Market Trends

Increased Demand and Rail Delays Create Upfitter Logjam in MY-2015

One challenge for both the 2015- and 2014-MY has been the increased volume of fleet vehicles going to upfitters, which has resulted in capacity constraints. With the increasing demand and growth of the commercial truck and van segments – particularly among utilities and service industries – the percentage of upfitted vehicles is growing. Upfitters are feeling the pressure of increased demand. READ MORE

Tags: Upfitting, 2015-MY, Order to Delivery, Rail Cars, antich

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, September 17, 2015 4:43 PM | » Comments(0)

High-Roof Vans Causing OTD Delays

Railroad backlogs impacted ship-thru units requiring upfitted equipment in the 2015-MY. Not only is there a rail-car shortage, but there were also logistical delays in loading and unloading rail cars due to the higher volume of high-roof vehicles. The limited number of rail cars that can accommodate the larger, high-roof vans created a backlog at assembly plants and caused delays in shipping to and from upfitters. READ MORE

Tags: Order to Delivery, Delivery Delays, Rail Cars, Full-Size Vans, Ship-Thru

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, September 17, 2015 3:50 PM | » Comments(0)

New Category of Fleet Manager to Gain Legitimacy

For the past several decades, FMCs have employed in-house fleet managers in their fleet administration departments to manage client fleets, but were promoted from within the FMC. Now, we are starting to witness FMCs hiring traditional fleet managers. Does this make a trend? It is still too early to tell, but, what I can say is that it has caught our attention. My prediction is that this is indeed the start of a bona fide, long-term, industry trend that will accelerate in future years. READ MORE

Tags: Outsourcing, Fleet Management Companies, Career Advancement

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, August 6, 2015 10:34 AM | » Comments(2)

Vehicle Abuse: An Overlooked Remarketing Cost

The resale value of a used vehicle is determined by three factors: the unit’s age, total mileage, and overall condition. A used company vehicle in poor condition, because of driver abuse or neglect, will result in lost resale value or incur unnecessary reconditioning expense at auction. Here's what you can do to minimize vehicle abuse. READ MORE

Tags: Resale Value, Vehicle Abuse, Used Vehicle Sales, risk management

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, August 3, 2015 12:24 PM | » Comments(1)

Impact of Chinese Truck Tires on Fleet Aftermarket

One factor driving the deluge of Chinese exports of replacement truck tires to the U.S. is China's immense tire production overcapacity. In 2015, China manufactured 120 million tires, with an overcapacity rate of almost 25 percent. The influx of Chinese truck tires is also having a detrimental effect on the tire retreading industry, because many of these “bargain” tires have only one life because they cannot be retreaded. READ MORE

Tags: Tires, Replacement Tires, China, Regulations, Tariffs

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Sunday, July 26, 2015 10:05 AM | » Comments(0)

Why Element Wants to Buy the Fleet Businesses of GE Capital

Element Financial Corp. has reached a definitive agreement to buy GE Capital's fleet assets in the U.S., Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand. Separately, Arval will acquire the European portion of GE's fleet business. READ MORE

Tags: GE Capital Fleet Services, Australia, New Zealand, Element Financial, Mergers & Acquisitions, Fleet Management Companies

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, July 20, 2015 9:51 AM | » Comments(0)

Fleet’s Scope of Responsibilities Grows Increasingly Fuzzy

At one time, the scope of the fleet department’s responsibilities was crystal clear. However, over time these demarcation lines have shifted and departmental boundaries separating them have become fuzzy. Now, collaboration with sourcing, legal, HR, finance, sales, service, and environmental, health & safety (EHS) is needed, often requiring approvals or buy-in from individual departments. There is only one strategy fleet managers can adopt in this new world of fleet management and here it is. READ MORE

Tags: Procurement, Driver Safety, Collaboration, risk management, Human Resources

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, July 8, 2015 9:47 AM | » Comments(1)

Potential Roadblocks to the Adoption of Autonomous Vehicles in Fleet

Two of the most significant changes in fleet management were the result of military breakthroughs – namely the opening of GPS to civilian use and the creation of the Internet, both of which will be critical to operating autonomous vehicles. While extremely difficult to do, technology will not be the issue with the implementation of autonomous vehicles. Other broader non-fleet issues may slow or inhibit widespread implementation of autonomous vehicles. READ MORE

Tags: Technology, vehicle research, Autonomous Vehicles

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, June 25, 2015 10:31 AM | » Comments(0)

One Year Later: Additional Remembrances of Ed Bobit

File photo

As we approach the one-year anniversary of the passing of Ed Bobit, it prompts me once again to honor this industry icon and friend. For those who knew Ed, you know he and I had diametrically opposite personalities. But, our common bond was the love of fleet and a mutual shared labor of love called Automotive Fleet. My almost 30-year relationship with Ed is comprised of many fond remembrances. A few stand out because they provide insights into Ed’s personality and who he was as a person. READ MORE

Tags: Ed Bobit, Automotive Fleet, Bobit Business Media

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, June 3, 2015 7:26 PM | » Comments(7)

Ergonomics and Enhanced Operator Safety Emphasized During Upfitting

Ergonomics and operator safety is a growing concern by HR and risk management departments, since there has been an uptick of workers’ compensation claims by fleet drivers. As a result of strong trends in the upfit market, there is an increased focus on designing upfits to enhance operator safety. READ MORE

Tags: Ergonomics, Upfitting, risk management, Vocational Trucks

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, June 1, 2015 2:58 PM | » Comments(1)

Fleet Is on the Verge of a Productivity Revolution

The fleet industry is on the verge of a productivity revolution through the introduction of faster, better, and more sophisticated analytical tools. Developing in parallel with this trend are increasingly sophisticated vehicle connectivity tools that will turn predictive analytics into a true science. The first manifestation of this will be the transition of fleet maintenance from reactive to proactive practices using remote diagnostic tools. READ MORE

Tags: Productivity, Big Data, Analytics

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, May 26, 2015 10:04 AM | » Comments(2)

Implementing a Driver Communication Strategy

I recently attended a seminar comprised of fleet drivers from different corporations, and what surprised me was that none of them knew the name of their company fleet manager. Is this important? I think so. READ MORE

Tags: Fleet Policy, Communication, Focus Group

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, May 5, 2015 8:51 AM | » Comments(2)

What Problems Do Fleet Managers Want Fixed?

I surveyed a number of commercial fleet managers in a variety of industries and asked them to reply anonymously to the following question: “What are the most pressing problems in commercial fleet management that need to be addressed? If you could wave a ‘magic wand,’ what problem would you fix?” Here’s what they told me. READ MORE

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, April 20, 2015 9:31 AM | » Comments(6)

How Will Autonomous Vehicles Disrupt Fleet Management?

Publicly held corporations include risk factors in their annual reports that forecast potential market forces that may impact their business. Recently, three insurance companies and an auto-parts supplier cited the emergence of autonomous vehicles as potentially disruptive to their future business. READ MORE

Tags: Insurance, Automated Driving, NHTSA

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, April 6, 2015 11:49 AM | » Comments(2)

Upfit Lightweighting is More Complex Than Simply Reducing Weight

Photo of Aluminum Classic II service body courtesy of The Reading Group.

When used in the manufacture of truck bodies and van equipment, lightweight materials, such as thinner gauge high-strength steel, aluminum, fiberglass, and plastic composites, enable fleets to reduce vehicle weight to improve fuel economy, increase legal payload, and even drop down to a smaller (often more fuel-efficient) vehicle. READ MORE

Tags: Upfitting, Truck Fleets, Lightweighting, Spec'ing

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, March 16, 2015 9:30 AM | » Comments(2)

Procurement and Fleet Don't Speak the Same 'Language'

Until the emergence of strategic sourcing in the 1990s, procurement did not hold the same prominence within corporations as it does today. Nowadays, procurement plays a pivotal strategic role. Procurement is now the new engine of change in fleet management, which has resulted in dramatic changes in the fleet purchasing and supplier selection process. READ MORE

Tags: Strategic Sourcing, Cost Reduction, Vehicle Purchasing, Communication

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, February 23, 2015 9:53 AM | » Comments(3)

Tailor-Made Global Fleet Management

Fleet managers and tailors are both in the business of providing a service and making a profit. In global fleet management, we take a great product or service, and apply it at a global level by tailoring it to meet local conditions. There's no such thing as one-size-fits-all. READ MORE

Tags: Fleet Europe, Global Fleet Conference, Fleet Events

Author: Steven Shoefs | Posted @ Monday, February 23, 2015 6:00 AM | » Comments(0)

The Most Important Function of Fleet Management is Saving Lives

The hard reality is that many senior managers do not consistently view fleet safety as a top priority. I know many will disagree with me and say fleet safety is, indeed, a top concern, but when you talk with suppliers of fleet safety programs and related services, they point out that the “talk” often does not translate into action. READ MORE

Tags: Fleet Safety Conference, Accident Prevention, Driver Safety

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, February 17, 2015 10:32 AM | » Comments(2)

Fleet Operations Exist to Support User Departments, Not Vice Versa

Some fleet managers lament they used to be in "control," but now "share" responsibility, requiring approvals or buy-in from every affected department. Fleet managers must learn to be diplomats, because interdepartmental conflict can have a corrosive effect on how departments work with fleet operations. READ MORE

Tags: Leadership, Customer Service, Teamwork

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Sunday, February 1, 2015 2:42 PM | » Comments(3)

Multinational Fleet Managers Must Expand Beyond Regional Expertise

The next real challenge for many fleet managers, executives, or anyone with fleet responsibilities is going to be how to manage and take a fleet to a global platform. Executives at these companies are looking at their fleets from a global perspective. READ MORE

Tags: Global Fleet Conference, Multinational Fleets, Continuing Education

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Sunday, January 25, 2015 10:34 AM | » Comments(0)

Don't Make Your Fleet Operation Conform to the Truck

Building a truck is a complicated process. Specifying the right truck requires hundreds of decisions and choices – and each choice potentially impacts another. The tricky part is finding the balance between over-spec’ing and under-spec’ing a vehicle, each with its own unique set of consequences. READ MORE

Tags: Payload, Vehicle Spec'ing, Medium-Duty Trucks

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, January 22, 2015 9:42 AM | » Comments(1)

Fleet Managers Must Earn Respect, Not Expect It

Respect is not an entitlement, it is earned over time. Consequently, genuine respect is not bestowed gratuitously. What are you doing, on an ongoing basis, to earn management’s respect? Here's some real-world advice on how to increase your stature in the eyes of senior management. READ MORE

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, January 6, 2015 10:55 AM | » Comments(1)

How to Change Senior Management's Misperceptions About Your Fleet

Fleet managers tend to get bogged down in the day-to-day operations and then wonder why they are not connecting with upper management. These fleet managers wrongly assume that effective fleet management is simply managing assets. READ MORE

Tags: Senior Management, How-to Guides, Financial Planning

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, December 29, 2014 10:28 AM | » Comments(6)

The Danger of Lower Fuel Prices

The recent drop in fuel prices has been as breathtaking as earlier run-up in prices. If sustained, these reduced fuel prices will begin to make a dent in overall fleet fuel expenditures. READ MORE

Tags: Tires, Driver Behavior, Fuel Costs, Personal Use

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, December 5, 2014 7:55 AM | » Comments(1)

Are Ride Sharing & Car Sharing New Fleet Management Options?

The role of ride-sharing and car sharing services in fleet operations, is a growing topic of conversation in Europe and China. With this as a backdrop, what future role will car sharing services have in U.S. fleet operations? READ MORE

Tags: Car Sharing, China, Mobility, Fleet Management Companies, Rental Car Industry

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, December 1, 2014 3:37 PM | » Comments(1)


Author Bio

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Mike Antich

Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike has covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and entered the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.


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