Market Trends

Growth of Crossovers & Compact SUVs in Fleet Is a Global Phenomenon

Crossover utility vehicles and compact SUVs represent the fastest growing segments in the global automotive industry in every region of the world, impacting both retail and fleet sales READ MORE

Successful Fleet Managers Excel as Servant Leaders

Internal users are too often treated by some fleet managers as a captive audience that can be dictated to and shown little respect; however, it is important to remember the reason your fleet department exists is to support user departments. You are the business partner of these departments that rely upon you to provide superb customer service to help them fulfill their daily tasks. READ MORE

U.S. Fleet Upfitting Industry Experiencing Uptick in Consolidation

The fleet industry in the United States is no stranger to acquisitions and mergers as we have witnessed with the decades long consolidation occurring among fleet leasing and management companies, automotive OEMs and their suppliers, and daily rental companies. The same holds true for the upfitting industry, which, in the first eight months of 2017, witnessed an uptick in acquisitions. READ MORE

How to Control Rogue Spending in Fleet

Procurement studies reveal that 20% or more of total corporate spend is for purchases that could have been acquired at a lower cost. READ MORE

Spec’ing Today’s Trucks to Meet Tomorrow’s Needs

When you spec truck assets today, many of these vehicles will be in service for 10 to 15 years or longer. While these assets are adequate for today’s business, will this still be true 10 to 15 years from now? This is an important question because some fleet managers tend to focus on today’s needs and neglect the long-term considerations as to how job requirements may evolve in the future. READ MORE

Human Nature Prone to Take Advantage of Docile Autonomous Vehicles

The co-existence between autonomous and human-controlled vehicles (along with others who use public roads) will bring new issues into play, primarily because self-driving vehicles will be built to be inherently law-abiding and risk averse. As we approach this new era, the question is how seamlessly will autonomous and human-controlled vehicles co-exist? One thing is certain, as we trail blaze new ground, so too will we trail blaze new problems. READ MORE

What Fleet Managers Can Learn From a Navy SEAL

If you think being a fleet manager is stressful, try being a Navy SEAL. Former Navy SEAL Robert O'Neill, best known for claiming to have shot Osama bin Laden, recently wrote a new book entitled, “The Operator.” READ MORE

Growing Truck Penetration in Light-Duty Fleets Increases Risk of DOT Violations

Many light-duty fleets do not realize DOT regulations are triggered not only by GVW, but also by gross combination vehicle weight (GCVW) – the combined weight of the vehicle and the trailer. It doesn’t matter if you have a one-truck or a 500-truck fleet, you must be compliant with DOT rules. When the GCVW is 10,001 pounds or more, a vehicle is covered under DOT regs and must display a DOT number or it will be subject to a fine if pulled over by the police. READ MORE

Lighting Innovations to Revolutionize Work Truck Productivity & Safety

We are in the midst of a lighting revolution in the automotive industry that started with the proliferation of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). More dramatic lighting innovations are fast emerging, such as laser diodes, organic LEDs, and dynamic bending light headlamps. Historically, new automotive technologies have always first manifested themselves in luxury brands, then migrated downward to lower trim level models and non-retail customers such as the vocational work truck market. READ MORE

Forecast Is for Fuel Prices to Remain Low for the Foreseeable Future -- Maybe Longer

Conventional wisdom in the fleet market is often wrong. If we roll back the calendar, the conventional wisdom about fuel prices was that there would be ebbs and flows in price per gallon rates, but the overall price trajectory would trend upward. The flaw with conventional wisdom is that it only works when no new variables are inserted into future projections. A case in point is the shale oil revolution, which now has experts predicting oil prices will remain flat for the foreseeable future. READ MORE

Snapshot of Fleet Manager Concerns and Pain Points

Summer is a busy time in fleet. There’s an abundance of next-model-year OEM fleet meetings, new-model intros, and industry conferences, which offer ample opportunities to “talk fleet” with the movers and shakers of our industry. If you want to know what's happening in the fleet market, you need to talk with fleet managers -- lots of them. READ MORE

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The Origin and History of Global Fleet Management

Up until the late 1990s, no corporation had a global, or even regional, fleet management reporting structure, with the possible exception of Canadian subsidiaries of U.S. parent companies. At the start of the 21st Century, managers with global fleet responsibilities began to proliferate. READ MORE

The stability of fuel pricing over the past 36 months, along with ongoing improvements in vehicle fuel economy, have been the key factors keeping fleet operating costs relatively flat. Since fuel spend makes up, on average, approximately 60% of a fleet’s total operating costs, the trajectory of the price per gallon of fuel has a huge impact on overall operating costs. Chart courtesy of Gasbuddy.

Fleet Operating Costs Remain Stable for Fourth Consecutive Year

The stability of fuel pricing over the past 36 months, along with ongoing improvements in vehicle fuel economy, have been the key factors keeping fleet operating costs relatively flat. READ MORE

Institutionalizing Cost-Control Strategies

Senior management exerts intense pressure on fleet managers to control and/or reduce vehicle acquisition and operating expenses. To accomplish this, a fleet managers can pursue three different cost-control strategies — cost savings, cost deferral, or cost avoidance. In order to implement a successful cost-control strategy you need to institutionalize the mechanisms to curb money-wasting behaviors. READ MORE

Lessons Learned From Great Fleet Managers

There is a difference between a well-managed fleet and a best-in-class fleet. A “best-in-class fleet” is one that represents the top-tier performance level in its specific industry segment. READ MORE

Exceptions Are the Fatal Flaw to Fleet Policy

Any time you make an exception to fleet policy in resolving a driver-related problem, you may potentially create a new problem that will come back to haunt you in the future. READ MORE

Decrease Incidents of Unscheduled Truck Maintenance Caused by Overloading

When a truck is overloaded, its operating performance will be strained, accelerating wear-and-tear on brakes and other wear components, such as tire, which have higher failure rates because they run hotter due to the increased load. Another issue is axle overloading, which causes premature wear-and-tear on tires and suspension components. READ MORE

Real-World Advice on How to Excel on a Fleet Sourcing Team

To be successful on a sourcing team, you need to be open-minded about exploring all available service channels and partners. However, open-minded doesn’t mean being open-headed. You must listen and entertain new ideas, but also temper such a practice and attitude with pragmatism and knowledge. READ MORE

Tech Advances Will Put Downward Pressure on Overall Fleet Size

In the long run, technology will exert inexorable downward pressure on overall fleet size and will eliminate altogether the need for some fleet vehicles. Despite this, fleet management will survive, albeit in a smaller capacity, and, most likely, in a completely different form than what we know today. READ MORE

Avoid Repeating Past Inefficiencies: Build the Truck to Match Today’s Application

I asked one fleet manager how he spec’ed replacement trucks for his fleet application. He related that many years earlier an OEM rep spec’ed out his trucks and he has been using the same formula ever since. While this may work in some cases, specifications should be defined by today’s fleet application to ensure the replacement truck is designed to accommodate current operational requirements rather than trying to make your operation conform to trucks spec’ed for yesteryear’s requirements. READ MORE

Conduct an Efficiency Audit to Eliminate Waste in Your Fleet Budget

Reducing fleet costs is a constant, never-ending struggle for all fleet managers, especially since every aspect of fleet management revolves around money. In lieu of requesting additional budget dollars, one course of action is to stop the waste of existing dollars.It is estimated that, on average, 5-10% of a fleet’s annual budgeted dollars are wasted. READ MORE

Antich

Blog: Model-Year Versus Calendar-Year Terminology

One challenge to global fleet management is adjusting to different fleet terminology for different regions. One example is the difference between the use of “model-year” and “calendar-year” in describing the year of a fleet vehicle. READ MORE

Payload Requirements Are the Foundation to Properly Spec’ing a Truck

Properly identifying payload parameters is the foremost consideration to properly spec’ing a truck. To illustrate this fact, the weight of the payload will determine the engine, transmission, size of tire, frame, and just about everything else. READ MORE

Big Data and Advanced Analytics will Further Intertwine Procurement and Fleet

Looking ahead, how will procurement and fleet evolve in the future? My prediction is there will be market forces (both internal and external), along with technological enhancements, that will facilitate a much closer collaboration between the two disciplines using a combination of in-house and outsourced expertise. READ MORE

Five Technology Trends that will Disrupt Global Fleet Management

In many ways, innovations in consumer technology are outpacing innovations in corporate technology. With this in mind, it is important to watch how technology is evolving outside of fleet and how it can be incorporated into day-to-day fleet management. READ MORE

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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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