Auto Focus

7 Keys to a Better Fleet Dealer Relationship

March 7, 2011

With dealer inventory as tight as it is, it pays to listen to what fleet dealers have to say about what you can do to make their lives a little easier.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, March 7, 2011 1:26 PM | » Comments(0)

Car Rental Majors: the 2011 Crystal Ball

March 2, 2011

On their fourth quarter and full-year conference calls last week, the three public car rental companies—Hertz, Avis Budget and Dollar Thrifty—talk merger, prepaid rentals and plans for growth.

Tags: Hertz, Avis Budget Group, no-show fee, pre-paid rentals, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, prepaid rentals

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, March 2, 2011 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Insurance Headwinds: What’s in Store for Car Rental?

February 16, 2011

The recession has had a positive effect on insurance rates for car rental companies. But will it last?

Tags: Insurance

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, February 16, 2011 9:42 AM | » Comments(0)

Nissan NV - Video Preview

February 10, 2011

Here's first-hand video of the features of the Nissan NV from the preview event last week. Step into this new high roof van with us and see if its functionality is right for your business needs. Also, check out the vinyl graphics application.

Tags: Nissan

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, February 10, 2011 9:35 AM | » Comments(0)

Nissan Launches Nissan NV

How will Nissan’s first entry into its North American Light Commercial Vehicle and Fleet Division gain share in a well-established van market?

The Nissan NV is available in a standard roof or high roof version. There are three models to choose from: the half-ton NV1500, the three-quarter-ton NV2500 HDand the one-ton NV3500 HD.

February 3, 2011

How will Nissan’s first entry into its North American Light Commercial Vehicle and Fleet Division gain share in a well-established van market?

Tags: Nissan, vehicle research

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, February 3, 2011 10:16 AM | » Comments(0)

Auto Rental Operators Choose Favorite Rental Car of All Time

January 24, 2011

Survey reveals what really matters to a car rental operator. Toyota Camry tops the list.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, January 24, 2011 3:53 PM | » Comments(1)

8 Tips to Gaining Driver Buy-in on a Telematics System

December 30, 2010

After the pain of layoffs and cutbacks during the recession, your employees should get that business efficiency is paramount now more than ever before.

Tags: GPS, Telematics

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, December 30, 2010 3:11 PM | » Comments(0)

Congress, not Technology, is Deciding the Alt-fuel Market

December 16, 2010

Should Congress have let the hybrid, diesel and CNG tax credit die while keeping the ethanol fuel credit?

Tags: Diesel, Natural Gas, Taxes, Roush, Natural Gas Vehicles, General Motors, Gasoline-Electric Hybrids

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, December 16, 2010 11:02 AM | » Comments(2)

Guest Editorial: All I Want for the Holidays

December 14, 2010

Bob Barton, president of the American Car Rental Association, asks the car rental industry for discipline, consensus and cooperation on the things that, if implemented, will benefit the industry as a whole.

Tags: Residual Values, no-show fee, Graves Amendment, vicarious liability

Author: Bob Barton | Posted @ Tuesday, December 14, 2010 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

LA Auto Show: Trends, Themes and Photos

Joel Ewanick drove to the show from Detroit in a Chevy Volt.

November 22, 2010

Electrification, customization and wringing every last drop of efficiency out of an internal combustion engine were prominent storylines. Oh, and models like Heidi Klum.

Tags: Toyota, Chevrolet, Dodge, Hyundai, Nissan, Volkswagen, Tesla Motors, Buick, Fiat, Chrysler, Kia Motors, General Motors

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, November 22, 2010 9:24 AM | » Comments(0)

JDPA Rental Car Satisfaction Study: Behind the Numbers

November 17, 2010

Stuart Greif, the director of the study for J.D. Power and Associates, drills down past the circle scores to analyze the factors that produced this year’s results. Factor number one—the economy, stupid!

Tags: Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Customer Service, Avis, Airport Rentals, Advantage Rent A Car, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, November 17, 2010 9:16 AM | » Comments(1)

Negotiating the Alt-Power Jungle

November 15, 2010

Sometimes going green is less about the ‘best’ technology and more about where the government puts its money — and fleet buyers with good intentions are caught in the middle.

Tags: Alternative-fuel vehicles, Green Fleet Conference, Natural Gas Vehicles, Propane Autogas, Battery-Electric Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, November 15, 2010 10:48 AM | » Comments(0)

Industry Realignment: What Now?

November 3, 2010

Avis is asking the FTC to bless a merger between four out of the seven major brands. Something has to give.

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

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, November 3, 2010 9:55 AM | » Comments(0)

Key Takeaways from the Green Fleet Conference (Part II)

The author inside a GM van with its new factory-installed CNG fueling system. The box on the floor contains one of four fuel tanks.<br /><br />

October 28, 2010

More intel culled from the Green Fleet Conference in San Diego, including EV charging, the future of alt fuels and other tidbits.

Tags: Green Fleet Conference, Alternative Fuels, Battery-Electric Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, October 28, 2010 2:35 PM | » Comments(0)

Key Takeaways from the Green Fleet Conference (Part 1)

Attendees at a Green Fleet Conference presentation

October 21, 2010

Here’s what you missed in San Diego.

Tags: Green Fleet Conference, Alternative Fuels, Battery-Electric Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, October 21, 2010 2:21 PM | » Comments(0)

My Ride in the X-Prize Winner (video)

October 14, 2010

The all-electric E-Tracer and its gas-powered equivalent, the Monotracer, are not practical alternatives to the passenger car. But if you’re interested in a new form of mobility, you can have one for about $80,000 to $100,000.

Tags: Battery-Electric Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, October 14, 2010 10:24 AM | » Comments(0)

Chevy Volt Test Ride

October 6, 2010

When it finally makes it to fleet, drivers will like the Volt’s large (for an EV) cargo space, while the gas-power range-extending capabilities should open up a lot more possibilities for fleet applications. Check out the photos.

Tags: Chevrolet, Nissan LEAF, Battery-Electric Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, October 6, 2010 11:14 AM | » Comments(0)

The Nissan LEAF: an EV, and a Real Car

September 30, 2010

We took a spin in the Nissan LEAF. The fit-and-finish and drive characteristics are up to North American standards, and the range does not disappoint.

Tags: Nissan LEAF, Battery-Electric Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, September 30, 2010 12:33 PM | » Comments(0)

Avis Releases Car Rental Rate Comparison

September 24, 2010

Analysis ranks weekend pricing for major brands to show how Hertz competes with Dollar and Thrifty through its AAA rate. Will regulators care?

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

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, September 24, 2010 12:00 AM | » Comments(2)

What is Peer-to-Peer Renting?

September 23, 2010

Owning a fleet is so 2009. Welcome to the new neighborhood car rental.

Tags: Whipcar, RelayRides, Car Sharing, Peer-to-Peer

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, September 23, 2010 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Coping with EV Range Anxiety

September 13, 2010

Most of us fill our gas tanks when we have 40 miles to ‘Empty.’ With electric vehicles, the fun is just beginning.

Tags: Mitsubishi, Battery-Electric Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, September 13, 2010 10:44 AM | » Comments(0)

Will the N.Y. Anti-steering Law Work?

August 30, 2010

Understanding the other side of the claims process can give independent RACs the tools to get more replacement business.

Tags: State Laws, independent operators

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, August 30, 2010 9:53 AM | » Comments(1)

Customer Overbooking – A Car Rental Operator’s Nightmare

August 11, 2010

This letter from a car rental operator provides an on-the-ground view of how one customer can tax system resources to the point of blowing profit right out of the water.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, August 11, 2010 9:43 AM | » Comments(8)

New Ford Explorer Saves Fuel, but What About Capabilities?

July 27, 2010

Better fuel economy on a truck usually comes with a performance trade off.

Tags: Ford Explorer

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, July 27, 2010 8:36 AM | » Comments(2)

A Few Thoughts on Better Utilization of Fleet Vehicles

July 21, 2010

Technology is making possible peer-to-peer car sharing, “fleet sharing,” one-way rentals and getting more use out of pool vehicles.

Tags: Zipcar, Car Sharing, car2go, Peer-to-Peer, One-Way Rentals, GPS

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, July 21, 2010 12:00 AM | » 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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