Auto Focus

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?

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

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.

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. READ MORE

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.

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. READ MORE

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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. READ MORE

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.

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. READ MORE

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.

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. READ MORE

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.

It’s time to celebrate industry champions. READ MORE

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).

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

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.

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

Tags: Technology, IIHS, Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, 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.

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

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’s traditional color, Omaha Orange.

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. READ MORE

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.

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. READ MORE

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

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

Chrysler Previews Product and Plans in Savannah

In this product preview wrap-up, you’ll find Dodge Dart driving impressions, 2013 Ram 1500 product info and whether Sergio Marchionne thinks the European debt crisis will affect North America. (And photos!)

In this product preview wrap-up, you’ll find Dodge Dart driving impressions, 2013 Ram 1500 product info and whether Sergio Marchionne thinks the European debt crisis will affect North America. (And photos!) READ MORE

Tags: Chrysler, Fiat 500, Ram 1500, Dodge Dart, Ram 2500 CNG

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, June 8, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Is Technology Benefiting or Hurting Fleets?

While distracted driving, higher repair bills and Big Brother become more worrisome, is there an upside?

While distracted driving, higher repair bills and Big Brother become more worrisome, is there an upside? READ MORE

Tags: Technology, NAFA, Insurance, Distracted Driving

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

GM Talks Fleet, the Future in Tucson

Highlights of General Motor’s annual product preview included details on the industry’s first front-center airbag, vibrating seats for safety, fuel economy technology, an all-new rear-wheel drive sedan for Chevy and how fleet managers are heroes (finally).

Highlights of General Motor’s annual product preview included details on the industry’s first front-center airbag, vibrating seats for safety, fuel economy technology, an all-new rear-wheel drive sedan for Chevy and how fleet managers are heroes (finally). READ MORE

Tags: Chevrolet, Technology, Safety, Buick, Cadillac, Fuel Economy, General Motors

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, May 23, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Car Rental: First Quarter Analysis and Outlook

A stronger-than-expected used car market is tempered by competitive pricing in the first quarter. But will the trend continue?

A stronger-than-expected used car market is tempered by competitive pricing in the first quarter. But will the trend continue? READ MORE

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

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

What is Holding Back the Electric Vehicle Revolution?

The movers and shakers in the electric vehicle market offer a candid glimpse into the immediate future of electric vehicles. (With photos!)

The movers and shakers in the electric vehicle market offer a candid glimpse into the immediate future of electric vehicles. (With photos!) READ MORE

Tags: Toyota, Volkswagen, Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, Ford, Chevrolet Spark, BMW i3, Tesla, Battery-Electric Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, May 11, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

What’s Next for a Hertz Deal for Dollar Thrifty?

With Hertz’s announcement of a potential buyer for Advantage, how will a Dollar Thrifty deal go down, when, and for how much?

With Hertz’s announcement of a potential buyer for Advantage, how will a Dollar Thrifty deal go down, when, and for how much? READ MORE

Tags: Hertz, Avis Budget Group, Advantage Rent A Car, merger, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, May 4, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

A Call to Action on Damage Recovery

Even if the vast majority of damage claims are handled properly, it doesn’t take many incidences of abuse to erode the auto rental industry’s trust with consumers. The industry needs to be consistently and actively engaged in reducing the number of damage claim disputes.

Even if the vast majority of damage claims are handled properly, it doesn’t take many incidences of abuse to erode the auto rental industry’s trust with consumers. The industry needs to be consistently and actively engaged in reducing the number of damage claim disputes. READ MORE

Tags: Vehicle Damage, claims management, damage claims

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

Ed Peper Talks Fleet

The new head of General Motors’ Fleet and Commercial Operations talks fleet sales, product plans and how GM manages rental sales compared to commercial and government fleet.

The new head of General Motors’ Fleet and Commercial Operations talks fleet sales, product plans and how GM manages rental sales compared to commercial and government fleet. READ MORE

Tags: Natural Gas Vehicles, Propane Autogas, Chevrolet Volt, General Motors, Ed Peper

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, April 27, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Answers to Seven Fleet Questions

When the heads of seven major fleet management companies convene on a panel together, it’s a good time to get their views on issues such as changes to lease accounting standards, how the new fuel economy standards will affect fleet and which alternative fuel will break out in five to seven years.

When the heads of seven major fleet management companies convene on a panel together, it’s a good time to get their views on issues such as changes to lease accounting standards, how the new fuel economy standards will affect fleet and which alternative fuel will break out in five to seven years. READ MORE

Tags: Leasing, NAFA, Accident Prevention, Driver Behavior, Zipcar, Hertz, Car Sharing, Fuel Economy Standards, Donlen, Natural Gas Vehicles, CNG Fueling Stations

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, April 25, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(-1)

The <i>Auto Rental News</i> Redesign — What Do You Think?

Here’s a sneak peek at ARN’s new look coming out for the May/June print edition.

Here’s a sneak peek at ARN’s new look coming out for the May/June print edition. READ MORE

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, April 18, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Author Bio

Chris Brown

Executive Editor

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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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