The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Industry News

June 2002, by Staff

Court Upholds EPA Rules to Clean Up Diesel Fuel

WASHINGTON, DC - A federal appeals court upheld Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that require manufacturers of heavy trucks and buses to cut 95 percent of pollutants from tailpipes of diesel vehicles by 2007-model year. The regulations also call for a 97-percent reduction of sulfur in diesel fuel. If fully implemented, the rules will cut 2.6 million tons of smog-causing nitrogen oxide emissions and 11,000 tons of soot or particulate matter, according to EPA's estimates.

The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, one of the organizations that sued the EPA, argued in its lawsuit that the industry would not be able to keep up if it is mandated to quickly reduce the sulfer content of fuels., which would result in shortages.

DaimlerChrysler, Hyundai, and Mitsubishi Motors to Form Global Engine Alliance

STUTTGART/SEOUL/TOKYO - Daimler-Chrysler AG, Hyundai Motor Co., and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. announced on May 5, 2002 the formation of a joint venture company for the design, development, and engineering of a new family of in-line four-cylinder gasoline engines. Global Engine Alliance L.L.C. will jointly develop these engines through the combined resources of all three companies. The engines will be used in future generations of vehicles of the Chrysler Group, Mitsubishi Motors, and Hyundai Motor.

The new joint-venture company will be owned equally by all three companies and will be located in the United States. By combining resources, the engine will have the most competitive technologies of the Chrysler Group, Hyundai, and Mitsubishi. Each company will produce the engine for future vehicle applications. Under the new joint venture, Hyundai will have the lead responsibility for implementing the decisions of the joint-venture company for design, development, and engineering.

The engine will be an aluminum engine with displacements of 1.8,2.0, and 2.4 liters in the range 120 to 165 horsepower. With this range of displacement, each company will utilize the engine in a variety of vehicles for various markets segments. Each company will produce the engine for its own vehicles with the total production of engines expected to approach 1.5 million units annually.

With the signing of the joint-venture agreement, the new company began operations in May 2002.

Initial production of engines by Hyundai is expected by March 2004, with Chrysler and Mitsubishi engine production planned to start in 2005.


Yokohama Says YES to 24-7 Emergency Service

FULLERTON, CA - On May 1, Yokohama Tire Corporation officially said YES (Yokohama Emergency Service) to emergency roadside tire service for all its national accounts.

A 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year program, YES offers safety and security to national fleet throughout the country where down time can mean losses in profits and productivity for fleet owners. A toll-free number (800-282-1570) provides quick access to a YES dispatcher who locates the nearest Yokohama dealer available to supply service. In addition to coordinating services, Yokohama verifies credit, issues the purchase order and completes all necessary paper work.

YES includes all Yokohama medium-truck commercial tires available through Yokohama's national account program. All Yokohama national accounts in good standing are automatically eligible for the YES program. Every Yokohama dealer currently stocking Yokohama commercial tires and providing 24-hour service will be included in the referral listing. Costs to national accounts include a minimal $25 service fee, standard labor charges and the cost of the tires.


NAFA SF Chapter Hears About Wireless Technology

SAN FRANCSICO - Frank Parise, center, director of business development for Space Machine, spoke on "How GPS Wireless and the Internet Can Help You Manage Your Fleet" at the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) San Francisco chapter meeting, which took place March 28, 2002. At left is Ellie Walsh, vice president and director of administrative services for ABM Industries. At right is Glenda Jensen, purchasing manager for ABM industries. The three are looking at a Java-enabled phone supported by Space Machine's mapping software, allowing it to be used for vehicle location.


Sharp Wins Innovation Award From AmeriFleet

ALPHARETTA, GA - Josie Sharp, fleet manager for Aventis Pharmaceuticals, was named the winner of AmeriFleet Transportation's 2002 Award for Innovation.

Sharp's ideas caused AmeriFleet to create AmeriFleet Invasion, an online process for viewing vehicle condition reports and photos of in-service vehicles. AmeriFleet President Bob Smith presented the award to Sharp.

Josie Sharp was named the winner of AmeriFleet Transportation's 2002 Award for Innovation


WEX Partners with Netcost Auto Glass

SOUTH PORTLAND, ME - Wright Express has recently formed a new relationship with Netcost Auto Glass Inc, that will bring the services of a nationwide auto glass replacement service to its fleet customers.

Through this latest relationship, Wright Express fleet customers will have access to thousands of glass replacement vendors working in conjunction with Netcost, a nationwide glass claims administrator with nearly 10,000 vendors.

Through its vendor network, Netcost can guarantee replacement service wherever a vehicle is located.

Vericom & U.S. Bank Voyager Partner on GPS

ROCKLIN, CA and HOUSTON - Vericom Technologies and U.S. Bank Voyager Fleet Systems have formed a strategic alliance enabling U.S. Bank Voyager to begin offering an advanced global positioning satellite (GPS)-based fleet management service to new and existing customers.

The product, called "Voyager Path Manager," is a new GPS-based fleet management solution powered by Vericom Technologies, which enables companies to cost-effectively collect and analyze detailed fleet data involving driver and company fleet performance and productivity. By using Voyager Path Manager's customized Web-based reports, companies can recognize ways to reduce costs by maximizing operating efficiencies and reducing risks.

In addition to offering Voyager Path Manager, U.S. Bank Voyager currently provides the Voyager Fleet Card, a "universal" fleet fueling and maintenance card.

Voyager Path Manager gives companies the ability to:

  • Monitor vehicle and fleet activity, such as location, frequency and vehicle speeds, to reduce fuel and maintenance costs, as well as accident/incident costs.
  • Record vehicle location throughout the day, providing easy analysis of specific routes, duration of stops, time between stops, and out-of-route movements.
  • Reduce unnecessary labor expenditures by optimizing routes and increasing driver productivity.
  • Verify and improve customer service, providing an automatic recording of delivery time at specific customer locations.
  • Ensure driver and vehicle safety through tracking of vehicle location and use as desired.


GM to Study Driver Distractions

WARREN, MI - General Motors and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (ULUC) have joined forces in a multi year program to study driver distractions and how well humans interact with in-vehicle technologies.

GM Research & Development and Planning will spend more than $1.6 million the next three years so that Beckman researchers can seek ways to educate drivers on managing distractions while driving. Researchers are expected to evaluate how prepared drivers are in coping with distractions, as well as the dynamics of how effectively humans interact will the mechanics of a vehicle.

General Motors has already addressed driver distraction through its "SenseAble Driving" program. That program, which includes a driver awareness partnership with the Michigan secretary of state, is in effect in all 173 Michigan secretary of state offices. The program has been made available to other states' department of motor vehicle offices.

Researchers will study programs aimed at modifying how drivers interact with their vehicles to reduce distracting activities, especially under adverse conditions. They also will evaluate the effectiveness of training strategies for enhancing drivers' cognitive, perceptual, and motor skills, especially those of older adults and inexperienced drivers who may have difficulty with those skills.

The research projects will run through 2004. Learn more about GM's "SenseAble Driving" campaign at



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