April 1977 - 9th Annual Meeting
Date: April, 1977
Location: Pittsburgh Hotel
The following is an article that appeared in the May 1977 issue of Automotive Fleet.
The continuing search for innovative ways to provide new levels of service to fleet administrators sparked the 9th Annual Meeting of the Automobile Fleet & Leasing Association. Some 250 industry leaders who assembled at the Pittsburgh Hilton Hotel tapped their collective experience in auto sales, leasing, maintenance, insurance, and related fields in a concerted effort to identify the priorities and solve the problems that beset the company car industry.
AFLA members come from all parts of the country and represent all segments of the industry. The Pittsburgh gathering included people from the factories and their sales networks, men and women from the growing leasing field, and enough fleet administrators to give the group a truly comprehensive handle on industry problems.
Outgoing AFLA President John McKean gaveled the meeting to order with a catalog of new directions fleet people must take to avoid the ravages of continued government intervention, prospects of tighter money, and threats of future fuel shortages. McKean, of Pittsburgh's LMV Leasing, introduced AFLA's new president, B.G. "Duke" Tookman, who is charged with presiding over the group's anticipated growth over the coming year.
Tookman, of Cleveland's Fleetway Systems, Inc., singled out the supply of money as a major industry matter as a major industry matter of concern and presented W. Bruce Thomas, keynote speaker of the AFLA affair. Thomas, executive vice president of U.S. Steel, brought a new understanding of the financial needs of the steel industry and related those capital problems to the auto industry and the rest of the nation's economy. Thomas declared that the U.S. Is not keeping up with the needs of capital formation in an expanding economy and pointed to "serious problems" that can be expected in the coming years.
Thomas bolstered his presentation with a slide show that graphically depicted a $2-billion capital expansion shortfall each year over the next decade that could result in curtailed employment in big steel, auto industry cutbacks, and recessionary ripples throughout the rest of the economy. Thomas defined corporate profits as "fuel for the engine of prosperity."