Automotive Fleet

DEC 2013

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

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EDITORIAL BY ED BOBIT Set Your Priorities for Another Challenging Year Weighing the importance of your various duties in complying with budget, keeping safety frst, and still allowing time to grow in knowledge should head your 2014 list. ert Grayson, a longtime friend who has experienced both sides of the feet desk, commented some months ago on the role of the feet manager today. In addition to the many specifc tasks on all agendas is one ofen overlooked. Bert observed: "Only someone inside the company can match and marry the right vehicle for the work required . . . Too ofen fuel economy or some discount gets in the way and the need to fulfll a specifc function is lost." Perspective! Yes, we all must have perspective. And, to have a productive perspective, each of us must have a wide breadth of knowledge. With the information highway now as crowded as a Los Angeles freeway, it helps if you can select the kind of knowledge that supports your goals (with the help of an excellent memory/fle system). Tere are some items of note that may be helpful: Trough Sept. 30, 2013, total new-vehicle feet sales were running slightly ahead of 2012. Overall, truck/SUV sales captured half (49.5 percent) of passenger car sales. Truck/SUV sales from GM, Ford, and Chrysler accounted for more than 60 percent of those sold. So far this year, Ford leads with a more than 50-percent market share in the commercial feet sales area. Te Detroit "Big Tree" are holding their own in market share of the smaller, fuel-efcient, more afordable cars of recent years; however, and, according to Edmunds' reporting, the 25- to 34-year-old buying crowd has more than doubled their preference for South Korean brands. Make sure that you not only learn about resale values, but you should be getting a free (customary for dealers and feets) lunch at your favorite auction. Maybe your FMC is taking it for you. It's a new penetration level for the feet and fnance segment in use and penetration at auctions — now at 34.5 percent (dealers only run 58.4 percent) — so you are an important and valued account. And, it's more fun viewing the participants than going to Walmart. When it comes to the department you may fall into at your company, there's a wide variation of performance-based compensation incentives. Hint: choose HR. Our salary survey shows that HR feet managers lead the median income pack with $97,500 per year. Stick with fnance-treasury and purchasing for the next best. By all means, give distance to sales where the average is about $60,000. Sometimes we are not exactly smug about what we know, but more like "comfortable" with the status quo. Some feet managers don't prioritize attending applicable trade conferences where they may learn how to match their own salary in savings. B 76 AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I DECEMBER 2013 REASON MEANS TRUTH AND THOSE WHO ARE NOT GOVERNED BY IT TAKE THE CHANCE THAT SOMEDAY THE SUNKEN FACT WILL RIP THE BOTTOM OUT OF THEIR BOAT. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. ALL MEN HAVE A REASON, BUT NOT ALL MEN CAN GIVE A REASON. John Henry Cardinal Newman IF WE COULD BE GUIDED BY THE LIGHT OF REASON, WE MUST LET OUR MINDS BE BOLD. Louis Brandeis Here are some examples that point to the contrary: • Steve Nell, president of Service Sector Consulting, said this: "Te Green Fleet Conference was the greatest experience I've ever had at a conference." • Jared Hanis from Joy Global had similar thoughts on our Global Fleet Management Conference: "It was the strongest feet conference I ever attended . . . much more hands on and a lot of helpful information." • David Renschler, CPFP, City of Fairfeld, Calif., is quoted: "GFX (Government Fleet Expo) provides the best value in training, networking and keeping up with the best practices pursued by the top government feets in the country. Each year for the last six years I have come away with at least one thing that can save us thousands of dollars annually." • "I attended the Fleet Safety Conference specifcally to learn about 'negligent entrustment,' and when I was there, I realized that there was so much more for me to learn. It was one of the best conferences I've been to, what a rewarding experience," said Ron Hall, safety director, Cogburn Bros. Inc. My point for you is to shoot higher in 2014. Make a strong case for more travel to key conferences where you need the most help. At a minimum, make certain that you are able to establish at least a few networking friends with similar feets where you can regularly exchange challenges and data. Sure, the large leading feets develop best practices but so ofen you'll fnd that veteran in a small feet may have the best answers to share. Start now to make 2014 a banner year of broadening experiences for you. Prioritize! We can help you (just let us know). AF

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