The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Strange but True

December 2008, by Lauren Fletcher - Also by this author

Automotive Fleet has collected these "Strange but True" stories from fleet managers, drivers, and fleet management companies. Do you have a strange but true story? Something so incredible it couldn’t have been made up? Share your stories with Automotive Fleet. E-mail:

Understanding Customs

A fleet manager oversaw vehicles in 26 countries. One of the largest groups of vehicles was in Japan. A newly promoted manager was to be provided a new car as a part of his promotion. The company decided to give the new manager keys to the new car as part of the promotion ceremony.

After the ceremony, the Japanese manager asked to speak to the fleet manager in private. He began by asking if it was considered impolite to return a present in the U.S. Answering yes, the fleet manager inquired what the problem was. The answer he received taught him a lot about Japan.

In Japan, vehicle owners must show evidence proving ownership of a parking space to obtain license plates. The newly promoted manager had bought an apartment without a parking space.

Without an off-street parking spot, the new manager could not get a license plate for the vehicle. The issue was resolved by providing the manager the equivalent in taxi fare. Each morning, a taxi picks him up and every night one takes him home. Anyone who has ever ridden on the Tokyo subway can understand how excited he was with his gift.


Stolen a 2nd Time


One fleet had a fleet vehicle stolen from a location in New Jersey. About a week or so later, the fleet manager received a phone call from the police in Brooklyn, N.Y., stating the stolen car was located and found on a street in Brooklyn. The fleet manager quickly arranged for a towing company to pick up the vehicle. Unfortunately, by the time the towing company arrived to pick up the car, it wasn’t there — the car had been stolen a second time!

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