Market Trends

State of the Fleet Market Outside North America

The global economic downturn created havoc in the fleet markets in Europe, Australia, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Here's a summary of each of these regional markets and a forecast of what to expect fro 2010 based on a recent meeting in Barcelona with lessor representatives from each of these regions. READ MORE

Tags: Fleet Leasing

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, December 22, 2009 9:19 AM | » Comments(0)

A ‘Cash for Clunkers Program’ for Work Trucks

Turnover in diesel fleets happens slowly. The average service life for a medium-duty truck is 5-10 years, while a short-haul owner-operator heavy-duty truck typically has the lifespan of 18-20 years. Despite the 2007 and 2010 diesel emission standards, tens of thousands of older, dirtier trucks will remain on the road into the next decade. Is there a way to accelerate the turnover of pre-2007 diesel trucks? One way is a Cash for Clunkers program specifically for work trucks. READ MORE

Tags: Lifecycle Costs, replacement vehicles, Cash for Clunkers

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, December 1, 2009 10:57 AM | » Comments(3)

Deferring Vehicle Replacements is Counter-Productive to the Intended Goal

During economic uncertainty, senior management demands expense reductions and limits capital expenditures. Since fleet is usually among the top 10 corporate capital expenditures, there is pressure to defer vehicle replacements. However, this cost-containment strategy misses the point that all fleet-related expenses, both fixed and operating, are influenced by when a vehicle is replaced. Cost reductions in acquisitions are often offset by rising costs elsewhere. READ MORE

Tags: Vehicle Replacement, Lifecycle Costs, Downsizing, budget cuts

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, November 16, 2009 8:26 PM | » Comments(1)

Shareholder Pressure for Carbon Disclosure Puts Corporate Fleets in the Cross Hairs

A record number of resolutions were filed during the 2009 proxy season by investor groups to get companies to voluntarily disclose data about their "carbon footprints," which includes the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused directly and indirectly by their operations. These investors argue companies that disclose and mitigate GHG emissions will be rewarded with higher valuations and a lower cost of capital. At many companies, fleet represents a sizeable percent of their carbon footprint. READ MORE

Tags: Green, Emissions, Carbon Footprint

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, October 30, 2009 3:42 PM | » Comments(-6)

Forecast of Order-to-Delivery Times for 2010-MY Fleet Orders

With the 2009 model-year behind us and 2010 model-year ordering in progress, how will 2010-MY order-to-delivery times (OTD) fare? Some foresee the 2010 model-year being a challenging one for OTD (not as challenging as 2009-MY, however), but one that could result in longer than normal delivery times. READ MORE

Tags: Forecast, Order to Delivery

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, October 23, 2009 4:02 PM | » Comments(0)

Forecast of Fleet Operating Costs for 2010 Calendar-Year

Fuel costs, the largest fleet operating expense, declined dramatically in the 2009 calendar-year due to a sharp decline in worldwide fuel consumption. Also, many fleets downsized, due to widespread corporate layoffs, which lowered overall fuel spend. However, maintenance and repair costs increased in 2009, primarily due to vehicles kept in service for longer periods as a result of corporations slashing capital expenditures. Open the blog for a forecast of 2010 operating cost trends. READ MORE

Tags: Operating Costs, Industry Research

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, October 19, 2009 5:09 PM | » Comments(2)

Ban Texting While Driving, But Beware of Inadvertent Consequences

The popularity of texting has skyrocketed over the past four years. All agree that texting and driving are incompatible. However, a texting ban could have unintended consequences of interfering with productivity devices business drivers and truckers rely on. There are numerous ramifications to overzealous prohibitions on the use of on-board electronic communications that potentially may be counter-productive to driver safety. Let's target unsafe driving behavior, not on-board productivity tools. READ MORE

Tags: driver safety, Texting, Cell Phone Use, Distracted Driving

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, October 13, 2009 10:48 AM | » Comments(-2)

2009 Order-to-Delivery Times Battered on Multiple Fronts

The multitude of factors buffeting order-to-delivery (OTD) times for commercial fleets during the 2009 model-year were breathtaking and historic. To say the 2009 model-year was a difficult year for new-vehicle deliveries would be an extreme understatement. READ MORE

Tags: 2009-MY, Order to Delivery

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, September 29, 2009 8:38 AM | » Comments(0)

The Hidden Cost of Personal Use

Many companies are wondering whether they are charging enough for personal use. At some companies, this discussion is long overdue. When re-evaluating personal use charges, a common mistake is to focus solely on the cost of fuel. However, doing so ignores the other “hidden” costs of personal use, which have also risen. READ MORE

Tags: Personal Use, Resale Value, Company Vehicle

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, September 22, 2009 11:12 AM | » Comments(2)

The ‘Gray Areas’ of Fleet Management

Let's face it, some companies don't take fleet as seriously as they say they do. For them, fleet is not core to their business. The refrain is: We're in the "widget" business, not the car business. Internal corporate politics introduces many gray areas to fleet management such as making fleet decisions based on favoritism, giving lip service to safety, greenwashing, and pressuring suppliers for favors. READ MORE

Tags: Fleet Manager, Company Vehicle

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, September 8, 2009 10:01 AM | » Comments(5)

2009 AFLA Conference Delivers ROI to Commercial Fleet Professionals

This is an exciting time for the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) as it gains widespread recognition as a strong voice for the commercial fleet management industry. For the past five years, AFLA has experienced year-over-year growth in membership and conference attendance. As its president, I'm especially proud of AFLA's growing stature and believe its best years are still ahead of it. The upcoming 2009 conference epitomizes the ROI that AFLA offers commercial fleet managers. READ MORE

Tags: AFLA, AFLA Conference

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, August 31, 2009 12:38 PM | » Comments(0)

What Fleet Managers Find Rewarding About Their Jobs

In these challenging times, you might think the rewards of being a fleet manager are few and far between. However, this is not so with many fleet managers. There are six common themes to what fleet managers find fulfilling about their jobs. READ MORE

Tags: Fleet Manager, Career Building, job satisfaction

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, August 11, 2009 11:07 AM | » Comments(3)

Are Fleet Managers Still Having Fun?

Any long-time fleet manager knows change is the norm in the fleet management profession. However, in the past 12 months, fleet managers have had to deal with unprecedented challenges. In the wake of tumultuous events buffeting the auto industry and ongoing market uncertainty, do fleet managers still think their jobs are fun? Here are their confidential responses. READ MORE

Tags: fleet challenges, Fleet Manager, Procurement, job satisfaction

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Friday, July 31, 2009 2:25 PM | » Comments(4)

More Diverse Vehicle Selectors:<br>Will the U.S. Mirror Europe’s Fleet Market?

Diverse vehicle selectors offering multiple makes and models are relatively common among European corporate fleets. One of the many reasons is the fragmented fleet market shares of each OEM. In Europe, a large number of nameplates compete for the same commercial fleet business. Could the same future unfold for the U.S. fleet market over the next decade? READ MORE

Tags: vehicle selectors

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, July 21, 2009 12:19 PM | » Comments(2)

Top 6 Fleet Trends in the Medium-Duty Truck Market

Six key trends will determine Class 3-7 medium-duty truck lifecycle costs in the 2010 calendar-year. They are diesel prices, acquisition costs, resale, maintenance costs, replacement tire expense, and environmental regulatory requirements. Here is a forecast of what to expect. READ MORE

Tags: Remarketing, Diesel, Resale Value, Replacement Tires, Regulations, Medium-Duty Trucks, Mergers & Acquisitions

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, July 14, 2009 8:43 AM | » Comments(2)

10 Recommendations: <br>What Drivers Should Do After a Fleet Accident

Drivers must collect as much information as possible when involved in an accident while driving a company-provided vehicle. Failure to do so can lengthen the accident management process and, in a worst case scenario, create unnecessary liability exposure for the company. What information should be collected? What shouldn't be said? Here are 10 do's and don'ts for fleet managers and drivers to follow. READ MORE

Tags: Accidents, Driver Training, Accident Management, Company Vehicle

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, July 7, 2009 11:08 AM | » Comments(3)

Migration to 4-Cylinder Engines Continues with 2010-MY Ordering

The ongoing volatility of gasoline prices has prompted a growing number of fleets to transition to four-cylinder engines. This transition started in the 2008-MY and accelerated with 2009-MY ordering, when gas prices surpassed $4 per gallon in the summer of 2008. Early indications are that the migration to four-cylinder engines will continue with 2010-MY ordering. We have already seen glimpses of this trend in the 2010 RFPs submitted to major OEMs. READ MORE

Tags: Four-Cylinder, 2009-MY, 2010-MY, fleet ordering

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, June 29, 2009 1:48 PM | » Comments(3)

Does LIBOR Still Correlate to Corporate Borrowing?

LIBOR was developed in 1984 as a measure of the real rate at which banks lend money to each other. Since the early 1990s, LIBOR has been used as a funding index for fleet leases. However, when the recent turmoil in the financial markets prompted governments to "backstop" bank borrowing, the cost of lending money began to represent a government-guaranteed rate, which no longer correlated to fleet lessor costs. READ MORE

Tags: Emkay, Wheels Inc., LIBOR, PHH, LeasePlan

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, June 22, 2009 11:17 AM | » Comments(-1)

Commercial Fleets Reveal 2010-MY Buying Intentions

Fleet ordering for the 2010 model-year is shaping up to be higher than 2009-MY, but that's not saying much since 2009 was such an abysmal year. Many commercial fleets deferred 2009-model ordering. Some fleets purchased no replacement vehicles and skipped the 2009 ordering cycle altogether. A large number of commercial fleets decreased the volume of their 2009 ordering and are now playing catch-up with the 2010 model-year. READ MORE

Tags: 2009-MY, Vehicle Selector, 2010-MY, vehicle order

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, June 15, 2009 2:05 PM | » Comments(1)

Sluggish Economy Continues to Dampen Resale Values for Medium-Duty Trucks

Resale values have significantly declined across the board on all medium-duty trucks, with five-year old medium-duty trucks decreasing, on average, between 18-23 percent in the past 12 months. Trucks older than 10 years have been more difficult to sell due to higher fuel and maintenance costs. The ongoing sluggish business environment is the key reason for the soft resale market. Here's a forecast of what's to come. READ MORE

Tags: Resale Value, Medium-Duty Trucks

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, June 9, 2009 11:05 AM | » Comments(0)

Fleets Stand Behind GM in Chapter 11, But Questions Linger

Automotive Fleet magazine conducted a survey of General Motors' largest commercial fleet customers, immediately following its June 1 announcement that it filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Here's what these commercial fleet managers had to say. READ MORE

Tags: customer service, General Motors

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, June 2, 2009 2:08 PM | » Comments(2)

Short-Sighted Management: What Not to Do in a Recession

I am dismayed at the number of fleet managers who have lost their jobs due to corporate cutbacks. Similarly, I am amazed at the short-sightedness of today's senior management making these decisions without regard to the implications of lesser-qualified individuals managing one of their largest asset classes. I predict that companies that downgrade the expertise of their in-house management will be on the wrong side of history and will be the poster children of what not to do in a recession. READ MORE

Tags: fleet management, Layoffs, Fleet Manager, Recession

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, May 26, 2009 10:59 AM | » Comments(5)

OEM Parts Prices Increase as Parts Availability Decreases

Slow retail sales have prompted not only closure of assembly plants, but also component factories, which is delaying parts deliveries. OEMs are also hiking parts prices, with some experiencing double-digit percentage increases. The dramatic slowdown of automotive sales has also created a "financial crunch" for many parts manufacturers, with many second-tier suppliers going out of business. This portends a difficult environment for fleets to manage accident repair costs. READ MORE

Tags: OEM, Accident Management, budget cuts, CEI Group, claims management

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, May 19, 2009 7:25 AM | » Comments(1)

The Dangers of Extending Replacement Cycles

Vehicle replacement policy is one of the most critical aspects of fleet management. Nearly all fleet-related expenses, both fixed and operating, are influenced by when a vehicle is replaced. In a recessionary economy, senior management demands expense reductions and there is pressure to defer vehicle replacements. However, such a policy change could actually prove to be counterproductive to the intended goal. READ MORE

Tags: Fleet Operations, Vehicle Replacement, replacement vehicles, Recession, Replacement Cycles

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Tuesday, May 12, 2009 12:00 AM | » Comments(6)

Put Your Fleet on a Diet

Vehicles get better fuel mileage when not loaded with unnecessary weight. An extra 100 lbs. in a vehicle could reduce mpg up to 2 percent. Typically, the chief culprit responsible for accumulating unnecessary weight is drivers. Over the course of a vehicle assignment, drivers accumulate a "cargo" of dated sales materials, point of sale demos, and seldom-used tools carried in trunks, storage bins, and back seats. You'd be surprised how quickly lbs. add up. READ MORE

Author: Mike Antich | Posted @ Monday, May 4, 2009 10:22 AM | » 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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