Auto Focus

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, Advantage Rent A Car, Sixt, FTC, FSNA, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Franchise Services of North America Inc., , 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)

People Matter

At the first-ever Auto Rental Summit, there was good news for the industry on customer satisfaction and for the independent brands in a consolidated market.

November 1, 2012

At the first-ever Auto Rental Summit, there was good news for the industry on customer satisfaction and for the independent brands in a consolidated market.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, November 1, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

A Good Time to Buy Used?

Fleet operators are staring at a price squeeze right now that’s going to hurt. But there are ways to mitigate the pain.

October 24, 2012

Fleet operators are staring at a price squeeze right now that’s going to hurt. But there are ways to mitigate the pain.

Tags: Manheim, Used Vehicles, Used Car Market, Rent-A-Wreck, Used Car Prices

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, October 24, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Recall Legislation: Some Thoughts from and for the 7%

It is necessary for the smaller independent car rental companies to understand the changes blowing in the wind, while letting their voice be heard.

October 3, 2012

It is necessary for the smaller independent car rental companies to understand the changes blowing in the wind, while letting their voice be heard.

Tags: Legislation, Congress, ACRA, Recalls

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

Propane Autogas Drivers and Barriers

What are the opportunities for propane to gain wider acceptance as alternative fuel for fleets, and what’s holding it back?

September 26, 2012

What are the opportunities for propane to gain wider acceptance as alternative fuel for fleets, and what’s holding it back?

Tags: Alternative-fuel vehicles, PERC, Natural Gas Vehicles, Propane Autogas, ROUSH CleanTech, Alternative Fuels

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, September 26, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

PurCo Win: What Now?

The Colorado State Supreme Court ruling in PurCo v. Koenig was a major victory for the car rental industry regarding the ability to collect loss-of-use damages. But the fight is far from over.

September 14, 2012

The Colorado State Supreme Court ruling in PurCo v. Koenig was a major victory for the car rental industry regarding the ability to collect loss-of-use damages. But the fight is far from over.

Tags: insurance regulation, Insurance Claims, Vehicle Utilization, Lawsuits, loss of use, PurCo Fleet Services Inc.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, September 14, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Small Fleets, Do You Qualify for a Tax Deduction of Up to $139,000?

While the tax breaks have lessened from the last two years, fleet buyers have a few tax benefits to take advantage of in 2012 — though one will expire at the end of this year.

September 10, 2012

While the tax breaks have lessened from the last two years, fleet buyers have a few tax benefits to take advantage of in 2012 — though one will expire at the end of this year.

Tags: IRS, Taxes, bonus depreciation, Section 179

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, September 10, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

8 Questions on the Dollar Thrifty and Hertz Merger

The devil is in the details, especially as it relates to Dollar and Thrifty licensees.

August 30, 2012

The devil is in the details, especially as it relates to Dollar and Thrifty licensees.

Tags: Hertz, franchises, Advantage Rent A Car, FSNA, merger, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, licensee

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, August 30, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Vetting The Deal — Why So Long, and Is It Ending Soon?

An antitrust litigator sheds some light on the FTC’s process regarding a Hertz merger with Dollar Thrifty.

August 22, 2012

An antitrust litigator sheds some light on the FTC’s process regarding a Hertz merger with Dollar Thrifty.

Tags: Federal Trade Commission, Hertz, FTC, merger, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, antitrust laws

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, August 22, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Making a Business Case for 200 Hybrid Rental Cars

This independent car rental company switched more than half its fleet to hybrids. Here’s how — and why.

August 17, 2012

This independent car rental company switched more than half its fleet to hybrids. Here’s how — and why.

Tags: environmentally friendly, Green Fleets, Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Gasoline-Electric Hybrids

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, August 17, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

5 Key Takeaways from the Car Rental Quarterly Reports

Based on the second quarter reports and conference calls from the three public car rental companies, here are some thoughts on rates, Europe, the local market, new remarketing channels and the merger – or lack thereof.

August 6, 2012

Based on the second quarter reports and conference calls from the three public car rental companies, here are some thoughts on rates, Europe, the local market, new remarketing channels and the merger – or lack thereof.

Tags: Remarketing, Hertz, Avis Budget Group, merger, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Rent2Buy, AutoNation

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, August 6, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Can Small Fleets Get a Reasonable ROI with CNG?

While most small fleets do not present the “perfect” case for switching to compressed natural gas, there are several tactics to make the return on investment more favorable.

August 2, 2012

While most small fleets do not present the “perfect” case for switching to compressed natural gas, there are several tactics to make the return on investment more favorable.

Tags: Green Fleets, Alternative-fuel vehicles, Natural Gas Vehicles, Alternative Fuels, alternative-fuel conversions, CNG Conversions, tax incentives

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, August 2, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

The Consequences of Bad Tax Policy

What can happen when you pass a predatory excise tax on car rental customers that can’t fight back? Just ask the folks at the city hall in Revere, Mass.

July 27, 2012

What can happen when you pass a predatory excise tax on car rental customers that can’t fight back? Just ask the folks at the city hall in Revere, Mass.

Tags: Excise Taxes, Thrifty

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

Why the Car Rental Industry Needs a Customer Service Award

It’s time to celebrate industry champions.

July 25, 2012

It’s time to celebrate industry champions.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, July 25, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

The Brave New World of Vehicle Safety Technology

Between measuring brain waves to determine distraction and using augmented reality to focus drivers’ attention, these advancements are on the horizon – or already here.

This prototype heads-up display (HUD) highlights road signage (image 1) and road curvature in poor visibility conditions (image 2).

July 18, 2012

Between measuring brain waves to determine distraction and using augmented reality to focus drivers’ attention, these advancements are on the horizon – or already here.

Tags: Driver Safety, Vehicle Safety, Drowsy Driving, Distracted Driving, General Motors

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, July 18, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Can You Put a Price Tag on Safety?

When it comes to in-vehicle safety technology, yes, you can. But first fleets need to look at the bigger picture.

July 10, 2012

When it comes to in-vehicle safety technology, yes, you can. But first fleets need to look at the bigger picture.

Tags: Technology, Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, in-vehicle safety technology

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, July 10, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Supreme Court Healthcare Ruling: What Do You Think?

Whether you employ 50 employees or not, the Affordable Care Act will affect you. Use this forum to sound off and be heard.

June 28, 2012

Whether you employ 50 employees or not, the Affordable Care Act will affect you. Use this forum to sound off and be heard.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, June 28, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Can You Live with Less Cargo Room?

This HVAC company downsized its service vehicles from traditional cargo vans to the Scion xB — without a technicians’ revolt. Learn how it was done, with photos.

Payne decided to capitalize on the retro theme and got his brother, a graphic artist, to come up with an eye-catching design to complement the company&amp;rsquo;s traditional color, Omaha Orange.

June 28, 2012

This HVAC company downsized its service vehicles from traditional cargo vans to the Scion xB — without a technicians’ revolt. Learn how it was done, with photos.

Tags: Spec'ing, Scion xB, HVAC

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, June 28, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

VW Has a (Value) Proposition for You

At Volkswagen’s second-ever fleet preview the VW fleet team explained how fleet plays an important role in VW’s plans for significant growth in North America.

June 21, 2012

At Volkswagen’s second-ever fleet preview the VW fleet team explained how fleet plays an important role in VW’s plans for significant growth in North America.

Tags: Volkswagen, Volkswagen Golf, Passat, Jetta, Jetta Sportwagen

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, June 21, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

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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