Auto Focus

Car Rental at the Halfway Point: How Are We Doing?

Looking at the first half of 2013, rates are up and the used car market is down but stabilizing. Pay attention to developments that portend the long-term future of car rental.

August 7, 2013

Looking at the first half of 2013, rates are up and the used car market is down but stabilizing. Pay attention to developments that portend the long-term future of car rental.

Tags: Manheim, Zipcar, Wholesale Market, Hertz, Avis Budget Group, Financial Report, Used Car Market, rates, Quarterly Earnings, Payless Car Rental

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, August 7, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Making the Case for In-House Maintenance

With a fleet of only 25 vehicles, this rain gutter installation company set up a service facility in-house and is realizing a 60% reduction in maintenance expense.

Kulp's shop hands had been successfully doing vehicle repairs, though Kulp decided to hire a trained mechanic. The mechanic started at one day a week, then moved to three days, and will soon come in full time.

August 1, 2013

With a fleet of only 25 vehicles, this rain gutter installation company set up a service facility in-house and is realizing a 60% reduction in maintenance expense.

Tags: Maintenance, Preventive Maintenance, repair shop, mechanic, Vehicle Repair

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, August 1, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

10 Challenges to Reaping Telematics Value

July 24, 2013

Adoption rates of telematics GPS tracking systems in fleet have increased exponentially in the last five years. Here’s what fleets are going through to make the plunge and get the most out of their systems.

Tags: Telematics, Fleet Managers, ROI, data

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, July 24, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Guest Editorial: They Said It Would Never Pass

July 15, 2013

Gil Cygler reflects on the long journey to amend the 1989 New York state law prohibiting car rental companies to sell damage waivers and how it illustrates the power of grass-roots organization.

Tags: New York, ACRA, collision and loss damage waivers, rental car agencies, legislature

Author: Gil Cygler | Posted @ Monday, July 15, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

7 Reasons Not to Fear the Used Car Market

You may have heard about all those lease returns coming back to the market and what they might do to residual values. It’s not as bad as you think.

July 10, 2013

You may have heard about all those lease returns coming back to the market and what they might do to residual values. It’s not as bad as you think.

Tags: Manheim, Black Book, Wholesale Market, Used Car Market

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(7)

Van Envy? We’re Headed There

The release of the Nissan NV200 small commercial van represents Nissan's next step in its commercial vehicle plans. But where will it fit in the nascent cargo van wars?

June 26, 2013

The release of the Nissan NV200 small commercial van represents Nissan's next step in its commercial vehicle plans. But where will it fit in the nascent cargo van wars?

Tags: Ford Transit Connect, Nissan NV200, Chevrolet City Express

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

FlightCar Lawsuit Tests Regulations of New Business Models

The issue highlights the need to balance business fairness and consumer protections with the need for competition and to allow new business models to succeed.

June 12, 2013

The issue highlights the need to balance business fairness and consumer protections with the need for competition and to allow new business models to succeed.

Tags: Airport Rentals, airport fees, Peer-to-Peer, FlightCar

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, June 12, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Roadcheck Is Now – Are You In Compliance?

May 28, 2013

More than 1,000 inspections per hour in North America are being conducted in a 72-hour period. Some small fleets may not know that the regulations covered in the inspections apply to them.

Tags: FMCSA, PHH, CVSA, Roadcheck 2013, USDOT

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, May 28, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Fleet Manager = Big Data Manager

May 23, 2013

Today's fleet manager is tasked with harnessing large amounts of data and turning the findings into actionable results. With so much technology driving so much information, the responsibility and burden are now greater than ever.

Tags: Telematics, Fleet Management, Technology

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

GM Goes High Touch at Fleet Preview

Amid new products such as the light-duty pickups, the 2014 Impala, the Cruze diesel and the announcement of a new small cargo van, it’s the one-on-one attention that sticks with you.

The all-new 2014 Chevrolet Impala.

May 16, 2013

Amid new products such as the light-duty pickups, the 2014 Impala, the Cruze diesel and the announcement of a new small cargo van, it’s the one-on-one attention that sticks with you.

Tags: Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Silverado, Chevrolet Cruze, GMC Sierra, General Motors, Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Spark EV, Chevrolet City Express

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, May 16, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

How Will VW Sell 800,000 Units in America?

At its annual fleet preview, Volkswagen talked fleet sales, residual strategies, product lineup, three new turbo engines and how diesel can help your costs (but not your heart rate).

The VW e-Golf has a 26.5Kwh battery for 115 horsepower and 270 lb-ft. of torque, a top speed of 85 mph and a driving range of up to 95 miles, with 65 to 70 miles in “real-world” conditions.

May 8, 2013

At its annual fleet preview, Volkswagen talked fleet sales, residual strategies, product lineup, three new turbo engines and how diesel can help your costs (but not your heart rate).

Tags: Diesel, Volkswagen, turbocharging, Battery-Electric Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, May 8, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

A Coda for Coda Automotive

May 2, 2013

Coda Automotive’s bankruptcy is not surprising, though it was surprising that the company was able to play off the good intentions of the green industry for as long as it did.

Tags: Coda Automotive, Bankruptcy, Battery-Electric Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, May 2, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

What Penske Brings to Car Rental

The new Hertz franchisee is bringing to car rental a focus on facilities and employee practices, while Penske dealerships will get a stable source of low-mileage used vehicles.

April 29, 2013

The new Hertz franchisee is bringing to car rental a focus on facilities and employee practices, while Penske dealerships will get a stable source of low-mileage used vehicles.

Tags: Penske, Hertz, Car Rental Show

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, April 29, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

7 Takeaways from the 2013 Car Rental Show

As I settle back at my desk, here are a few thoughts on corporate culture, ACRA, the global community, franchising, independents and a “sane” car rental market.

April 18, 2013

As I settle back at my desk, here are a few thoughts on corporate culture, ACRA, the global community, franchising, independents and a “sane” car rental market.

Tags: Penske, franchises, ACRA, Car Rental Show, Russell Bruno Award

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, April 18, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

10 New Things at the 2013 Car Rental Show

This year’s show is highlighted by a new hotel, an anniversary toast, some special guests and seminars for newcomers and exhibitors only.

April 8, 2013

This year’s show is highlighted by a new hotel, an anniversary toast, some special guests and seminars for newcomers and exhibitors only.

Tags: Car Rental Show

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, April 8, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Addressing the Problem of Unsecured Loads

If you don’t think unsecured loads in pickups and trailers are a national problem, some new data from NHTSA, Maria Federici’s story and a disturbing video will make you think otherwise.

April 2, 2013

If you don’t think unsecured loads in pickups and trailers are a national problem, some new data from NHTSA, Maria Federici’s story and a disturbing video will make you think otherwise.

Tags: FMCSA, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, , Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, NHTSA

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, April 2, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(3)

Should the Public Be Scared of a Car Rental Oligopoly?

Consumers should be aware of the many forces at work that affect rental car rates.

March 25, 2013

Consumers should be aware of the many forces at work that affect rental car rates.

Tags: Pricing, Hertz, Rental Rates, Dollar Thrifty

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, March 25, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

If Fleet Management Were Like College Basketball

Warning, you have to be a big fan of college basketball to get some of these.

March 20, 2013

Warning, you have to be a big fan of college basketball to get some of these.

Tags: Fleet Management

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, March 20, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

6 Takeaways from the CAR Conference

At the Conference of Automotive Remarketing last week, technology, transparency and multi-platform selling took center stage.

March 11, 2013

At the Conference of Automotive Remarketing last week, technology, transparency and multi-platform selling took center stage.

Tags: Remarketing, Technology, Conference of Automotive Remarketing, Used Vehicle Sales, Used Car Prices

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, March 11, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Car Rental Pricing: Cautious Optimism

The two U.S. public car rental companies both report gains in pricing — finally — though they present different views on the cost scenario for 2013.

March 4, 2013

The two U.S. public car rental companies both report gains in pricing — finally — though they present different views on the cost scenario for 2013.

Tags: Pricing, Hertz, Avis Budget Group, Rental Rates, Financial Report

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, March 4, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

What I Wish I Knew 25 Years Ago

One car rental sage reaches into his past for words of wisdom and connects it to the present and future.

February 25, 2013

One car rental sage reaches into his past for words of wisdom and connects it to the present and future.

Tags: ACRA, Anniversary, American Car Rental Association, Michael LaPlaca

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, February 25, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Rethink Your Tool Hauler

If you’re hauling a lot of tools for your contracting business, dump your pickup and consider this type of custom-built rolling toolbox.

The shelves are built for maximum visibility and accessibility of tools and equipment. With a 3/4" inch lip shelf, "No matter what bump I go over I’ve never had a tool fall out," Paulk says.

February 21, 2013

If you’re hauling a lot of tools for your contracting business, dump your pickup and consider this type of custom-built rolling toolbox.

Tags: Spec'ing, Trailers, Tools

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, February 21, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Silvercar: Hard Questions for a New Business Model

No counter and a streamlined process are the silver linings in this playbook. But will it work with only one rental model, an Audi A4?

February 13, 2013

No counter and a streamlined process are the silver linings in this playbook. But will it work with only one rental model, an Audi A4?

Tags: Airport Rentals, ConRac, Dallas, Silvercar

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, February 13, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Is It Time for a Renter’s Damage Bill of Rights?

Some say the renter is already privileged to drive the rental vehicle. But self-regulation could offer a buffer against legislative overreaction.

February 5, 2013

Some say the renter is already privileged to drive the rental vehicle. But self-regulation could offer a buffer against legislative overreaction.

Tags: Legislation, regulation, damage claims

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, February 5, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Would You Pass a Credit Card Fee onto Your Customer?

Merchants now have the ability to do so. But for most, it’s not a good idea.

January 30, 2013

Merchants now have the ability to do so. But for most, it’s not a good idea.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, January 30, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Author Bio

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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