Auto Focus

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.

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

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.

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. READ MORE

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.).

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. READ MORE

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.

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. READ MORE

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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. READ MORE

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.

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. READ MORE

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.

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. READ MORE

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

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. READ MORE

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.

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

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

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. READ MORE

Tags: Chevrolet, eAssist, Chevrolet Volt, 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?

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

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.

A thorough emissions analysis will answer the question. READ MORE

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?

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. READ MORE

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?

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. READ MORE

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

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. READ MORE

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.

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.) READ MORE

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

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. READ MORE

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

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). READ MORE

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

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. READ MORE

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)

Car Rental Show: What Happened in Vegas?

There was a renewed energy at this year’s show that I hadn’t felt in years. ACRA grows new teeth as stakeholders take pulse of the industry, gain consensus and set direction. READ MORE

Tags: Legislation, ACRA

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, March 10, 2011 3:13 PM | » Comments(0)

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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