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Vehicle Research

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April 2017, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Three-Quarter-Ton vs. One-Ton Pickups

Photo of Ford F-250 by Vince Taroc.

By Paul Clinton

Commercial and government fleet purchasers prioritize versatility and seek to enhance productivity when considering which heavy-duty pickup to add to their fleet, truck manufacturers told AutomotiveFleet.com.

Tags: Ram 2500, Ford F-250, Chevrolet Silverado 2500, Chevrolet Silverado 3500, Ford F-350, Ram 3500, Large Pickups

February 2017, Automotive Fleet - Feature

GM's Chevrolet 2017-MY Fleet-Only Options

Photo of 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 courtesy of GM.

By Paul Clinton

General Motors offers optional equipment for its Chevrolet lineup that's available only to fleets that includes a maintenance credit, deleted interior features, and onboard Wi-Fi plans.

Tags: Chevrolet, Chevrolet Silverado, General Motors, 2017-MY, Optional Equipment

February 2017, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Ford's 2017-MY Fleet-Only Options

Photo of 2017 F650/F-750 courtesy of Ford.

By Paul Clinton

Ford offers optional equipment available only to fleets that includes police telematics, orange seatbelts, and adjustable pedals.

Tags: Ford, 2017-MY, Optional Equipment, Ford Super Duty, Police Vehicles, Ford Transit

February 2017, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Fiat Chrysler's 2017-MY Fleet-Only Options

Photo of 2017 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited courtesy of FCA.

By Paul Clinton

Fiat Chrysler offers optional equipment exclusive to fleets to enhance off-road operation, cargo management, and vehicle security.

Tags: Ram 1500, 2017-MY, FCA, Optional Equipment, Police Vehicles, Ram Truck

January 2017, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Interview: BMW North America's Corporate Sales Manager

BMW 5 Series sedan M Sport, photos courtesy of BMW

By Mike Antich

BMW is a global fleet provider with operations in almost every country. BMW wants to expand its fleet market share in the U.S. by implementing an aggressive fleet strategy.

Tags: BMW, Mini Cooper, Fleet Sales, Selector Lists, Gasoline-Electric Hybrids, Executive Vehicles

January 2017, Automotive Fleet - Feature

2017 Fleet Management Trends: Compact SUVs

(clockwise upper l. to r.) Photos of 2017 Escape, 2018 Equinox, 2015 Jeep Cherokee, 2017 Rogue courtesy of Ford, GM, FCA, and Nissan.

By Paul Clinton

Commercial fleets have begun to embrace compact SUVs in greater numbers as alternatives to mid-size sedans and trucks, because they offer ergonomic, operational, and remarketing benefits.

Tags: Fleet Management Companies, Compact SUVs, Sales Fleets

January 2017, Work Truck - Feature

Sprinter Charges Ahead

European-style vans, which were engineered for the narrow streets of Europe, adapt well to crowded urban environments. (Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz)

By Jack Roberts

Since its introduction to the North American market two decades ago, European-style vans have become a mainstay in the fleet industry. The van that started it all in America continues forging into the future.

Tags: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Cargo Vans, Full-Size Vans, Diesel Engines

December 2016, Work Truck - Feature

Euro-Style Cargo Vans Break the Mold

Euro-style vans, like the Ram ProMaster City, offer more cargo room than box-style vans and are more easily configurable for a variety of upfitting options. (Photo courtesy of FCA US)

By Jack Roberts

A new breed of commercial van is sweeping the country with capabilities and features unheard of just a few years ago. Here’s why many experts think these vans will soon dominate in light- and medium-duty fleets.

Tags: Nissan NV, Ram ProMaster, Ford Transit, Cargo Vans, Full-Size Vans, Compact Vans

December 2016, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Ford F-150 Wins 2016 Fleet Truck of the Year

Photo of the Ford F-150 courtesy of Ford.

By Andy Lundin

The light-duty truck has a maximum towing capability of up to 12,200 pounds, also features its award-winning Pro Trailer Backup Assist.

Tags: Ford F-150, Automotive Fleet, Fleet Truck of the Year, Ford, Awards

December 2016, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Chevrolet Malibu Wins 2016 Fleet Car of the Year

Photo of the Chevrolet Malibu courtesy of General Motors.

By Andy Lundin

The Chevrolet Malibu saw big changes going into its ninth generation for the 2016-MY and 2017-MY, including the introduction of its first full hybrid model.

Tags: Chevrolet, Automotive Fleet, Fleet Car of the Year, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

November 2016, Automotive Fleet - WebXclusive

2016 L.A. Auto Show: SUVs, Electrification, Mobility

Photo of 2019 Ford EcoSport by Paul Clinton.

By Staff

The mobility revolution is happening through greater connectivity, manufacturers' suites of transportation services, electrification, and the introduction of autonomous vehicles themselves. At the same time, manufacturers are placing the car at the center in this new world.

Tags: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles, L.A. Auto Show, Mobility, Compact SUVs

November 2016, Automotive Fleet - Feature

VW and Audi 2017 Fleet Preview

A walkaround product demonstration was given to fleet attendees of the all-new 2017 Golf SportWagen 4Motion. Photo courtesy of VW.

By Mike Antich

More than 90 fleet managers and suppliers attended the two-day fleet preview, which included product demonstrations and ride-and-drives.

Tags: Audi, Volkswagen, 2017-MY, Fleet Previews

October 2016, Work Truck - Feature

Upfitting High-Roof and Compact Vans

Adrian Steel’s Drop-Down and Grip Lock Ladder Racks provide lighter options for ladder storage and ease of access. (Photo: Adrian Steel)

By Lauren Fletcher

From ladder racks to cargo solutions to partitions and more, van upfitting options are ready for any make, model, and vocational use.

Tags: Cargo Storage, Partitions, Ladder Racks, Van Upfitting

September 2016, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Mercedes-Benz Shows Fleet Managers E-Class Safety Tech

Photo by Chris Wolski.

By Paul Clinton

Mercedes-Benz hosted Southern California fleet managers at its new Vehicle Preparation Center for a demonstration of its redesigned 2017 E-Class.

Tags: Mercedes-Benz, Active Safety Systems, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Fleet Previews, Steering

September 2016, Work Truck - Cover Story

Ford's All-New 2017 F-Series Super Duty

The all-new 2017 Ford F-250 Lariat Crew Cab 4x4 single-rear-wheel pickup is the most popular model in the Super Duty lineup. It offers a combination of conventional, gooseneck and fifth-wheel towing capability. (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.)

By Mike Antich

This is the first all-new Super Duty truck in 18 years. Key enhancements include a high-strength aluminum body and box for all body styles, an all-new high-strength steel frame, improved fuel economy, and greater towing capabilities.

Tags: Ford F-550, Ford F-450, Ford F-350, Ford F-250, Ford, 2017-MY, Ford Super Duty, Large Pickups

May 2016, Automotive Fleet - Cover Story

Mercedes-Benz: New Models Meet New Needs

Photo of 2017 E-Class courtesy of Mercedes-Benz.

By By Shelley Ernst

Mercedes-Benz plans to introduce 30 new models by 2020. What do fleets have to look forward to?

Tags: Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, Luxury SUVs, Luxury Sedans, 2016-MY, 2017-MY

April 2016, Work Truck - Feature

Making Full-Size Vans Work for 2016

The Nissan NV Cargo van is offered in three models with its Standard Roof or two models in the High Roof body. (PHOTO: NISSAN)

By Lauren Fletcher

Full-size cargo vans provide fleet managers with added cargo space, vehicle height options, and the payload capacity for just about every vocational need.

Tags: Cargo Vans, Full-Size Vans, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit, Nissan NV, Ram ProMaster, Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana, Ford E-Series

April 2016, Work Truck - Feature

Compact Vans Fill the Urban Need

The ProMaster City is Ram’s Class 1 van offering available in four versions and featuring a standard, 9-speed automatic transmission. (PHOTO: FCA US)

By Lauren Fletcher

The smaller size of compact work vans fit in more compact urban environments, while still providing abundant cargo capacity and myriad configurations for vocational fleet requirements.

Tags: Cargo Vans, Compact Vans, Ram ProMaster City, Nissan NV200, Mercedes-Benz Metris, Ford Transit Connect, Chevrolet City Express

April 2016, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Autonomous Vehicle Hurdles to Consider

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.com.

By David Deslauriers

Self-driving vehicles are the next frontier in automobile innovation and companies such as Google, Ford, GM, Tesla, and other OEMs are testing and perfecting their version.

Tags: Driver Safety, Autonomous Vehicles, Insurance, NHTSA

March 2016, Fleet Financials - Feature

Jaguar's New 'Cat' In the Jungle

The 2017 Jaguar XE. Photo: Paul Clinton

By Paul Clinton

Jaguar's 2017 model-year XE will stalk its way into the competitive entry level luxury vehicle segment. The automaker is taking a more aggressive approach to fleet sales.

Tags: Jaguar, Tata Motors, Executive Vehicles, Infotainment Systems, Entry Luxury Cars, Jaguar XE

December 2015, Automotive Fleet - Feature

2015 Fleet Truck of the Year: Ram 1500

Photo courtesy of Ram.

By Chris Wolski

The fleet truck of the year’s diesel variant delivers up to 29 mpg and a towing capability up to 9,200 pounds, making it the standout among its competitors.

Tags: Fleet Truck of the Year, Ram Truck, Ram 1500, Large Pickups, Automotive Fleet, Business Fleet

December 2015, Automotive Fleet - Feature

2015 Fleet Car of the Year: Ford Fusion

The Ford Fusion mid-size sedan features several technology enhancements for the 2016 model-year, including a redesigned center stack. Photo courtesy of Ford.

By Lauren Fletcher

The Ford Fusion was once again named the Fleet Car of the Year by fleet managers in an online ballot. Ford has continued to update the Fusion with more standard and available features desired in a mid-size sedan.

Tags: Ford Fusion, Fleet Car of the Year, Ford, Mid-Size Sedans, Automotive Fleet, Business Fleet

November 2015, Automotive Fleet - WebXclusive

Trends From the 2015 L.A. Auto Show

Photo of 2017 Buick LaCross by Chris Wolski.

By Staff

The 2015 L.A. Auto Show included a renewed focus on luxury models, experiments in disruptive technology such as hydrogen power and virtual reality-enhanced driving, sportier exterior and interior designs with more emotional appeal, and the rising popularity of electrified powertrains over diesel and other alternative fuel types.

Tags: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles, L.A. Auto Show, Luxury SUVs, Trends

November 2015, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Toyota's 2015 Fleet Executive Meeting Rocked

Photo courtesy of Toyota.

By Mike Antich

Toyota Motor Sales USA held its annual business meeting and product preview at the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Nigel in Dana Point, Calif., June 17-19, 2015. More than 150 fleet professionals attended the product preview, which included commercial fleet managers and representatives from fleet management companies.

Tags: Toyota, Toyota Tacoma, Fleet Previews, Toyota Mirai

November 2015, Work Truck - Feature

18 Recommendations to Improve OTD for Upfits

Upfits, such as the aluminum service body by Reading Truck Body pictured, impact overall order-to-delivery times. (PHOTO: Reading Truck Body)

By Mike Antich

Strong demand from retail and fleet customers helped fuel truck and van sales in 2015. While good news for OEMs, this increased production volume resulted in order-to-delivery (OTD) delays. Experts offer suggestions on how to improve OTD.

Tags: Upfitting, Order-to-Delivery, OTD

September 2015, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Using Predictive Analytics to Improve Fleet Decisions

Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto.com.

By Grace Suizo

With the powerful data from telematics, fleets are using predictive models to make future fleet decisions, whether it’s about an individual driver or maintenance or even vehicle procurement.

Tags: Predictive Analytics, Big Data, Accident Management

September 2015, Work Truck - Feature

14 Tips to Improve Upfit Spec'ing

Carefully review specification quotes. Advise your engineer and upfit supplier of required items during the initial request to ensure they’re included.

By Mike Antich

We give you 14 suggestions about how to improve fleet truck upfitting from our "dream team" of 18 subject-matter experts in part 2 of our two-part series.

Tags: Upfitting, Spec'ing, Fleet Management Companies

September 2015, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Volkswagen and Audi Preview 2016 Fleets

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen and Audi.

By Mike Antich

The 2016 model-year fleet preview for Volkswagen and Audi was held May 18-20, 2015, at the newly opened $100-million Porsche headquarters in Atlanta.

Tags: Audi, Porsche, Volkswagen, 2016-MY, Fleet Previews

September 2015, Automotive Fleet - Feature

GM Previews 2016-MY Fleet Vehicles

Photo courtesy of GM.

By Mike Antich

More than 850 fleet managers and fleet suppliers had an opportunity to test drive 180 GM vehicles at the company's 2016 Fleet Preview.

Tags: General Motors, Fleet Previews, 2016-MY

September 2015, Work Truck - Cover Story

Mercedes-Benz Launches 2016 Metris Mid-Size Van

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

By Mike Antich

Available as a cargo or passenger van, the new 2016-MY mid-size van will be focused on vocational and fleet markets. It will be available with a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine with 7-speed automatic transmission.

Tags: Cargo Vans, Mercedes-Benz, Passenger Vans, Mercedes-Benz Metris

August 2015, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Ford Previews 2016-MY Fleet Vehicles

Attendees being briefed the automaker's 2016 product lineup. Photo courtesy of Ford.

By Mike Antich

Ford Motor Company held its 2016 model-year fleet preview at the Gaylord Texan resort in Grapevine, Texas, from May 4-6.

Tags: Lincoln, Ford, 2016-MY, Fleet Previews

May 2015, Business Fleet - Feature

Aluminum F-150 Designed for Repairability

Photo courtesy of Ford

By Paul Clinton

Ford addresses vehicle engineering, parts pricing, insurance costs and auto body shop training in regards to keeping repair prices in check.

Tags: Ford F-150, Ford, Aluminum, Large Pickups, TCO, I-CAR, ASE

May 2015, Work Truck - Feature

Colorado Box Delete Offers Fleet Multiple Options

PHOTO: General Motors

By Chris Wolski

With the box-delete and seat-delete options, fleets will have the flexibility to customize the mid-size pickup to meet fleet needs.

Tags: Chevrolet, Colorado, General Motors, Box Delete, Seat Delete

May 2015, Automotive Fleet - Cover Story

2015 Fleet Industry Report Card: OEMs

Photo via istock.com

By Mike Antich

The results are in for the third annual industry report card, validating that OEM fleet operations continue to do a very good job in meeting the needs of commercial fleet managers; however, there is room for further improvement.

Tags: Post-Warranty Recovery, Industry Report Card, Order to Delivery, Vehicle Manufacturing

May 2015, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Fleet Managers Get Insiders' Look at Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford.

By Staff

Ford Motor Company recently hosted some of its largest fleet and commercial customers at a daylong learning session about the all-new 2015 Ford F-150.

Tags: Ford F-150, Ford, Fleet Events, Pickup Trucks, Aluminum

March 2015, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Weighing the Options Before Procuring Hybrids

Photo via istock.com

By Robert Hall

For fleets that do more driving in city areas, hybrid vehicles could be the alternative-fuel option to choose: however, do the research and weigh the options to ensure the vehicles are the right fit.

Tags: EPA, Gasoline-Electric Hybrids, Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles, Alternative Fuels

March 2015, Automotive Fleet - Cover Story

Ram ProMaster City is Upfitter Friendly, Business Ready

The Ram ProMaster City cargo models offer a load compartment with a cargo volume of 131.7 cubic feet and a cargo width of 60.4 inches. (PHOTO: RAM TRUCKS)

By Mike Antich

The 2015 Ram ProMaster City is based on the Fiat Doblo, a two-time International Van of the Year winner with more than 1.3 million units sold. Built on a 122.4-inch wheelbase, it is available in cargo and wagon versions.

Tags: Cargo Vans, Ram Truck, Ram ProMaster City

March 2015, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Toyota Camry XSE Offers Performance and Practicality

The Camry XSE offers the body style and perfomance feel shifting of the SE, but also boasts a wider wheel package and more sharply tuned suspension and steering. Photo by Adam Pringle.

By Adam Pringle

The 2015 Camry XSE combines sportier suspension with high-tech safety features in a familiarity sturdy mid-size sedan package.

Tags: Toyota Camry, 2015-MY, Mid-Size Sedans, Toyota

February 2015, TruckingInfo.com - WebXclusive

Snow, Cold Welcomed by Ram Truck Testing Crews

Photo courtesy Ram Truck.

By Nick Cappa

Every year, Ram's truck engineering teams take advantage of the naturally recurring elements to reproduce the harsh environments some customers and operators experience.

Tags: Ram Truck, Cold Air Intake, Winter Equipment, Snow Removal, Vehicle Testing

February 2015, Automotive Fleet - Feature

North American Rail Congestion Causes and Effects

Photo courtesy of Association of American Railroads (AAR).

By Chris Blumberg

Heavier rail cars and an aging box car fleet are having a serious impact on overall rail congestion. The box car fleet responsible for moving vehicles is getting smaller by the year.

Tags: Traffic Congestion, Rail Cars, Economic Conditions, Trends

January 2015, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Fleet Management 2025 Forecast: Fleet License and Title Services

Photo via Chris Harrison/Flickr.

By Mike Antich

The industry consensus is that fleet license & title services will become more expensive in future years as vehicle registrations are blocked for unpaid tolls & violations. Transaction fees will increase to offset DMV budget shortages.

Tags: Vehicle Title, Autonomous Vehicles, Online Tool, Tolls, Taxation

January 2015, Automotive Fleet - Cover Story

Fleet Management 2025 Forecast

Illustration by Armie Bautista.

By Mike Antich

In the next 10 years, the fleet industry is forecast change more than it has in the past 15 years. These changes will mirror the broader transformation percolating throughout the global economy.

Tags: Forecast, Trends, Productivity, Preventive Maintenance

January 2015, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Fleet Management 2025 Forecast: Productivity Tools

Photo via Wikimedia.

By Mike Antich

Mobile apps will by fully integrated into fleet and become the medium for driver interaction, while cloud computing will accelerate the transmission of data. Vehicle connectivity will add a new dimension to fleet management.

Tags: Productivity, Connected Vehicle Technology, Mobile Apps, Forecast

January 2015, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Fleet Management 2025 Forecast: New Vehicle Purchasing

Photo via wikimedia

By Mike Antich

Government-mandated CAFE standards are exerting pressure on OEMs to develop smaller, more lightweight models and add more alt-fuel vehicles and hybrids to their lineups. Lower fuel costs will shift TCO focus to depreciation.

Tags: Vehicle Purchasing, Forecast, Selector Lists, Fuel Costs, TCO

December 2014, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Considerations When Adding NGVs to Your Fleet

A technician instalss a compressed natural gas (CNG) tank on a 2015 Chevrolet Express van, which is available with either a three- or four-tank option. Photo courtesy of General Motors.

By Rob Minton

Understanding the differences in tank configuration and payload capacity as well as fuel capacity, and how that compares to a fleet's specific needs, is crucial in making the best possible decision.

Tags: Fleet Management, Conversion, Bi-Fuel, NGV, NGVAmerica

December 2014, Automotive Fleet - Feature

2014 Fleet Truck of the Year: Ford F-150

Bob Brown Jr., Great Lakes regional sales manager for Automotive Fleet (right), presents the 2014 Fleet Truck of the Year Award to Fritz Ahadi, general manager of commercial and government operations for Ford Motor Co.

By Lauren Fletcher

The iconic pickup truck was named by fleet managers from across all industries and fleet sizes as this year's top truck.

Tags: Ford F-150, Pickup Trucks, Fleet Truck of the Year

December 2014, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Fleet Car of the Year: 2015 Chevrolet Cruze

Bob Brown Jr., Great lakes sals manager for Automotive Fleet (right), presented the 2014 Fleet Car of the Year Award to Ed Peper, U.S. vice president for fleet and commercial sales for GM. This is the first time the Cruze has received the annual award.

By Chris Wolski

Strong TCO, a stellar safety rating, and a plethora of technological, labor-saving content have fueled fleet interest in this year's fleet car of the year.

Tags: Fleet Car of the Year, Chevrolet Cruze, Awards

November 2014, Automotive Fleet - WebXclusive

2014 L.A. Auto Show Press Day Impressions

Ford's Explorer adds a 2.3L EcoBoost engine. Photo by Paul Clinton.

By Staff

Compact crossovers, performance vehicles, and hydrogen fuel-cell technology takes center stage in Los Angeles.

Tags: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles, L.A. Auto Show, Compact SUVs

November 2014, Automotive Fleet - Feature

GM Seeks to Revitalize Mid-Size Pickup Market

While the Chevrolet Colorado has sportier exterior styling, its Work Truck trim level is specifically designed for fleets, featuring a rear seat delete (on extended cab only) and vinyl seats. The Colorado’s extended cab configuration is also available with a box delete, making it easier to upfit.

By Chris Wolski

After largely disappearing for several years, GM hopes to connect fleets with its mid-size truck offerings. The Colorado Work Truck trim is specifically designed with fleets in mind.

Tags: GMC Canyon, Chevrolet Colorado, Mid-Size Pickups, General Motors, Light-Duty Trucks

October 2014, Automotive Fleet - Feature

Why Pickup Towing Standardization Matters for Fleets

Photo of the Ram 2500 courtesy of Ram Truck.

By Paul Clinton

The major light-duty truck manufacturers have all embraced the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J2807 towing standard. Fleets will benefit from better ability to spec their vehicles.

Tags: Towing, SAE International, Ram Truck, General Motors, Ford, Pickup Trucks, Vehicle Testing

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