Auto Focus

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)

What’s it Like to Drive a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle?

Ben and Jackie Lee of GM's Project Driveway, testers of General Motor's Chevy Equinox hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle.

September 21, 2009

Burbank, Calif. resident Ben Lee shares his firsthand experience in a Chevrolet Equinox hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle as part of General Motor’s Project Driveway.

Tags: Chevrolet Equinox, Project Driveway, fuel cell vehicles, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles, General Motors

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, September 21, 2009 4:39 PM | » Comments(0)

Did “Cash for Clunkers” Fulfill Its Objectives?

September 16, 2009

Bob Barton, president of the American Car Rental Association, provides a post-mortem analysis of “Cash for Clunkers” on the Auto Focus blog.

Tags: Cash for Clunkers

Author: Bob Barton | Posted @ Wednesday, September 16, 2009 11:05 AM | » Comments(0)

Worst Clean Up Jobs of a Rental Car

August 28, 2009

You wouldn’t believe what people do to (and in) rental cars. Or maybe you would.

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, August 28, 2009 4:15 PM | » Comments(0)

What Price Safety?

August 20, 2009

The Enterprise Rent A Car decision to buy Impalas without standard side-impact airbags brings up many questions about disclosure in the process of buying and selling cars with deleted safety items.

Tags: Liability, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, fleet ordering, Air Bags

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, August 20, 2009 2:57 PM | » Comments(1)

Tax Outrage in Rhode Island

August 14, 2009

If your car is damaged and another party is at fault, can you imagine getting taxed on the repair reimbursement?

Tags: U-Save

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, August 14, 2009 11:08 AM | » Comments(1)

Is Cash for Clunkers Really "Cash Out of the Economy?"

August 13, 2009

Bob Barton, the president of the American Car Rental Association (ACRA) asks why vehicles built overseas qualify for the Cash for Clunkers program.

Tags: Hyundai, Cash for Clunkers

Author: Bob Barton | Posted @ Thursday, August 13, 2009 9:36 AM | » Comments(4)

Why Did Enterprise Change Its Name?

August 4, 2009

On August 3, the Taylor family announced it had changed the name of its corporate parent company to Enterprise Holdings. Is this a move to position itself to go public? Enterprise responds.

Tags: Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, August 4, 2009 9:59 AM | » Comments(2)

Dollar Thrifty’s Scott Thompson Talks Refranchising, Remarketing and Recovery

August 3, 2009

News flash: Dollar Thrifty is refranchising some corporate stores. In an exclusive interview, Scott Thompson and Jeff Cerefice of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group talk about the refranchising initiative and other burning issues: debt restructuring, fleet financing, car sales and 45,000-mile rentals.

Tags: Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Monday, August 3, 2009 11:13 AM | » Comments(0)

Ford Transit Connect Gets Fleet Action in Beverly Hills

July 23, 2009

The 2010 Ford Transit Connect light-duty utility van is ready to deliver the goods. (Photos and videos included.)

Tags: Ford Transit Connect, Vans

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Thursday, July 23, 2009 4:53 PM | » Comments(2)

How Will New CAFE Standards Affect Fleets?

July 17, 2009

Getting to 35.5 mpg combined corporate average fuel economy will cost money, power and space. But how much?

Tags: DOT, MPG, CAFE, EDF, miles per gallon, EPA

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Friday, July 17, 2009 2:37 PM | » Comments(0)

Embracing the 60,000 Mile Rental Car

July 7, 2009

There are signs of a philosophy shift toward higher-mileage rental cars. Are you ready?

Tags: Wholesale Market, Used Vehicle Sales

Author: Chris Brown | Posted @ Tuesday, July 7, 2009 8:14 AM | » Comments(1)

Author Bio

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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