Market Trends

It’s Time to Develop a Vehicle Condition Grading Standard

November 4, 2004

The increasing number of used vehicles sold via the Internet is making it necessary to develop a vehicle condition grading standard in the remarketing industry. Buyers and consignors alike need a way to identify the condition of vehicles sold online in some form of shorthand fashion. This is not a new concept.

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

Driving and Prescription Drugs Can be a Lethal RX

October 27, 2004

As a business driver, any time you use an over-the-counter or prescribed medication, you must consider the risk and the effect it might have on your ability to drive. Impairment from alcohol and illegal drugs is a leading cause of vehicle crashes, but impairment can also be caused by many common prescription and over-the-counter medications, reports the National Safety Council, which recently launched a public service campaign to educate Americans about the hazards of drug-impaired driving.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, October 27, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(1)

Four Ways to Avoid Overloading

October 23, 2004

Each year, Automotive Fleet conducts an operating cost survey and a separate fleet maintenance expense survey. And each year, we find that the number one cause of unscheduled truck maintenance expense is overloading. This is a chronic problem for fleets and there are several factors causing it.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Saturday, October 23, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

How to Increase Fleet Policy Compliance

October 13, 2004

The best time to control cost is before it occurs and the way to do this is by establishing policies and procedures that inhibit unnecessary spending. However, just because your company implements a written fleet policy, it doesn’t mean it is being followed. How do you in-crease driver compliance with fleet policy? Here are 10 suggestions.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Wednesday, October 13, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(1)

Recruiting Technicians: Be Creative or Be a Victim

October 8, 2004

Searches to fill open technician positions are becoming more and more lengthy. One fleet that operates an in-house maintenance operation reported that it took six months to find a qualified candidate to fill a single open position. And, the situation seems to be getting worse. Fleet managers say the num-ber of qualified applicants is much fewer than just three years ago.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, October 8, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

Interest Rates for Used-Vehicle Financing Almost Double

October 4, 2004

A new concern about the future resale values of used vehicles has been the sudden increase in retail interest rates to finance used vehicles.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, October 4, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(-4)

Fleets Feel the Impact of Increased Vehicle Taxes

September 11, 2004

States and other governmental jurisdictions are looking for ways to generate more revenue to compensate for lower tax reve-nues. Many have opted to generate new revenues through motor vehicle-related taxes, such as higher vehicle registration fees, additional taxes on tires and batteries, and new environmental fees and surcharges. “These are small taxes with a high cost of admini-stration,” said Jim Fredlund, fleet tax director for GE Commercial Finance, Fleet Services. “I view it as a form of d

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Saturday, September 11, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

The Top 5 Issues Facing Public Sector Fleet Managers

September 4, 2004

For the past several years, political subdivisions have been experiencing a shortfall in general tax revenues. For fleet operations this has meant an ongoing shortage of vehicle replacement money, which has caused fleet and equipment inventory to steadily age and maintenance resources to be stretched thin.

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

Railway Choke Points Threaten to Lengthen Fleet Order-to-Delivery Times for 2005 Models

August 7, 2004

One of the key factors contributing to longer order-to-delivery (OTD) times in the 2004-MY has been the nationwide rail car shortage. The shortage affected not only the auto industry, but also all other industries that rely on rail transportation, such as the agricultural, mining, chemi-cal, and timber industries. One reason for the shortage was that the railroads were caught off-guard by the unexpected demand for their services as the national economy began to improve. In fact, freight volume t

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Saturday, August 7, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(0)

Fleets Struggle to Cope With High Cost of Steel and Long Truck OTD

August 4, 2004

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 sharp increase in the cost of steel, which has increased upfitting costs across the board.

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

Inconsistent Pricing of Employee Sales May Be Non-Compliant with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

July 22, 2004

Compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is mandatory for all publicly traded corporations. Under the new federal law, corporations must eliminate all conflicts of interest, establish processes to ensure honest corporate disclosure, and govern with greater accountability. Furthermore, the legislation mandates accuracy of a company’s financial reports, requiring finance departments to better understand the true picture of a company‘s inventory and assets, such as with fleet.

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Thursday, July 22, 2004 3:02 PM | » Comments(1)

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)

Author Bio

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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