This is an exciting time for the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA) as it gains widespread recognition as a strong voice for the commercial fleet management industry. As its current president, I'm especially proud of AFLA's growing stature within the commercial fleet management community. For the past five years, AFLA has experienced year-over-year growth in membership and conference attendance.

Word-of-mouth by commercial fleet management professionals is giving AFLA a strong thumb's up. There's no mistaking it - there's definitely a buzz in the industry about AFLA, or as I liken it -- AFLAmania. I hear it all the time from many commercial fleet professionals. Typically, the conversation starts: "I've been hearing a lot of good things about AFLA, tell me more...." This industry buzz promises to reach a crescendo on Sept. 9-11 when AFLA holds its annual conference at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix. Registrations have already surpassed 2008 attendance, which had a near-record turnout. This strong industry support for AFLA is especially significant in a down economy with widespread travel restrictions.

By all indications, this year's conference promises to be the best yet. Our industry is changing and market intelligence is more important then ever. AFLA has assembled an impressive array of industry experts to address the real-world issues confronting the commercial fleet management industry. This represents true ROI for your company. Here's some examples of what will be discussed at the conference:

  • Learn about Strategies to Fund Your Fleet in Today's and Tomorrow's Economy
    What is the future for LIBOR, securitization, commercial paper, or self-funding? AFLA has assembled eight CFOs who will share strategies and forecasts about the fleet funding market. This isn't Fleet Funding 101. This is fleet funding experts talking with other funding experts about strategic alternatives.
  • What's the Auto Industry Going to Look Like in the Next Five Years?
    John McElroy, universally regarded as one of the best auto industry analysts, will explain that even more change is coming - dramatic change. This is critical market intelligence your company needs to know when developing future sourcing strategies.
  • Will there be a Shortage of Used Vehicles in the Near Future?
    Ricky Beggs, editor of Black Book, thinks so. He will explain why this will happen and how you can position your company to benefit from these market forces. Successful remarketing is more than just selling a used vehicle today; it is strategically positioning yourself to remarket the right vehicles three years from now. This is the type of market intelligence in which AFLA excels.
  • Learn about Best Practices to Lower Your Fleet's Total Cost of Ownership
    Why re-invent the wheel? Learn from fleet pros who will give you the straight scoop of what works and what doesn't. This is peer-to-peer market intelligence.
  • Do You Feel Change is Being Imposed Upon You?
    AFLA has signed a renowned industry expert to explain how to use "imposed change" to increase your fleet's ROI.
  • How to Use Supply Chain Management to Control Fleet Costs
    Supply chain strategic partnerships provide many underutilized opportunities to squeeze costs out of your fleet operation. Learn about cost-saving strategies at the forefront of the most sophisticated fleet management organizations.

Strategic vs. Tactical Fleet Management

The AFLA Conference is not Fleet Management 101. It presents high-level, strategic information you need to optimize the cost-effectiveness of your commercial fleet assets.

The 2009 AFLA conference is designed to provide a return on your investment. AFLA's strategic approach is what keeps members a step ahead of the challenges and current events within the automotive industry. This year's conference will present high-quality content and speakers, yet is affordable. Because AFLA is comprised of experienced fleet professionals, the conference agenda encompasses topics geared towards best business practices rather than best fleet tactics. Conference speakers, too, will review business concepts that, when applied to fleet, add strategic value along with operational efficiencies. 

This year's conference is all about change. Specifically, inter-connected changes, or the Matrix of Change (the conference theme), that impact your organization when the economy is under stress. Now, more than ever, it's not enough to understand tactics - a strategic perspective is also required.

Networking is a Core Value

One of AFLA's strength is its networking culture. Networking is essential to be successful in commercial fleet management. AFLA is renowned for its networking opportunities. Cited as one of the top reasons why fleet professionals join the organization, networking has been a core value of AFLA for the past 40 years. There is no better place than the annual conference to take advantage of networking with like-minded people from throughout our industry, who are all in one place at the same time.

If you would like to get more information on the AFLA agenda or to register for the conference, visit

I hope to see you in Phoenix, so you can learn first-hand why so many commercial fleet management professionals believe AFLA is the industry's must-attend conference.

Let me know what you think.

[email protected]


About the author
Mike Antich

Mike Antich

Former Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike Antich covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Global Fleet of Hal in 2022. He also won the Industry Icon Award, presented jointly by the IARA and NAAA industry associations.

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