Market Trends

What’s On the Minds of Fleet Managers

July 9, 2004

The summer months are a busy time in the fleet industry. There are many fleet meetings and new-model introductions, which provides me with an opportunity to talk “fleet” with a wide variety of fleet managers. Two issues on the minds of many fleet managers are the unbelievably long order-to-delivery (OTD) times for medium- and heavy-duty trucks and the encroachment of other corporate functions into traditional fleet management responsibili-ties.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, July 9, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

Strategic Procurement Threatens to Fundamentally Change Fleet Management

July 4, 2004

Corporate procurement departments are becoming the engines of change in fleet management at Fortune 500 companies. The emergence of strategic sourcing in the 1990s is rapidly altering corporate purchasing and increasingly forcing change in fleet purchasing and the supplier selection process.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Sunday, July 4, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(1)

Why is Driver Reimbursement the Wrong Choice? Here are 30 Reasons

June 27, 2004

1. Loss of Competitive Assistance Program (CAP) Monies from Factories Oftentimes, manufacturer fleet incentive programs, such as competitive assistance programs (CAP), are structured based on reaching tiered volume purchasing levels. A re-imbursement program, in which some employees are re-quired to use their own vehicles, would decrease a com-pany’s fleet volume and its eligibility for additional CAP monies.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Sunday, June 27, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

The Business Case for Short Cycling Compact SUVs

June 21, 2004

The aggressive fleet incentives that manufacturers are currently offering commercial fleets present the opportunity to give serious consideration to substituting a compact SUV on a selector in lieu of a traditional intermediate-size fleet sedan, so long as it is capable of fulfilling the fleet application. When you compare lifecycle costs during a 36-month service life, a compact SUV actually has a lower monthly total cost. Interestingly, they are also less expensive at a shorter 24-month cycle.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, June 21, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

Five Reasons to Reject Driver Reimbursement

June 15, 2004

The issue of driver reimbursement is a perennial issue confronting our industry. Whenever there is a new corporate management or when corporate sales are flat or when new cost-cutting initiatives are instituted, someone invariably asks whether it would make better business sense to reimburse employees for the use of thier personal vehicles rather than providing company vehicles.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, June 15, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

Record-High Fuel Prices Give Fleets a Sobering Reality Check

June 4, 2004

The breathtaking escalation in gasoline and diesel prices has given the fleet industry a reality check as to how quickly fuel can dramatically increase vehicle-operating expenses. In the first five months of 2004, the price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline increased almost 30 percent, which represents, on an annualized basis, an average increase of almost $600 per vehicle, based on driving 2,000 miles a month.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, June 4, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

Fleet Policy is the Best Way to Control Costs How Do You Insure Drivers are Following It?

May 29, 2004

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Saturday, May 29, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

Growing Legislative Trend to Mandate Fleet Vehicles as Smoke-Free Workplaces

May 26, 2004

The legislative definition of “workplace” is expanding to include company or publicly owned fleet vehicles. The catalyst behind this change is legislation mandating smoke-free workplaces. (See Market Trends, December 2003 issue.) The latest legislation to do so is in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which is expected to enact (after our press time) a new public health law (H4256), which goes into effect July 5. The new state health law bans in Massachusetts all smoking in public buildings and

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, May 26, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

Downsizing Vehicles to Cut Acquisition Costs Will Increase Maintenance Costs & Liability Exposure

May 22, 2004

An increasing number of fleets, especially those operating trucks and vans, are investigating the feasibility of downsizing to lower-GVW vehicles as a cost-cutting measure to decrease acquisition costs. For example, some fleets are studying a switch to a less expensive compact pickup instead of acquiring a full-size pickup or downsizing to a half-ton van from a three-quarter-ton van.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Saturday, May 22, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

The DNA of a Great Fleet Manager

May 17, 2004

This issue’s cover story recognizes the 2004 Fleet Manager of the Year. During my tenure in fleet, I have had the privilege of meeting 19 of the 20 fleet managers who have won this award. Although each managed different types and sizes of fleets, there were common traits found among these award-winning fleet managers. Likewise, over the years, I have had the privilege of meeting many other unsung pros of fleet management in whom these same traits were also evident. Here’s what they had in common

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, May 17, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

15 Ways to Increase Your Fleet’s Fuel Economy

May 14, 2004

Although gas prices have hit a record high, you can take actions to maximize the fuel efficiency of your fleet. Here are 15 suggestions for drivers to follow to maximize fuel economy, most of which won’t cost you a cent.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, May 14, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

How International Accounting Standard 17 May Impact the Open-End TRAC Lease

May 4, 2004

Accounting standards vary widely from country to country, making comparison of company accounts difficult. In recent years, the need to adopt international accounting standards has been gaining ground. For multinational companies, compliance with a single set of accounting standards would be a major improvement to the current multiplicity of national standards and would promise significant cost savings among other benefits. Efforts to develop global standards were started in 1973 by the Intern

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, May 4, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

The Role of Fleet Managers in Strategic Sourcing

April 4, 2004

The emergence of strategic sourcing in the 1990s is rapidly changing corporate purchasing and increasingly forcing change in fleet purchasing and the supplier selection process. Strategic sourcing initiatives re-examine the way a corporation conducts its business and are tasked to identify opportunities to consolidate purchasing volume to obtain reduced pricing from key supplier partners. The migration of large corporations to strategic sourcing is becoming a powerful change agent at large fleet

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Sunday, April 4, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

The Right Pricing Strategy is the Key to a Successful Employee Sales Program

March 12, 2004

There is a renewed emphasis on maximizing remarketing dollars following the dramatic declines in resale values that have been occurring over the past three years. Although purchasing and negotiating skills are crucial, the skill that continues to set apart exceptional fleet managers is their remarketing expertise. One remarketing channel receiving increased attention is internal remarketing or the sale of company vehicles to employees. The key ingredient to a successful employee sales program

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, March 12, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

The Transition to 42-Volt Batteries and Its Impact on In-House Fleet Maintenance

March 4, 2004

The 12-volt battery, along with the automotive electrical system it supports, will more than triple its voltage to 42 volts in the next four years. The three forces driving a new, higher voltage standard for automotive electrical systems are: 1. The increased power demands from convenience/comfort features and new electronic/telematic devices. 2. Mandated emission standards. 3. Mandated fuel economy standards. Vehicle electrical demand has doubled in the past 20 years and the current

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, March 4, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

First-Ever Privacy Law Protects Drivers from Black Box Data

February 4, 2004

Event data recorders (EDRs) are electronic “black boxes” that collect and store information about the operation of a vehicle. A variety of data can be recorded such as vehicle speed, steering wheel angle, accelerator pedal position, and the degree of pressure applied to the brakes immediately prior to an accident. Nationwide, black box sensors have been built into millions of vehicles currently in operation.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, February 4, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

Extended Service Life Exerts Upward Pressures on Fleet

January 15, 2004

A key factor exerting upward pressure on public sector fleet operating costs is the long-standing trend to operate vehicles for ever-longer service lives. All around the country, public sector fleets are being forced by budgetary constraints to defer or reduce capital expenditures to acquire replacement vehicles. This is especially the case for fleets that depend on appropriations from their agencies' general funds rather than fleet replacement funds. As a result, these fleets are running vehicl

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, January 15, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

Will OE Tire Strategies Increase Fleet Operating Costs?

January 4, 2004

A growing trend is for auto designers to work with tire manufacturers in developing tires specific to particular model vehicles. This has proliferated the number of tire sizes available since no other tire in the tire manufacturer’s product line meets this vehicle-specific performance and handling specification.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Sunday, January 4, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

NY Health Law Expands Smoke-free Workplace to Company Vehicles

December 4, 2003

Health concerns about exposure to secondhand smoke have caused many states to enact clean indoor air laws that restrict or prohibit smoking in the workplace. Currently, 24 states have such restrictions. In addition, many cities and counties have enacted similar ordinaces that restrict or prohibit smoking in the workplace. The question is what constitutes a "workplace."

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, December 4, 2003 3:02 PM | » Comments(-6)

Under-Reserving Depreciation Expense is Compounding Fleet Resale Losses

November 13, 2003

Although resale prices for used fleet vehicles in the wholesale market have stabilized in recent months, the majority of vehicles whose depreciation has been amortized at two percent per month continue to lose money at resale.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, November 13, 2003 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

The Next Generation of Fleet Management

November 4, 2003

Throughout corporate America, fleet managers are under constant and ever-greater pressure to reduce expenses, make their fleet operations more efficient, and maximize driver productivity at the lowest possible cost. However, managers of well-run fleets will tell you that is getting harder and harder to significantly reduce costs without fundamentally altering the composition of their fleet.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, November 4, 2003 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

Resale Losses Prompt Some Management to Reconsider Driver Reimbursement

September 4, 2003

A few fleet managers are voicing concern that their senior management is reacting to the current resale losses on their fleet vehicles by questioning the necessity of offering company-provided vehicles. They ask whether driver reimbursement might be a better option since it eliminates the company's vulnerability to downwings in used-vehicle values.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, September 4, 2003 12:00 AM | » Comments(0)

Are We Losing Control Over Fleet Management?

June 4, 2003

Ask yourself, how much control do you really have over the following market conditions?

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, June 4, 2003 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

Why the Federal Government Should Discourage Employee Reimbursement

May 9, 2003

Professional fleet management helps the federal government achieve its environmental objective by operating millions of well-maintained, fuel-efficient vehicles. These late-model company-provided vehicles that are on the road today help the government to reduce tailpipe emission levels and conserve gasoline.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, May 9, 2003 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

Is Your Employee Sales Program Leaving Money on the Table?

May 4, 2003

One skill that sets apart exceptional fleet managers is their vehicle remarketing expertise. Nowadays, emphasis is placed on fleet purchasing and not enough on remarketing.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Sunday, May 4, 2003 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

Author Bio

Mike Antich

Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike Antich has been covering the fleet management and vehicle remarketing markets for more than 20 years. During this period, Mike has written or edited more than 4,600 articles on the subjects of fleet management, manufacturer fleet activities, the fleet leasing industry, and vehicle remarketing. He was inducted in the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

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