Auto Focus

Marchionne Lays out Chrysler’s Future in Detroit

June 3, 2010

At Chrysler’s annual fleet preview in Detroit last week, Sergio Marchionne, Fiat and Chrysler’s CEO laid out Chrysler’s five-year plan for profitability. What a difference a year makes.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, June 3, 2010 12:22 PM | » Comments(0)

Here We Go Again: Graves Amendment Under Attack

May 21, 2010

A proposed amendment to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010 would overturn existing law preventing vicarious liability of renting and leasing companies. Industry associations claimed a small victory this week—but it may not be over.

Tags: vicarious liability, TRALA, motorcoaches, ACRA, Graves Amendment

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, May 21, 2010 12:00 AM | » Comments(5)

2010 Audi A3 TDI Test Drive

May 17, 2010

Driving pleasure and green can coexist. Includes Vincentric fleet lifecycle data.

Tags: Audi, Diesel, Diesel Fuel Vehicles, Diesel Emissions

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, May 17, 2010 9:08 AM | » Comments(0)

CRS 2010: Did We Gain Momentum on No-show Fees?

May 12, 2010

The ACRA panel at the Car Rental Show dug into the issue with the most depth and insight yet in a public forum. With the changing rental car landscape, is there a new willingness to get this done?

Tags: no-show fee, ACRA

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, May 12, 2010 9:57 AM | » Comments(0)

And Then There Were Three

May 4, 2010

How will the potential Hertz acquisition of Dollar Thrifty affect franchisees and independents?

Tags: Federal Trade Commission, Hertz, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, merger

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, May 4, 2010 12:00 AM | » Comments(1)

Key Takeaways from NAFA’s 2010 Fleet Management Institute & Expo

April 29, 2010

North America’s annual gathering of fleet professionals took place this week in Detroit. NAFA FMI is the best place to take the pulse of the fleet industry and look into the future.

Tags: Audi, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru, Legislation, Honda, NAFA, Volkswagen, Chrysler, Alternative Fuels, General Motors

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, April 29, 2010 2:22 PM | » Comments(0)

Key Takeaways from the 2010 Car Rental Show

April 23, 2010

From Wall Street to Main Street, the renewal of the industry was on display in the conference halls and expo floor. Expect action from ACRA on key issues.

Tags: ACRA

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, April 23, 2010 9:23 AM | » Comments(0)

Guest Post: European ... or you’re a peein’?

April 8, 2010

A car rental executive argues why no-show fees can help operators run tighter fleets and gain higher utilization.

Tags: no-show fee

Author: Robert Barton | Posted @ Thursday, April 8, 2010 2:50 PM | » Comments(1)

Isuzu Gets Gas Engines Back

March 24, 2010

More from the Work Truck Show: Isuzu reaches agreement with GM for its gas engines; GM introduces Sierra Denali HD and some thoughts on the term "best in class."

Tags: Isuzu, Work Truck Show, Pickup Trucks, General Motors

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, March 24, 2010 2:13 PM | » Comments(0)

Sprinter Lands at Mercedes Dealerships

March 22, 2010

More from the Work Truck Show: Daimler gives Sprinter back to Mercedes; Freightliner Custom Chassis gets an all-electric version and a new look for the boxy step van.

Tags: Mercedes-Benz, NTEA, Work Truck Show, Freightliner, Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, March 22, 2010 11:08 AM | » Comments(1)

New Ram Brand to Get Fiat Vans?

March 19, 2010

In a series of reports based on the Work Truck Show, here’s a compendium of new truck offerings and future plans from the OEMs.

Tags: NTEA, Work Truck Show, Fiat, Chrysler, Ram Truck

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, March 19, 2010 9:55 AM | » Comments(0)

The New Diesel Deal

March 17, 2010

New diesel regulations have caused market shifts in diesel truck offerings, higher price points and increased servicing. Fleets must learn to adapt. But will it produce a move away from diesel?

Tags: Emissions, Diesel, NTEA, Work Truck Show, selective catalytic reduction, SCR, DEF, Diesel Emissions

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, March 17, 2010 3:43 PM | » Comments(0)

2011 Ford Super Duty Test Drive

March 10, 2010

How do you get more than 30 mpg in a Ford Super Duty with four people and a 1,000 lb. payload?

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, March 10, 2010 10:15 AM | » Comments(0)

What to Tax, if Not Car Rentals?

Here are some novel ideas on taxation that shift the burden away from car renters.

February 11, 2010

Here are some novel ideas on taxation that shift the burden away from car renters.

Tags: Taxes, rental taxes, Funding

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, February 11, 2010 3:17 PM | » Comments(0)

Toyota Recall: What We Know as of Thursday

January 27, 2010

A separate recall was issued on Wednesday in regards to the potential risk for floor mat entrapment of accelerator pedals. Commercial and rental fleets as well as leasing companies are handling this problem in different ways at the moment. The prevailing wisdom is "inform, inform, inform."

Tags: Toyota, Recalls

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, January 27, 2010 11:40 AM | » Comments(0)

Car Rental No-show Fees: Are We Ready?

The hotel and airline industries offer parallels and a path to possible implementation.

January 14, 2010

The hotel and airline industries offer parallels and a path to possible implementation.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, January 14, 2010 10:22 AM | » Comments(0)

How Can a Drop in Car Rental Revenues Be a Good Thing?

December 22, 2009

As we close out 2009, here’s a quick hit of issues that are driving those revenue numbers, along with questions that need answers.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, December 22, 2009 10:11 AM | » Comments(0)

In honor of Thanksgiving, pre-printed rental agreements and one classic, funny movie.

November 25, 2009

It's hard to know what a customer has been through before he gets to the counter.

Tags: Customer Service

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, November 25, 2009 8:18 AM | » Comments(0)

Does the 2009 Rental Car Satisfaction Study Provide Faulty Analysis?

November 24, 2009

The qualitative analysis J.D. Power provides for its 2009 Rental Car Satisfaction Study is stirring up controversy. What do you think?

Tags: J.D. Power, Rental Rates

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, November 24, 2009 11:29 AM | » Comments(0)

Driving Notes on the Suzuki Kizashi

November 20, 2009

Find a winding road.

Tags: Suzuki

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, November 20, 2009 9:47 AM | » Comments(0)

The Promise of the Nissan Leaf – and a Test Drive

November 16, 2009

Carlos Ghosn says Nissan will have enough capacity to produce 500,000 pure electric vehicles in less than three years. Will the metrics work?

Tags: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Nissan, Nissan LEAF, Gasoline-Electric Hybrids, Battery-Electric Vehicles

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, November 16, 2009 10:22 AM | » Comments(2)

An Entrepreneur’s Story

November 10, 2009

The struggles of one independent operator highlight what is right about the car rental industry.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, November 10, 2009 3:48 PM | » Comments(0)

Jim Cramer Gets It Wrong Again

October 13, 2009

Cramer blesses Hertz and damns other car rental stocks for the wrong reasons.

Tags: Hertz, Avis Budget Group, Avis, Budget Rent A Car, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, October 13, 2009 2:08 PM | » Comments(1)

Empty Dealer Lots Disrupt Fleet Purchasing

October 12, 2009

Inventories at all-time lows make this a good time for small fleets to plan ahead and factory order.

Tags: fleet ordering

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, October 12, 2009 9:50 AM | » Comments(0)

Hertz Bankruptcy! Do I Have Your Attention?

September 30, 2009

Hertz is suing a research firm that lists it as one 20 companies with the highest probability of declaring bankruptcy. Who made the claim, on what basis and how is the market reacting?

Tags: Audit, Hertz, Lawsuits

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Wednesday, September 30, 2009 8:47 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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