3 key findings from multi-source 2018 fleet analysis


Runzheimer, a business vehicle technology and solutions provider, combed through more than a half dozen sources — including Manheim, Edmunds, IHS Markit and the National Automobile Dealers Association — to compile its Vehicle Capital Costs Trend Report.

Firm analysts cautioned fleet managers and other auxiliary service providers that new-vehicle prices in the U.S. have risen steadily since 2012 and potentially that trend could continue in 2018, citing their comprehensive data review suggesting that this will be the case.

Runzheimer suggested that the increase in vehicle costs is something businesses with fleet programs will need to consider when planning budgets for this year. The report mentioned three other crucial findings, including:

• The overall average price of a new vehicle will increase moderately over the next 12 months by 1 percent to 2 percent.

• As inventory in the used vehicle market steadily increases, residual values will decrease over the next 12 months by 2 percent to 3.5 percent.

• Depreciation is expected to increase 1 percent to 1.5 percent.

The entire Runzheimer report can be found here.

New service connects drivers with car rental agencies for free 1-way rentals


Global fleet logistics company Transfercar has rolled out new rental fleet relocation services in Chicago, Boston and Minneapolis that offers drivers free one-way car rentals.

In an effort to align rental car companies fleet relocation needs with consumer travel requirements, Transfercar is working with various agencies to relocate their inventory via consumers rather than depend on trucks, trains or professional drivers.

“We've created a website that connects rental car companies needing to transfer their cars with travelers eager to drive them in exchange for a free trip,” Transfercar co-founder and chief executive officer Brian Karlson said in a news release.

“This model provides a win-win solution where travelers get the opportunity to get a free one-way car rental, while rental companies save big money on relocation costs. While drivers may be subject to very small mandatory taxes or fees, even if the rental rate is free, they will experience enormous savings.”

While small mandatory taxes, fees and charges imposed by airports or local and state government agencies may apply, Transfercar only requires that renters return their vehicles on-time and abide by any given miles restrictions, according to the company.

The Transfercar website currently offers rentals in Chicago, Boston or Minneapolis that need to be dropped off in Miami and Orlando, Fla., within three days.

Donlen brings aboard 2 new execs


Donlen recently announced that it has brought aboard Bob Barna to serve as vice president of strategic sales and Ian Crapper as managing director of global business.

“As Donlen advances our offerings for large, global fleets, we are committed to investing in and retaining successful, results-oriented fleet professionals,” Donlen president Tom Callahan said in a news release. “Bob and Ian’s expertise and leadership will ensure that our growing customer base continues to be served at the highest level.”

Barna most recently spent four years in business development at LeasePlan where he forged new client relationships with large fleets across the western region of the U.S, according to Donlen.

In his new role, in addition to being responsible for building relationships with companies throughout the country, Barna will also collaborate with Donlen’s sales territory managers to administer proactive and ongoing strategic solutions to fleets.

“The Donlen team offers an unparalleled offering with the knowledge and experience to improve the efficiency of any size fleet,” Barna said. “I look forward to the opportunities of building off of Donlen’s proven customer service approach, and leveraging their extensive technology platform to provide value to large fleets.”

As new managing director of global business, Crapper has been tasked with managing Donlen’s global fleet program to enhance services for existing global customers. 

Crapper is a sales executive who brings more than 20 years of business experience. Prior to joining Donlen, Crapper led sales and marketing efforts at LeasePlan Canada.

“Working with Donlen’s far-reaching global partners is a tremendous opportunity for me and our customers. I feel the team and our approach will bring tremendous success to Donlen’s worldwide customers,” added Crapper.

ARI, ISM team up for free supply management webinar


Fleet services provider ARI is partnering with the Institute for Supply Management to host a webinar on Tuesday. 

The webinar, “Lease vs. Purchase in the Era of New Accounting Rule — What’s Best for your Fleet,” is scheduled for 1 p.m. (EST) tomorrow.

Listeners will hear from ARI’s director of lease portfolio management Jesse Mann, who will be exploring the differences between leasing, financing and purchasing fleet vehicles and the impact each can have on an organization’s fiscal outlook, the company shared.

“For many businesses, navigating complex acquisition scenarios can be overwhelming, but it is vital that you have the insight and tools necessary to make the best possible long-term decision for your organization,” said Mann.

“Now more than ever before, technology and advanced analytics allow you to take a more data-driven approach to evaluating the most suitable funding option for your fleet to ensure your acquisition strategy aligns with your company’s key financial goals,” Mann continued.

On top of covering different methods of acquisition, attendees will also hear from Mann on what factors should be included in the decision-making process to help ensure their fleet remains on the road.

Further, they will learn about how potential future changes to accounting standards may affect businesses and their fleet operations.

To register for Tuesday’s webinar, click here.

Donlen adds new telematics functionality for fleet drivers to DonlenDrive app


Donlen has added new telematics functionality to its DonlenDrive mobile app mobile app that provides fleet drivers with access to important vehicle documents and notifications.

DonlenDrive is now integrated with DriverPoint Telematics, which gives fleet drivers access to daily driving and vehicle health data received from telematics devices.

Prior to the added functionality delivered via the new integration, only fleet managers and supervisors were able to view daily driving and vehicle health data offered by Donlen’s DriverPoint Telematics software, according to Donlen.

“Once inside the app, drivers will be able to see how many trips they’ve taken, the number of hours they’ve spent driving, the number of miles they’ve driven within that month, as well as the location and time that unsafe driving behavior, such as harsh acceleration, deceleration or speeding has occurred,” Donlen director of telematics and safety products Tom Sloan said in a news release.

“Drivers will also be able to view critical areas of vehicle health such as odometer, tire pressure and oil level. Fleet managers and drivers will be provided visibility to the same telematics data points, so they can better work together towards decreasing risky driving behavior and improving fleet safety. We are excited that we continue to make our solution better than before.”

With DonlenDriver, drivers can access crucial information related to personal tax reporting, new vehicle ordering and company policy compliance.

Car Keys Express introduces new mobile-to-consumer service


Car Keys Express announced Wednesday that the company is extending its service by offering consumers on-site, instant automotive key replacement via an Uber-inspired webpage where users can choose from one of three service levels.

The levels of service include the following three options:

  • Priority— receive same-day service with ability to further upgrade to "Custom Critical" for service on nights and weekends.
  • Standard—pick a later time for service at a lower price.
  • Economy—meet a technician at one of their regularly scheduled stops, consumers get maximum savings.

"We've spent fifteen years perfecting a mobile solution for businesses to manage this increasing cost. It's grown us into a nationwide company and put us on Inc. Magazine's list of the fastest growing companies two years in a row,” Car Keys Express owner and founder Mark Lanwehr said in a news release. “Now we're offering consumers the same solution. Carmakers have had a virtual monopoly for decades. We're the first to bring it to consumers. With 250,000,000 North American drivers, it's a significant opportunity."

The company said it has been growing rapidly since the 2000s when carmakers began to add expensive features to keys.

"Increases in automotive key technology have driven up their cost. In the eighties, you'd pay a few dollars to replace a set of keys, today it can exceed a thousand dollars," added Lanwehr.

Record360 integrates app into loaner vehicle solution


Record360 recently announced it has integrated its asset documentation App into TSDLOANER, TSD’s cloud-based solution designed to track and manage rental and loaner car fleets.

With the addition of Record360, TSDLOANER users can now enhance the walkaround process within their loaner departments, the company said.

Both dealers and customers have the ability to digitize and time-stamp the condition of loaner vehicles in real-time.

At hand-off and upon return, these features can reduce unnecessary customer damage disputes or claims, according to Record360.

“Loaner vehicles traditionally have been a great way to provide a super-convenient, free service to valued customers when it’s most critical to them,” Record360 chief executive officer Shane Skinner said in a news release.

“An outstanding way to drive goodwill, the last thing any dealer wants is to have a good deed go punished through unnecessary claims or disputes. That’s a quick way to ruin a relationship. Record360 seamlessly optimizes the process of vehicle condition documentation with better clarity for both customer and dealer,” he explained.

TSDLOANER can help fleet owners manage loaner vehicles more efficiently by improving CSI, reducing liability, controlling expenses and enabling personalized paperwork processing.

Additionally, in the near future, the two companies also expect to integrate Record360 into the TSDRENTAL solution, according to Record360.

Donlen introduces new fleet data tool to boost productivity


Donlen has released FleetWeb Intelligence Visualization Suite, its latest solution in fleet performance management.

The tool can show intuitive charts and graphs that are designed to help fleet professionals improve productivity and reduce spending.

With the new solution, a fleet professional can quickly view important trends that impact their fleet and identify a fleet’s challenges, according to Donlen.

In addition to intuitive charts and graphs, the FleetWeb Intelligence Visualization Suite features seven visual dashboards built to cover all aspects of a fleet.

“Today, fleet professionals are responsible for managing more data than ever before. The Visualization Suite not only summarizes your fleet performance, but allows you to quickly analyze what is driving your performance, and provides insights that allow fleet managers to take action right away,” Donlen vice president of business analytics John Wuich said in a news release.

“Many customers who have used our Visualization Suite tell us that they are able to work more efficiently now as a result of this release. We will continue to develop these tools to make their jobs more efficient,” he explained.

For additional information about FleetWeb, visit donlen.com/blog/fleetweb-intelligence-visualization-suite.

Element unveils new insight service that integrates OnStar data


Element Fleet Management recently introduced Connected Data, a new service for fleet performance insights that streams vehicle data from both OnStar and other connected car systems in non-GM vehicles.

Connected Data gives fleet managers the ability to tailor analytics to meet common reporting and regulatory needs, according to Element.

The new service offers dealers a selection of different data feeds they can use to optimize their fleets. Users can explore odometer reporting, vehicle diagnostics and driver behavior data. 

Access to data feeds is available via Xcelerate, customized reports and Element strategic fleet consultants.

“Today’s fleets are in a unique position to harness the power of connected vehicles across an increasingly connected digital fleet workflow, one that integrates data from drivers, suppliers and the vehicle itself,” Element Fleet Management North America products and services senior vice president Michele Cunningham said. “Connected Data delivers just the subset of vehicle and driver data that customers need, making it easier to gain insights and take action in areas like optimal replacement, preventive maintenance, and assessing and mitigating driver risk and more.”

Connected Data is currently available in three packages: Odometer, Fleet and Safety.

The Odometer package provides mileage reporting compliance data and vehicle utilization insight. Fleet includes the offerings of the Odometer package, along with integrated location and diagnostics data.

The Safety packed is fitted with Fleet package data, in addition to driving pattern information used to identify high-risk drivers, help improve safety and reduce accident expense. The data covers hard braking, fast acceleration and speeding.

For additional information about Connected Data's offerings, visit elementfleet.com/fleet-services/car-light-duty/vehicle-fleet-connected-data.

LeasePlan grows business development team with new hire


LeasePlan USA has brought Michael Croft on to its to business development team, where he will work with companies in the Southwestern region.

Croft most recently served as vice president of sales for Element Fleet.

He joins LeasePlan while it is expanding its business development team in preparation for smart growth and future endeavors, according to the company.

“I knew right away Michael was a good fit for us,” said LeasePlan USA chief commercial officer Ricardo Fonzaghi in a news release. “Not only does he bring years of fleet expertise and a consultative mindset, he also possesses the passion and spark that clients need to achieve success.”

Croft's previous roles include director of strategic sales for Comdata and director of global sales at Vodafone.

“It is such an exhilarating time to join the LeasePlan team,” said Croft.

“The momentum and excitement at the company is unbelievable. I am looking forward to this next chapter in my professional career and the opportunity to help clients elevate their fleet to the next level,” he said.

Croft is an active member of NAFA Fleet Management Association and AFLA. His duties include being responsible for new business development in both California and Arizona.