The History of Fleet Associations
Over the course of fleet management’s history, professional associations have played an integral part in building the profession.
Going hand-in-glove with the development of fleet management, professional fleet associations have been a way for fleet managers and suppliers to share ideas, improve skills, and build lasting friendships. The following is an overview of the major fleet associations (in alphabetical order):
Founded in 1955, the American Automotive Leasing Association (AALA) represents companies that lease and manage vehicle fleets for other businesses.
Headquartered in the Alexandria, Va., AALA’s primary goal is to ensure the business interests of the fleet leasing industry are properly represented before the U.S. Congress, the executive branch, and federal regulatory agencies. Recently, AALA expanded its scope to include advocacy at state and local levels.
In addition to commercial fleet leasing and management companies, the national Association’s membership also includes publicly owned, international, and family-owned companies. A secondary membership category is open to any company or organization with an institutional interest in the auto leasing industry.
In 1969, Edward Bobit, founder of Bobit Business Media (publisher of Automotive Fleet), assembled a group of fleet-minded professionals to form the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA).
The organization works with its members to address key issues facing the entire commercial fleet industry and deliver cutting-edge programs from the commercial fleet perspective. The aim is to advance members’ skills and their environment, promoting growth, expansion, education, and overall professionalism.
Today, AFLA has more than 300 member companies representing all industry segments including commercial fleet managers, auto manufacturers, and fleet service companies.
The National Association of Fleet Resale Dealers (NAFRD) is managed by the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA), a non-profit organization representing the independent vehicle industry and its members, in 2007. The NIADA also provides a framework for NAFRD members.
NAFRD is also a legislative advocate, providing relevant information to regulatory and lawmaking bodies in order to create a better understanding of the possible effects of proposed laws or regulations.
A group of fleet management professionals recognized the need for a membership society in 1957, which led to the birth of the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) that same year. The non-profit caters to a diverse range of fleet managers, regardless of organizational type, geographic location, or fleet composition.
More than 50 years later and now referred to as the NAFA Fleet Management Association, NAFA’s membership is in the thousands with 33 regional chapters in the U.S. and Canada. Full and associate members are responsible for more than 3.7 million vehicles. NAFA has grown to provide members with a full range of products and services including statistical research, publications, regional chapter meetings, government representation, seminars, online info, and an annual expo.
Founded in 1978, the Truck Renting and Leasing Association (TRALA) is a voluntary, non-profit national trade association serving as a unified and focused voice for the truck renting and leasing industry headquartered in Alexandria, Va.
TRALA’s mission is to foster a positive legislative and regulatory climate within which companies engaged in leasing and renting vehicles and trailers, as well as related businesses. TRALA membership includes more than 400 truck rental and leasing companies. Associate members consist of service and material suppliers.