Auto Focus

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)

New Media Meets the Auto Industry

Facebook, Google and Microsoft Xbox are changing the way we buy cars — and how businesses interact with their customers in general.

January 16, 2013

Facebook, Google and Microsoft Xbox are changing the way we buy cars — and how businesses interact with their customers in general.

Tags: Facebook, Google, Web marketing, Social Media, smartphone, tablet, mobile website, social media marketing

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

Start Calling Yourself a Fleet

Small businesses that run work vehicles often don’t even know they’re “a fleet” — and they’re leaving money on the table.

January 10, 2013

Small businesses that run work vehicles often don’t even know they’re “a fleet” — and they’re leaving money on the table.

Tags: managing small fleets, Incentives, small business owner, Fleet 101

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, January 10, 2013 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

When the Alternative Goes Mainstream

The Avis offer for Zipcar was inevitable. But is it good?

January 2, 2013

The Avis offer for Zipcar was inevitable. But is it good?

Tags: Zipcar, Car Sharing, Avis Budget Group, Hertz On Demand

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

Losing a Zoning War in New Hampshire

Auto-related businesses in this town feel like they’re being unfairly discriminated against by their zoning board. But what can they do?

December 26, 2012

Auto-related businesses in this town feel like they’re being unfairly discriminated against by their zoning board. But what can they do?

Tags: zoning, dealerships, New Hampshire

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, December 26, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

Dispelling Some Myths in the Car Rental Industry

Nostalgia is a seductive liar.

December 19, 2012

Nostalgia is a seductive liar.

Tags: vicarious liability, ACRA, collision damage waiver, American Car Rental Association, CDW

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

What to Expect from the New Lincoln

Lincoln’s global brand chief reveals the luxury brand’s new target audience and how it will reach them.

The 2013 MKZ retains Lincoln’s signature split-wing grille. This redesigned model, out next month, represents the new face of the brand.

December 5, 2012

Lincoln’s global brand chief reveals the luxury brand’s new target audience and how it will reach them.

Tags: Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKZ, Lincoln MKT, Lincoln Motor Co.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, December 5, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Six Trends from the LA Auto Show

This year’s press conferences showcased a diesel invasion, more affordable all-electric models, new types of car connectivity, the latest option must-haves and some serious power.

New versions of crossovers such as the new Toyota RAV4 all grew to add passenger and cargo volume, and yet all these models gained in fuel economy.

December 3, 2012

This year’s press conferences showcased a diesel invasion, more affordable all-electric models, new types of car connectivity, the latest option must-haves and some serious power.

Tags: L.A. Auto Show

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, December 3, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Five Predictions for Car Rental in 2013

As fleet sales and the used car market finally get back to normal, the land rush for vacated airport locations will produce a ground war on rates.

November 27, 2012

As fleet sales and the used car market finally get back to normal, the land rush for vacated airport locations will produce a ground war on rates.

Tags: Federal Trade Commission, Hertz, Avis Budget Group, U-Save, Rental Rates, Advantage Rent A Car, Sixt, FTC, FSNA, merger, Fox Rent-A-Car, Franchise Services North America, Macquarie Capital

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, November 27, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

<i>Updated:</i> FTC Ruling: What it Means

Who will get the vacated Dollar Thrifty airport counters and what will happen to rates?

November 16, 2012

Who will get the vacated Dollar Thrifty airport counters and what will happen to rates?

Tags: Federal Trade Commission, Hertz, Sixt, FTC, FSNA, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Franchise Services of North America Inc., , Advantage Rent A Car, , Fox Rent-A-Car, , Payless Car Rentals,

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, November 16, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Fighting the Stigma of Car Rental Commoditization

Digging into the J.D. Power and Associates Rental Car Satisfaction Study reveals ways to combat the low-rate game, as well as one proven tip for improving your customer satisfaction score.

November 9, 2012

Digging into the J.D. Power and Associates Rental Car Satisfaction Study reveals ways to combat the low-rate game, as well as one proven tip for improving your customer satisfaction score.

Tags: Customer Service, Customer Satisfaction, J.D. Power and Associates Rental Car Satisfaction

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, November 9, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

How Did Goliath Slay David?

The results of the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates Rental Car Satisfaction Study bring the issue of the smaller and larger brands into focus.

November 9, 2012

The results of the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates Rental Car Satisfaction Study bring the issue of the smaller and larger brands into focus.

Tags: Enterprise Rent-A-Car, J.D. Power, Hertz, Alamo Rent A Car, Avis, National Car Rental, Enterprise Holdings, ACE Rent A Car, J.D. Power and Associates Rental Car Satisfac, Customer Service, Customer Satisfaction

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, November 9, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Q3 Takeaway: Fleet Costs Will Go Up

Will car rental companies be able to raise prices to compensate?

November 7, 2012

Will car rental companies be able to raise prices to compensate?

Tags: Hertz, Avis Budget Group, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, November 7, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

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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