April 1969 - First AFLA Conference
Date: April 1969
Location: Royal York Hotel, Toronto, Canada
The following is an article on AFLA that appeared in the May 1969 issue of Automotive Fleet magazine.
"The biggest thing that faces the leasing company, the fleet administrator, the dealer, and the manufacturer is that we can't rely on the traditional ways of doing business.
"We have to innovate. We have to come up with new ideas. We are in an interchanging community. We have to change with the times.
AFLA was founded in April 1969. AFLA's first conference was held at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Canada. The luncheon speaker was John Blessing, president, Commercial Credit Industrial Corp.
As stated in the March issue of Automotive Fleet, which sponsored a one-day seminar in Toronto for the purpose of determining if such an organization was needed in the industry, the overall objective was to "improve dealer relationships with fleet buyers in order to increase fleet sales, develop better communications in administration, delineate buyer motives and objectives, and to upgrade service."
There were 70 persons who attended the seminar, which began with a continental breakfast sponsored by Chrysler-Plymouth and Dodge Divisions.
Ed Bobit, publisher and editor of Automotive Fleet, officially opened the seminar with an outline of objectives.
These objectives, which later in the day were approved by the association's bylaws committee, included:
"...to better analyze factory programs and to develop professional techniques for training programs and overall industry relations with volume buyers..."
"...to develop strong liaison with NAFA and other related associations who have a basic interest in the fleet buying and selling relationship..."
Dennis McSweeney, new car purchasing manager, Hertz Car Leasing Division, also spoke at the April 1969 conference on "How Hertz Leasing Deals with Dealers."
McSweeney told the seminar that his company does business with "1,200 new-car dealers and that 85 percent of the fleet managers that do business with Hertz have been doing business the car leasing division for five years or more."
"At Hertz, we don't have any secret yardstick or secret formula in the establishing of our dealer network," McSweeney said.
He listed what he called the "big three areas" in the establishment of such a network. He said the three areas were not listed in any order of priority.
"First must be communications. This is communications between dealer and Hertz and the customer. These communication lines, once established, must be used for status of orders, operation notification, stock car availability, and numerous other information.
"Second must be dependability. We have had more than our share of fair weather friends ... those dealers who during the production period think we are great, but when production has stopped, stock cars are either at a premium or non-existent.
"A third area is maintenance and used car facilities. These areas speak for themselves," McSweeney said.
McSweeney also listed geography, size of dealership, and the fact that a dealer does business with other leasing companies as important factors in becoming a part of the Hertz dealer network.