independent is becoming a rare commodity.

Tags: Consolidation, Customer Service, Rental Rates, Customer Satisfaction

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, August 25, 2014 10:00 AM | » Comments(2)

Why Some Residents Don’t Want car2go

A town hall meeting is a good barometer of the growing pains of a new transportation business model.

A car2go smart car is often stationed in the Torrance, Calif. office park that includes the offices Bobit Business Media, the publisher of Auto Rental News.

August 13, 2014

A town hall meeting is a good barometer of the growing pains of a new transportation business model.

Tags: Car Sharing, car2go, Point-to-Point Trips

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, August 13, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Uber for Business: Promise or Threat?

How catching a ride from a guy in his Honda Accord could change the shape of business travel.

August 5, 2014

How catching a ride from a guy in his Honda Accord could change the shape of business travel.

Tags: Global Business Travel Association, Peer-to-Peer, Airbnb, ridesharing, Lyft, Uber, Business Travel

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, August 5, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Are Renters Exhibiting a Creeping Sense of Entitlement?

Some say this attitude is more prevalent in the millennial generation. Trend or not, your focus should be on dealing with it effectively.

July 22, 2014

Some say this attitude is more prevalent in the millennial generation. Trend or not, your focus should be on dealing with it effectively.

Tags: Customer Service, millennials

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, July 22, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(4)

What Keeps Small Fleets up at Night?

Our survey of small commercial fleets reveals their top pain points, but also shows that just a little more focus on fleet could drive big improvements.

July 10, 2014

Our survey of small commercial fleets reveals their top pain points, but also shows that just a little more focus on fleet could drive big improvements.

Tags: Fleet Manager, managing small fleets

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, July 10, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Chrysler First Looks and First Drives

An event at Chrysler’s Chelsea Proving Grounds offered a walk-around of the new Ram ProMaster City, a Ram ProMaster test drive, a test of diesel fuel economy and, finally, a worthy trial for a Power Wagon.

ProMaster City will be available in cargo and passenger van configurations.

June 30, 2014

An event at Chrysler’s Chelsea Proving Grounds offered a walk-around of the new Ram ProMaster City, a Ram ProMaster test drive, a test of diesel fuel economy and, finally, a worthy trial for a Power Wagon.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, June 30, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Used Rental Cars: Perception Versus Reality

The erroneous perception of a beat-up off-rental car will linger as long as misguided disclosure laws remain.

June 18, 2014

The erroneous perception of a beat-up off-rental car will linger as long as misguided disclosure laws remain.

Tags: Manheim, Carfax, Tom Kontos, reconditioning, CPO, auto auction, Tom Webb

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, June 18, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

The Truth, to Power (Part Two)

J.D. (Dave) Power opens up on customer engagement, right and wrong sales tactics, the power of information and the evolution of how we buy cars. (Part two.)

June 11, 2014

J.D. (Dave) Power opens up on customer engagement, right and wrong sales tactics, the power of information and the evolution of how we buy cars.

Tags: dealerships, Customer Service, franchise law, J.D. Power & Associates

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, June 11, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

The Truth, to Power

J.D. (Dave) Power opens up on building a business around your family, finding the right customers, changing the automotive franchise system and knowing when it’s time to quit. (Part one.)

June 3, 2014

J.D. (Dave) Power opens up on building a business around your family, finding the right customers, changing the automotive franchise system and knowing when it’s time to quit. (Part one.)

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, June 3, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

In Search of the “Real” MPG

How come my fuel economy doesn't match the new car sticker? A new, real-world test shows how much road type, traffic level and driving style affect individual vehicle’s mpg performance in ways the EPA test does not.

May 19, 2014

How come my fuel economy doesn't match the new car sticker? A new, real-world test shows how much road type, traffic level and driving style affect individual vehicle’s mpg performance in ways the EPA test does not.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, May 19, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Avis Price Boost a Good Sign for Industry?

On its first quarter earnings call, Avis Budget Group shed light on price increases, acquisitions, the used car market and where the growth is with ancillary sales.

May 12, 2014

On its first quarter earnings call, Avis Budget Group shed light on price increases, acquisitions, the used car market and where the growth is with ancillary sales.

Tags: Zipcar, Avis Budget Group, Rental Rates, Earnings, Quarterly Report, Ancillary Revenue

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, May 12, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Seeking the CNG Holy Grail

Some potential technological breakthroughs may be game changers in accelerating the implementation of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.

May 2, 2014

Some potential technological breakthroughs may be game changers in accelerating the implementation of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles.

Tags: CNG Conversions, Bi-Fuel CNG, Compressed Natural Gas, CNG Fueling Stations, CNG

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, May 2, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

A Call for Recall Preparedness

In light of the massive recent automotive recalls, car rental companies should prepare for the Big One by acting out a “recall fire drill.”

April 23, 2014

In light of the massive recent automotive recalls, car rental companies should prepare for the Big One by acting out a “recall fire drill.”

Tags: Recalls, Toyota recalls, GM recalls

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, April 23, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

What I Learned at the 2014 Car Rental Show

If the Car Rental Show is an indicator of the health of the industry, the North American market is doing well — while the "growth markets" are really taking off.

The 2014 Car Rental Show welcomed more than 800 attendees, one of the highest attendances in its 19-year history.<br />

April 14, 2014

If the Car Rental Show is an indicator of the health of the industry, the North American market is doing well — while the "growth markets" are really taking off.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, April 14, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Remembering Elaine Litwer

On the fifth anniversary of Elaine Litwer’s death, I’m brought back to the work she did to repeal vicarious liability. But it’s also caused me to reflect on the mentors in my life.

Elaine celebrates the passage of the Graves Amendment that paved the way for the return of leasing in New York state in 2005. She is flanked by members of the Greater New York National Automobile Dealers Association (GNYADA) and New York Sen. Owen Johnson, to her left.

April 4, 2014

On the fifth anniversary of Elaine Litwer’s death, I’m brought back to the work she did to repeal vicarious liability. But it’s also caused me to reflect on the mentors in my life.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, April 4, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

6 Market Predictors for 2014

In their fourth quarter conference calls, Avis Budget Group and Hertz gave an outlook on fleet costs, the used car market, fleet optimization strategies and potential acquisitions. Hertz shed light on the fallout from that excess fleet.

March 26, 2014

In their fourth quarter conference calls, Avis Budget Group and Hertz gave an outlook on fleet costs, the used car market, fleet optimization strategies and potential acquisitions. Hertz shed light on the fallout from that excess fleet.

Tags: Zipcar, Hertz, Avis Budget Group, Rental Rates, Used Car Market

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, March 26, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

6 Game Changers for Work Trucks

At NTEA’s 2014 Work Truck Show, manufacturers, conversion companies and parts manufacturers introduced advances in work vehicles along with better ways to produce them.

March 18, 2014

At NTEA’s 2014 Work Truck Show, manufacturers, conversion companies and parts manufacturers introduced advances in work vehicles along with better ways to produce them.

Tags: NTEA, Work Truck Show, Telogis, Knapheide, Propane Autogas, GMC Canyon, Landi Renzo USA, Chevrolet Colorado, XL Hybrids, Ford F-650, Allison Transmission, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, CNG Conversions, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation, Lightning Hybrids, CNG, Echo Automotive

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, March 18, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

The Missed Story behind RelayRides’ Suspension in New York

March 12, 2014

RelayRides must cease operations in New York State because it violated insurance law. But is it the legal gray area or the model itself that kept the service from growing?

Tags: New York, Car Sharing, Peer-to-Peer, RelayRides, Department of Financial Services, Hudson Insurance Company, consent order

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, March 12, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Longer Hold Times — Lower Costs?

While depreciation might drop off a cliff and then slide gradually down as a car ages, depreciation is only one factor in the operating cost of a fleet vehicle. When all eight cost factors are calculated, including costs that increase and decrease over time, the Vincentric data shows that operating costs per year don&amp;rsquo;t move in a straight line.

March 4, 2014

Running your fleet vehicles longer isn't always the most cost-effective choice.

Tags: Maintenance, Vincentric, vehicle depreciation, mileage, Vehicle Repairs, Fuel

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, March 4, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Millennials’ Views of Cars: So What?

February 18, 2014

Opinion surveys on the intentions of millennials miss the big picture of the real shifts in the way we get around.

Tags: Zipcar, Car Sharing, Enterprise Holdings, millennials, car ownership

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, February 18, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Why Is Mileage Up on Rental Cars?

The mileage increase on rental risk units may be the result of a different dynamic than the one that led rental companies to run up mileage during the Recession.

February 12, 2014

The mileage increase on rental risk units may be the result of a different dynamic than the one that led rental companies to run up mileage during the Recession.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, February 12, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(3)

Will Prepaid Reservations Catch On?

Prepaid reservations might be the new guaranteed reservations; though perfecting the model to balance customer service, utilization and profits is an enormous challenge.

February 5, 2014

Prepaid reservations might be the new guaranteed reservations; though perfecting the model to balance customer service, utilization and profits is an enormous challenge.

Tags: Car Rental Show, no-show fees, guaranteed reservations, prepaid rentals

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, February 5, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Understanding the Winter Freeze and Alt-Fuel Prices

Frigid weather has spiked demand for natural gas and raised wholesale prices. How are fleets using alt-fuels coping?

January 28, 2014

Frigid weather has spiked demand for natural gas and raised wholesale prices. How are fleets using alt-fuels coping?

Tags: Alternative-fuel vehicles, Propane Autogas, Alternative Fuels, Compressed Natural Gas, CNG

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, January 28, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Fleet Is No Longer a Dirty Word

The key is to understand what is meant by “fleet” — and then separate perception from reality.

January 22, 2014

The key is to understand what is meant by “fleet” — and then separate perception from reality.

Tags: Kelley Blue Book, CPO

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, January 22, 2014 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

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Author Bio

Chris Brown

Executive Editor

Chris Brown is the executive editor of Business Fleet Magazine and Auto Rental News. Through these publications, online newsletters, trade events and associations, Chris covers all aspects of the fleet world, including fleet management, manufacturer fleet activities, the fleet leasing industry, vehicle remarketing, rental industry news, car rental taxation and legislation.

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