Auto Focus

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!)

June 8, 2012

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!)

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?

May 30, 2012

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

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).

May 23, 2012

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).

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?

May 17, 2012

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

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!)

May 11, 2012

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

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?

May 4, 2012

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

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.

May 2, 2012

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.

Tags: Vehicle Damage, claims management, damage claims

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, May 2, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

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.

April 27, 2012

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.

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.

April 25, 2012

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.

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.

April 18, 2012

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

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

Global Payments Data Breach: What We Know

On Friday, Global Payments announced a breach of its processing system and that as many as 1.5 million card numbers may have been stolen. Over the weekend, Visa removed Global Payments from its PCI compliance list. What does that mean to you?

April 4, 2012

On Friday, Global Payments announced a breach of its processing system and that as many as 1.5 million card numbers may have been stolen. Over the weekend, Visa removed Global Payments from its PCI compliance list. What does that mean to you?

Tags: Global Payments, PCI compliance, Visa Inc., Crime & Fraud

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

Ford Previews Fleet Vehicles for 2012 and Beyond

Ford’s West Coast headquarters welcomed fleet customers to show off the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion, discuss hybrid, electric and EcoBoost engine technologies, update plans for the Lincoln brand and talk about Ford’s residual value strategy.

The 2013-MY Ford Taurus

March 27, 2012

Ford’s West Coast headquarters welcomed fleet customers to show off the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion, discuss hybrid, electric and EcoBoost engine technologies, update plans for the Lincoln brand and talk about Ford’s residual value strategy.

Tags: Ford Fusion, Ford Taurus, 2013-MY, Ford Escape, Ford, Lincoln MKZ, PHEV, Ford Focus Electric, EcoBoost, Ford C-Max

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

Why is the Car Rental Show Growing?

It’s a testament to the health of the industry domestically and its growth abroad, along with a few other factors not to be overlooked.

March 14, 2012

It’s a testament to the health of the industry domestically and its growth abroad, along with a few other factors not to be overlooked.

Tags: Car Rental Show

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

RelayRides Founder in the Hot Seat

On the eve of his peer-to-peer car-sharing company going national, Shelby Clark answers questions on security measures, insurance claims, regulation compliance and changes to the business model.

March 7, 2012

On the eve of his peer-to-peer car-sharing company going national, Shelby Clark answers questions on security measures, insurance claims, regulation compliance and changes to the business model.

Tags: Liability, Zipcar, Car Sharing, Peer-to-Peer, HiGear, RelayRides

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, March 7, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Implementing Green Options in the Real World

A fleet manager has investigated and implemented alternative fuel and alternative power such as hybrids, all electrics, CNG, propane, clean diesel and biodiesel versus traditional gas. Which solutions are working best for his fleet of trucks, buses and vans?

March 5, 2012

A fleet manager has investigated and implemented alternative fuel and alternative power such as hybrids, all electrics, CNG, propane, clean diesel and biodiesel versus traditional gas. Which solutions are working best for his fleet of trucks, buses and vans?

Tags: Diesel, Biodiesel, Natural Gas Vehicles, green fleet, Propane Autogas, Grants, Gasoline-Electric Hybrids, Battery-Electric Vehicles

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

Car Rental: A Tough Year for Pricing?

With 2011 a record revenue year, 2012 could be tough on revenue per day and pricing.

February 24, 2012

With 2011 a record revenue year, 2012 could be tough on revenue per day and pricing.

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

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

When Commercial Parking Bans Go Too Far

Is it a neighborhood aesthetics issue or an intrusion on personal freedom? At any rate, a new local law will force many contractors, landscapers and fleets that allow workers to take vehicles home to rethink their transportation.

February 16, 2012

Is it a neighborhood aesthetics issue or an intrusion on personal freedom? At any rate, a new local law will force many contractors, landscapers and fleets that allow workers to take vehicles home to rethink their transportation.

Tags: Parking, Law Enforcement, parking violations

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

Some Thoughts on Michael LaPlaca

Michael and his wife Bonnie enjoy a meal at one of their favorite San Francisco restaurants.

February 10, 2012

These remembrances speak to the more personal side of the lawyer that helped guide the auto rental industry for close to 50 years.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, February 10, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(7)

Which Hybrids Pay Back the Quickest?

February 3, 2012

After five years and 15,000 miles of driving per year, are there any hybrids that actually have a lower cost of ownership than their gas-engine counterparts? One unexpected vehicle takes the prize.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, February 3, 2012 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

How Far Will Cell Phone Bans Go?

The federal government means business with its new law banning cell phone use while driving commercial vehicles. Can the laws go even further, and how should fleets react?

January 26, 2012

The federal government means business with its new law banning cell phone use while driving commercial vehicles. Can the laws go even further, and how should fleets react?

Tags: Cell Phone Use, ZoomSafer, Distracted Driving, Department of Transportation, federal regulation, Commercial Driver's License

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

Righting a Wrong in Arizona

Arizona is one of a super minority of states in which auto rental companies are required by statute to pay for the negligent acts of their renters. Look for new legislation in the coming weeks that proposes to change that.

January 18, 2012

Arizona is one of a super minority of states in which auto rental companies are required by statute to pay for the negligent acts of their renters. Look for new legislation in the coming weeks that proposes to change that.

Tags: Florida, Michigan, ACRA, Arizona, Delaware, Liability, primary insurance

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

Company Shutdown Exposes Peer-to-Peer Car-Sharing Issues

The theft of exotic cars due to lack of proper security controls brings up insurance, liability and quality concerns regarding the peer-to-peer model. Sometimes it’s not so smart to cut out the middleman.

January 9, 2012

The theft of exotic cars due to lack of proper security controls brings up insurance, liability and quality concerns regarding the peer-to-peer model. Sometimes it’s not so smart to cut out the middleman.

Tags: Vehicle Theft, Car Sharing, Peer-to-Peer, Luxury Rentals, Crime & Fraud, company shutdowns

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

6 Predictions for the Car Rental Industry in 2012

What roles will independent car rental companies, car dealers and car-sharing technology play in 2012? And will Hertz deal anew for Dollar Thrifty?

December 19, 2011

What roles will independent car rental companies, car dealers and car-sharing technology play in the car rental industry in 2012? And will Hertz deal anew for a Dollar Thrifty merger?

Tags: Hertz, Car Sharing, Rental Rates, Advantage Rent A Car, independent operators, Used Car Prices, Peer-to-Peer, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, December 19, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Why is Ford Killing the E-Series?

The workhorse van is being phased out in the coming years in favor of the Transit. The move speaks to the “Europeanization” of the North American van market. Start “right spec’ing” now.

The Ford Transit van, seen here in its present global incarnation, is being re-engineered for the North American commercial market in anticipation of its launch in 2013.

December 8, 2011

The workhorse van is being phased out in the coming years in favor of the Transit. The move speaks to the “Europeanization” of the North American van market. Start “right spec’ing” now.

Tags: Vans, Cargo Vans, Ford Transit Connect, Ford, Ford E-Series

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, December 8, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

10 Annoying Things about Today’s Cars

I know I’m getting cantankerous in my old age, but don’t get me started about things like keyless start, backup cameras and “instant” fuel economy.

Photo courtesy of General Motor Corp.<br />The push-botton, keyless start function in the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.

December 7, 2011

I know I’m getting cantankerous in my old age, but don’t get me started about things like keyless start, backup cameras and “instant” fuel economy.

Tags: ignition trigger, Air Conditioning, fuel economy gauge

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, December 7, 2011 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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