The Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) is the forum dedicated to improving communication between sellers, buyers, fleet managers, lending institutions, fleet management companies, used vehicle marketers, and allied automotive service companies.
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 people 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..."
You can read the full article about that original 1969 meeting here.
View videos and interviews with fleet veterans (including Ed Bobit) at AFLA's webpage.