The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Be Careful How You Handle The Hot Ones!

January 2003, by Ed Bobit - Also by this author

Every reform, however necessary, will by weak minds be carried to an excess which will itself need reforming.- Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Reformers, as a group, are not a very attractive group of people. As you get older you recognize that. They are too self-righteous. They feel that they have the call.-Robert Moses


All reformers, however strict their social conscience, live in houses just as big as they can pay for. -Logan Pearsall Smith


Our editorial director (and heart and soul of the magazine), Mike Antich, spoke out about the growing influence of the public sector in the fleet market And just maybe, how this group may not be fully understood or appreciated. That was in AF's August issue.

In the September issue and although totally unsolicited and independent of Mike Antich's editorial the previous month, we published a most insightful and provocative letter from another Mike. In the case, Mike Beiger, of Hoffmann-La Roche. He noted the changing complexion of the NAFA membership demographics and challenged the associations leadership to address the situation.

As you may have either guessed or know firsthand, both Mikes initiated a litany of heretofore hidden responses apparently carefully held within the bosoms of individual industry people.

The "first Mike" (Antich) received literally dozens of letters, e-mails, and phone calls. Many of these were published in subsequent issue of AF in our Letters column. One could summarize the responses, nearly all from members of the public sector, as identifying themselves as "different" but still fleet managers who should be recognized as needing factories and service companies to understand how they operated.

It was a milestone of sorts, almost an Epiphany, while the public sector was heard from unleashing inner thoughts for all to see and hear. I got a great feeling out of it and was proud we had a part in evoking this kind of compliment and understanding.

With all due credit, NAFA's able president, David Robertson, City of Houston Fire Department, had NAFA's membership chair contact the "second Mike" (Bieger) to discuss his concerns and Robertson subsequently wrote an open letter to Mike addressing his concern. There was also a reference to a suggested educational session (not specifically identified) that was turned over to the NAFA Education Steering Broad.

Here's where I had a difficult time following procedurally. We are told that "suggestions and responses from NAFA membership" are collected and evaluated by the Fleet Management Institute (FMI) Curriculum Committee. They go on to say that "other education ideas (that) come from our Board of Governors meetings and miscellaneous questions raised by members and affiliates" are forwarded to the Education Steering Board. See why I'm confused?

In any event, a search shows that Gayle Pratt, State of Michigan, is the chair for the FMI Curriculum Committee and the chair of the Education Steering Board is Milt Reid, NAFA senior VP and fleet manager at the City of Gainesville (plus NAFA president-elect).

Then I looked at the list of NAFA offices besides the two top ones. Robertson and Reid already mentioned, and find the others are from the City of St. Louis; County of Henrico, VA; City of Beverly Hills, CA; Tacoma Power, Tacoma, WA; and (one corporate member) Kraft of Canada.

Robertson also, for the first time I recall, revealed a break down of membership; i.e. 39.3 percent "Corporate"; 11.8 percent "Utility"; and 48.9 percent "Government", "University", etc. The last time I looked NAFA had just over 2,200 full members so true "corporate" members now account for less than 900 and that's a decided minority.

NAFA is pulling the Law Enforcement Group into FM in 2005. Thought should be given to establishing educational tracks for each different major segment and perhaps allocating exhibit space in a "pavilion" mode where police suppliers are together, etc. Manufacturers' Night is being switched to Sunday night starting in '04 and other changes can be expected.

NAFA's e-newsletter in November reported that the Trustees reviewed the extensive dialogue on the relationship between government fleets and affiliates and aside from some step already taken, is being turned over to the Affiliates Committee for further review and recommendations.

Somewhere it may not be reform, but changes are likely under whatever heading because people care and participate. Like the two Mikes.


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 Management And Leasing

Merchants Experts will answer your questions and challenges

View All
Sponsored by

American Leasing Corporation was founded in 1957 by Milton Lewis, who had previously founded a retail auto financing company, American Credit Corporation, in 1943.

Read more


Market Trends

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

By Mike Antich
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.

Conduct an Efficiency Audit to Eliminate Waste in Your Fleet Budget

By Mike Antich

View All

Driving Notes

Amy Winter-Hercher
2017 Subaru Impreza

By Amy Winter-Hercher
The redesigned 2017 Impreza has been built on Subaru’s new platform that improves stability and reduces road noise and vibration. The fuel-efficient, all-wheel-drive Impreza makes for a good commuter vehicle — available in either a sedan or hatchback.

2017 Mazda CX-5

By Eric Gandarilla

View All

Nobody Asked Me, But...

Sherb Brown
Yes Virginia, There is Depreciation

By Sherb Brown
Depreciation is a necessary evil in our industry. Knowing your risks and knowing your OEM partners won’t make depreciation go away but it can make it more manageable.

Are You a Fleet Manager or Are You Just Managing a Fleet

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