Auto Focus

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, Highway Loss Data Institute

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, 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)

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?

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? READ MORE

Tags: 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

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. READ MORE

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.

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. READ MORE

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.

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. READ MORE

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?

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? READ MORE

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.

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

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.

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. READ MORE

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.

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

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

Which Hybrids Pay Back the Quickest?

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. READ MORE

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

Author Bio

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Chris Brown

Executive Editor

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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