TORRANCE, CA – Each year, the editors at Automotive Fleet like to take a look back at the top stories of the year. In reviewing the major stories fleet industry professionals were interested in during 2011 (based on web analytics used by AF to monitor online readership), a couple of trends emerge.

First, vehicle announcements were high on the list of most-read stories, though given that this is the fleet industry, this is hardly unexpected. The top story was the announcement of Ford’s upcoming Transit commercial van, and four of the top 10 stories are about new and upcoming vehicles. One of the other major stories of the year was Hertz’s acquisition of Donlen, as was an interview with its CEO Gary Rappeport, written by Automotive Fleet’s Editor Mike Antich.

Another major event that we covered throughout the year was the earthquake in Japan, which dramatically affected the Japan-based automakers, as well as the supply of automotive parts. This event was a strong reminder of just how globalized the auto industry is, and in the aftermath, a number of automakers have worked to diversify their supply chains.

A recent story that interested professionals across the fleet industry was the National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendation to all 50 states to ban driver use of portable electronic devices and, more controversially, hands-free devices. Comments from readers ran the gamut, with some against more government regulations and others for stronger safety regulations.

Although the year is ending, a number of upcoming automotive events promise more interesting fleet, and auto industry, news early in 2012, so stay tuned.

Following are the most-read stories, based on our web analytics as of Dec. 20, 2011.

1-Ford Transit Van to Begin Production in 2013

2-Hertz to Acquire Donlen Corp. for $250 Million

3-NTSB Recommends Nationwide Ban of Driver Use of Portable Electronic Devices

4-Japan Automakers Halt Production, Assess OTD Impact

5-Hertz to Acquire Donlen: An Interview with CEO Gary Rappeport

6-Toyota Unveils 2012-MY Camry and Camry Hybrid

7-Chevrolet Debuts 2013-MY Malibu

8-Ford Releases 2012-MY Fleet Incentives

9-2011 Fleet Hall of Fame Inductees Announced at AFLA

10-Chrysler to Introduce 2013-MY Dodge Dart Compact Sedan at Detroit Auto Show

By Greg Basich