Auto Focus

After Historic Highs, a Used Car Value Reset

We’re off those historic used car value highs, but the sky is not falling. Why? Three words: supply, supply, supply.

November 1, 2011

We’re off those historic used car value highs, but the sky is not falling. Why? Three words: supply, supply, supply.

Tags: Fleet Replacement, Used Vehicle Sales, Used Car Market, Used Car Prices

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, November 1, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

What We Can Learn from the Global Auto Rental Marketplace

Franchise systems — and the spirit of the independent operator — are alive and well in the global marketplace, and growing.

October 18, 2011

Franchise systems — and the spirit of the independent operator — are alive and well in the global marketplace, and growing.

Tags: Hertz, Alamo Rent A Car, Europcar, CarTrawler, Last Minute Rent a Car, Citer, Chevrolet Express

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, October 18, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Kicking the Tires on the Latest Alt-fuel Vehicles

Here is a collection of the latest breakthroughs, stalls and updates in the quest for alternative fuel and power — including money for fleets to buy electric vehicles and one EV on sale that seems too good to be true.

Photos by Joanne Tucker<br />The Mercedes B-Class hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

October 10, 2011

Here is a collection of the latest breakthroughs, stalls and updates in the quest for alternative fuel and power — including money for fleets to buy electric vehicles and one EV on sale that seems too good to be true.

Tags: Ford Transit Connect Electric, Coda Automotive, Wheego, EMC, Mercedes F-Cell, Honda FCX Clarity, Fuel Cell, DC fast charger, Hydrogen Fuel, Battery-Electric Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, October 10, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(-6)

The EV Experience: Is Range Anxiety Real? (Part 2)

In the second part of this blog on electric vehicle experiences, our five Nissan Leaf drivers weigh in on driving impressions, the realities of range anxiety and the unexpected consequences of plugging in instead of gassing up.

The Leaf is surprisingly roomy and has greater interior dimensions than the 2012 Nissan Versa, including more cargo volume (14.5 cu. ft. compared with 13.8 cu. ft.).

September 28, 2011

In the second part of this blog on electric vehicle experiences, our five Nissan Leaf drivers weigh in on driving impressions, the realities of range anxiety and the unexpected consequences of plugging in instead of gassing up.

Tags: Nissan LEAF, Battery-Electric Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, September 28, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

The EV Experience: Nissan Leaf Drivers Speak Out (Part 1)

All-electric vehicles are finally in the real world. After 5,000 miles of driving, five Nissan Leaf users share their experiences on the ordering and buying process, charging challenges, figuring costs per mile, the driving experience and the specter of range anxiety. This is part one of a two-part blog, with photos.

The port on the right accepts the Level 1 and Level 2 plugs. This Leaf comes with the Level 3 port, a $700 option.

September 21, 2011

All-electric vehicles are finally in the real world. After 5,000 miles of driving, five Nissan Leaf users share their experiences on the ordering and buying process, charging challenges, figuring costs per mile, the driving experience and the specter of range anxiety. This is part one of a two-part blog, with photos.

Tags: Nissan LEAF, Battery-Electric Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, September 21, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(4)

Digging Deeper into the Acquisition War

What made Avis decide to publicly announce dropping its bid for Dollar Thrifty?

September 14, 2011

What made Avis decide to publicly announce dropping its bid for Dollar Thrifty?

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

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, September 14, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(-6)

On Driving Safely versus Productivity

September 1, 2011

Studies show that using a phone while driving causes accidents. But can you get off your phone in the car and still be productive?

Tags: Texting, Safety, Cell Phone Use, Distracted Driving

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, September 1, 2011 12:23 PM | » Comments(-2)

Hertz Lays Out Plan for 1,000 Electric Vehicles and Beyond

August 24, 2011

The electric vehicle “arms race” heats up in car rental. Auto Rental News questions Rich Broome of Hertz on the company’s EV strategy.

Tags: Hertz, Car Sharing, Chevrolet Volt, Battery-Electric Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, August 24, 2011 12:44 PM | » Comments(-6)

In Defense of Rental Cars

Getting people to consider buying a used rental car requires dispelling the “beater” myth. And that ain’t easy.

August 17, 2011

Getting people to consider buying a used rental car requires dispelling the “beater” myth. And that ain’t easy.

Tags: Maintenance, Remarketing

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, August 17, 2011 8:31 AM | » Comments(4)

Mother Nature Drives the Market in Q2

The public car rental companies adapted to supply disruptions and an unprecedented used car market while suffering through a “frustrating” merger process.

August 10, 2011

The public car rental companies adapted to supply disruptions and an unprecedented used car market while suffering through a “frustrating” merger process.

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

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, August 10, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Are We Any Closer to a Hertz and Dollar Thrifty Merger?

Between Hertz’s purchase of a major leasing company and Avis Budget Group’s bid for Avis Europe, it’s time reassess the merger landscape.

July 27, 2011

Between Hertz’s purchase of a major leasing company and Avis Budget Group’s bid for Avis Europe, it’s time reassess the merger landscape.

Tags: Hertz, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, merger

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, July 27, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

Need Fleet? Get in Line

For small fleets ramping up in the recovery, replacing work vehicles out of stock will be difficult with already tight dealer inventories—except if you’re looking for pickups.

July 13, 2011

For small fleets ramping up in the recovery, replacing work vehicles out of stock will be difficult with already tight dealer inventories—except if you’re looking for pickups.

Tags: Pickup Trucks, shortage

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, July 13, 2011 12:13 PM | » Comments(-13)

Sell Now?

The used car market is at its valuation peak – but the so-called bubble may be better characterized as an air mattress deflating. It’s all about supply.

June 22, 2011

The used car market is at its valuation peak – but the so-called bubble may be better characterized as an air mattress deflating. It’s all about supply.

Tags: Used Car Prices, Used Car Market

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, June 22, 2011 9:00 AM | » Comments(0)

How the GAO Auto Recall Report Could Affect Auto Rental

June 15, 2011

The report released on June 15 by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) shows just how complicated the recall process is and how difficult it is for vehicle owners to comply. This could help the fight for sensible recall legislation.

Tags: ACRA, Recalls, Government Accountability Office, NHTSA

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, June 15, 2011 5:59 PM | » Comments(-2)

How is GM Managing Residual Values?

Leo Burns, General Motors’ residual value management guru, shares what was broken and how it’s being fixed.

June 8, 2011

Leo Burns, General Motors’ residual value management guru, shares what was broken and how it’s being fixed.

Tags: Residual Values, General Motors

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, June 8, 2011 8:34 AM | » Comments(0)

GM Unveils New Models and New Technology

May 20, 2011

Straight from General Motors' annual fleet preview, here are notes and info on a fleet-only crossover, a Volt test drive, new LPG offerings and technology to squeeze every drop of fuel economy from an internal combustion engine.

Tags: eAssist, Chevrolet Volt, Chevy Captiva Sport, Chevrolet Sonic, General Motors

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, May 20, 2011 1:07 PM | » Comments(1)

The Q1 Car Rental Crystal Ball

How are high fuel prices and the Japan crisis affecting supply and demand for car rental?

May 11, 2011

How are high fuel prices and the Japan crisis affecting supply and demand for car rental?

Tags: Hertz, Car Sharing, Avis Budget Group, Japan, Used Car Market, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, May 11, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Hybrids: Eco or Ego?

A thorough emissions analysis will answer the question.

May 5, 2011

A thorough emissions analysis will answer the question.

Tags: Gasoline-Electric Hybrids, Emissions, Green, green fleet

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, May 5, 2011 2:31 PM | » Comments(0)

What Keeps Leasing Company Execs Up at Night?

April 21, 2011

At NAFA’s fleet conference last week, heads of the major leasing companies talked about rising oil prices, distracted driving, changing to leasing rules and managing the rush of technology.

Tags: Telematics, NAFA, Safety, Fuel Prices, FASB, Distracted Driving, Alternative Fuels

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, April 21, 2011 11:15 AM | » Comments(0)

Should Car Sharing Get a Pass on Excise Taxes?

April 20, 2011

Car sharing and car rental are both part of the solution to the public’s transportation needs. The two communities are better off fighting excise taxes—as well as vicarious liability protection and recalls—together.

Tags: vicarious liability, Zipcar, rental taxes, Recalls, Excise Taxes, Connect by Hertz

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, April 20, 2011 11:22 AM | » Comments(1)

Going Green in a Tough Economy

April 13, 2011

Hybrids and electric vehicles are still grabbing the most headlines. But at the NAFA Institute & Expo in Charlotte this week, the fleet industry explored more mundane ways to go green, save fuel and still keep costs in check.

Tags: NAFA, Battery-Electric Vehicles, EVs, Telematics, Natural Gas Vehicles, Propane Autogas

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, April 13, 2011 2:11 PM | » Comments(0)

Chrysler Unveils New Products at Fleet Preview

The Chrysler 200 at the 2011 Fleet Preview in Austin, Texas.

March 24, 2011

Chrysler gathered its biggest fleet buyers in Austin, Texas this week to show off new vehicles and talk fleet plans. This year we could drive the products and kick the tires. (With photos.)

Tags: Chrysler, Dodge Durango, Fiat 500, Chrysler 200, Dodge Charger, Ram C/V

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, March 24, 2011 12:10 PM | » Comments(0)

CRS: What the Manufacturers Said

March 15, 2011

Representatives from four of the major auto manufacturers gathered at the Car Rental Show to talk rental. While rental continues to represent an integral part of the business, OEMs are managing rental fleet sales to protect residuals.

Tags: Toyota, Hyundai, Chrysler, Car Rental Show, Ford

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, March 15, 2011 12:24 PM | » Comments(0)

ACRA Panel: A Rational, Safe Way to Handle Recalls

March 14, 2011

During its panel at the Car Rental Show, the American Car Rental Association board worked through recall legislation, threats to vicarious liability reform and what’s next with no-show fees (let’s start calling them guaranteed reservations).

Tags: vicarious liability, Hertz, Avis Budget Group, ACRA, Recalls, Car Rental Show, Bob Barton, Sharon Faulkner, Frank Colonna, Gil Cygler, Graves Amendment, no-show fees, guaranteed reservations, anti-steering, HR 4175

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, March 14, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

CRS 2011: What Larry De Shon Said

March 11, 2011

De Shon took a holistic look at how technology is reshaping car rental. But it's Avis Budget’s Virtual Car program that has the potential to be an industry game changer.

Tags: Technology, Avis Budget Group, Car Rental Show, Virtual Car, automated car rental

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, March 11, 2011 3:53 PM | » 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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