The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

‘Act Global – Think Local’

July 2002, by Ed Bobit - Also by this author

The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village.-Marshall Herbert McLuhan


Americans are benevolent ignorant about Canada, while Canadians are malevolently well informed about the United States.-J Bartlet Brebner


It is a peculiar Canadian trait to be able to spot an inequity better at a distance especially if facing south, than close up.-George Bain


Now there's a relatively new expression picked up during the last year for me. Oh, any number of people have been working diligently to make headway in this area for a half dozen years, I know.

The results are now becoming evident with combined efforts by the manufacturers and the corporate fleet managers.

The three "domestic" factories have especially zeroed in with an international focus.  Some have established a separate department, each has strong financial ties with "foreign" vehicle production companies who serve the market in some way.

Originally, the mantra seemed to say to the fleet manager "We'll help but there's no more discounts that we can afford."  Well, the factories found them and each hopes to double their global partners in the next few years. It's been interesting to watch.

So, when Scott Darling, BP Oil's fleet management services manager, invited me to join him and his global fleet manager group for annual meeting, I rapidly accepted. It was a new exposure for me and was an added education for me. Fortunately, while being held in beautiful downtown Stuttgart, Germany, (not exactly Burbank), the language was English, which was a salvation in itself.

It was amazing for a global novice like myself to learn the different objectives and procedures other (other than U.S) fleet managers held dear. They were literally from all over the world; i.e. Turkey, South Africa, U.K., Australia and so on.

All had different kinds of vehicle brands and reasons for them; serving "upstream" (in the oil fields) versus "downstream" (after refining) and differing policies to match their own cultures.

Scott has done a great job from an international corporate standpoint by not establishing or dictating the same policies for each other country. They all showed a willingness to act together to attain whatever advantages a joint effort could result.

I wasn't sure how my small presentation on my favorite topic (depreciation) would work but it apparently had some application for every member of the group.

So, if you happen to have a company operating vehicles in three or more countries, consider yourself "global" and work on how to integrate to some advantage.

Somewhat on the "international" scene are few comments and/or analysis form NAFA's annual FMI in Toronto considered by many to be quite successful.

I don't discard many statistics that may have use so I took some time to compare pre-registration listings from '01in San Francisco to '02 in Canada. Interesting results although I should point out that they receive any number of registrants at the door in addition.

If my recollection is accurate I believe that in '00 NAFA had just over a thousand 'fleet manager types' pre-registered for Nashville. Last year in S.F I counted 843.

For Toronto, my very unofficial count was 529 made up of 351 "commercial" accounts and 178 from the "utility/governmental" sector. Another 110 were "vendor/supplier" types.

I give the very strong Ontario Chapter full credit as well as other Canadians as my analysis shows 133 from Canada of the 529 total or 25 percent of the total (interestingly, however, more Canadians attended FMIs in San Francisco and Nashville than attended Toronto this year).

As exhibitors ourselves (as well as attending the fine seminars), we echoed what many related and that confirmed another good meeting. However as the percentage of Canadian NAFA members declines, it may be a while before another FMI is held in Canada.


Twitter Facebook Google+


Please note that comments may be moderated. 
Leave this field empty:

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.


Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Todd Ewing from Fleetmatics will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Fleet Management And Leasing

Merchants Experts will answer your questions and challenges

View All


Sponsored by

The National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) is an association formed to provide technical information and a range of member services for companies and organizations involved in the work truck marketplace.

Read more


Market Trends

Mike Antich
Institutionalizing Cost-Control Strategies

By Mike Antich
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.

Lessons Learned from Great Fleet Managers

By Mike Antich

View All

Driving Notes

Paul Clinton
BMW Ultimate Driving Experience

By Paul Clinton
BMW is hosting six Ultimate Driving Experience events around the U.S. this summer and fall that puts drivers behind the wheel of the 2017 540i, the first of five planned 5 Series models in the lineup's seventh generation.

2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric

By Amy Winter-Hercher

View All

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Sherb Brown
Who’s Up Next?

By Sherb Brown
Are you taking the time to keep an eye out for the person who is going to fill your chair when you decide to move on?

Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize

By Sherb Brown

View All

Data Points

Dylan Brown
Does Telematics Branding Translate to Adoption?

By Dylan Brown
We asked over 750 fleet professionals questions about the prevalence of each provider in the market and their brand recognition.

How Fleet Size Dictates Telematics Needs

By Dylan Brown

View All

In Memoriam: Coach's Insights

Ed Bobit
Thinking of the Newbies of the Future

By Ed Bobit
A lot has changed in the past 10-15 years, so we can only imagine this momentum will continue into the next decade-plus. How will this change impact the fleet manager of tomorrow?

Managing a Car vs. Work Truck Fleet

By Ed Bobit

View All


Up Next

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher