30 Jun, 2016

Brexit may cost carmakers 2.8 million global sales, IHS says

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The UK’s vote to leave the European Union may cost automakers about 2.8 million light-vehicle sales through 2018, researcher IHS Automotive said in its latest projections for industry.

Worldwide deliveries may rise to 89.82 million this year, about 200,000 fewer than anticipated before last week’s Brexit referendum, IHS Automotive said in an email. The researcher reduced estimates for 2017 and 2018 by about 1.25 million and 1.38 million, respectively.

“The UK is, unsurprisingly, anticipated to bear the brunt of the impact,” said Ian Fletcher, a London-based analyst for IHS Automotive. Instead of expanding 3.2 percent this year, the UK market may grow by just 1 percent, followed by declines each of the next two years, IHS Automotive estimates.

The $20.65 billion UK auto industry ships about 80 percent of vehicle production overseas, with almost 60 percent of exports destined for the rest of the EU, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the nation’s motor industry trade group.

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest automaker, has said Brexit may lead to levies of as much as 10 percent on the Avensis and Auris cars it builds in the UK, challenging the company to cut costs or raise prices and hurt sales.

Source: Automotive News

30 Jun, 2016

Faulty Warning Chimes Spur Chevrolet Recall

By |June 30th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Faulty Warning Chimes Spur Chevrolet Recall

General Motors is recalling 18,780 2015-2016 model-year Chevrolet Sonic and Trax vehicles, along with 2013-2015-MY Spark subcompact cars, equipped with a Bring Your Own Media radio.

The affected radios may not provide an audible warning chime when the driver fails to fasten the seat belt or leaves the key in the ignition. As a result, the vehicles fail to meet all federal safety standards, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

GM dealers will update the radio software, free of charge, to address the problem. Vehicle owners can reach Chevrolet customer service at (800) 222-1020. GM’s number for this recall is 45340.

30 Jun, 2016

Highest July 4th Travel Predicted

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During the upcoming Independence Day holiday weekend, AAA projects nearly 43 million Americans will travel, according to the “AAA Independence Day Travel Forecast,” an increase of 1.3% from the 42.3 million people who traveled last year.

This represents the highest Fourth of July travel volume on record, according to AAA Travel. This number is up five million more travelers compared to Memorial Day weekend 2016.

More than 36 million people — 84% of travelers — will drive to their destinations, an increase of 1.2% over last year, according to AAA Travel. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday June 30 to Monday July 4.

“Spurred by the lowest gas prices since 2005, more people than ever are planning to travel this Independence Day weekend,” said Marshall Doney, AAA president and CEO. “Whether they’re traveling by car, plane, train, or cruise ship, it will be exciting to see so many Americans celebrating our nation’s freedom with their friends and family over the long holiday weekend.”

Despite recent seasonal increases, gasoline prices remain well below recent years. In fact, AAA expects most U.S. drivers will pay the lowest Independence Day gas prices since 2005. The national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.31, which is 47 cents less than one year ago.

When it comes to car rental, daily rental rates will average $75, 6% more than last year, according to AAA Travel.
“We are well on our way for 2016 to be a record-breaking year for summertime travel,” said Doney. “This trend is welcome news for the travel industry and a sign that Americans are taking to our nation’s highways and skies like never before.”

Source:Auto Rental News

29 Jun, 2016



Volvo is aggressively pushing for self-driving cars. It’s putting 100 autonomous cars on public roads in Gothenburg, Sweden by next year and another 100 on London’s streetsby 2018. A similar plan is expected to roll out in China. To study the public’s perception of these emerging vehicles, the automaker surveyed nearly 50,000 people worldwide and gathered some interesting insights. Not surprisingly, opinions vary greatly depending on where you live.

For one thing, 55 percent of respondents say they want a steering wheel in a fully autonomous car, supporting the findings of an earlier survey that had a smaller sample size. Google has cooked up an autonomous car prototype with no steering wheel or brakes, although many argue cars should have these features at least until the technology is proven.

The survey also revealed that 72 percent of people think automakers should preserve the experience of manual driving. Most people around the globe still want to take control of the driving experience in some capacity; 69 percent want to be able to choose the route they will take in an autonomous car.

A whopping 72 percent of people believe car manufacturers will make autonomous cars a reality, rather than tech companies like Google. But 80 percent of drivers also expect automakers to accept liability for accidents while vehicles are operating in autonomous mode.

In one part of its survey, Volvo narrows in on U.S. consumers, and it turns out people’s opinions vary widely based on the region in which they live. Nine out of 10 New Yorkers and 86 percent of Californians feel autonomous cars could make life easier, but residents of Illinois and Texas are less accepting. Only 52 percent of Illinois residents say they trust autonomous cars, down 10 percent from the national average. And only 60 percent of Texans are convinced of the safety benefits of autonomous cars, down from the average of 69 percent.

Check out the infographic below for more survey results. Where do you stand on autonomous cars?

Source: Motor Trend

22 Jun, 2016

UberPool Tops 1M Uses in London

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Uber’s carsharing service UberPool has been used more than 1 million times in London since it launched six months ago, according to a report by The Telegraph.

The service allows Uber users to share their rides if they are going in the same direction. The fares are 25% cheaper than the typical Uber trip, says the report.

Since its launch, more than 700,000 driving miles have been saved compared to if the trips had been taken solo, Jo Bertram, Uber’s U.K. head, told The Telegraph.

“We’re really pleased so many Londoners have chosen to share their journeys in the first few months of this new service,” Bertram told The Telegraph. “Not only does carsharing save consumers money, it’s also good for our city as it means fewer miles driven and less air pollution.”

Source:Auto Rental News


20 Jun, 2016

Phoenix Rental Companies Challenge $34M in Taxes

By |June 20th, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Phoenix Rental Companies Challenge $34M in Taxes

Rental car companies are looking to get a refund of a tax collected by the city of Phoenix, according to a report by the Associated Press. These rental companies won a court order for the return of about $150 million in taxes from a fund that pays for the University of Phoenix stadium.

The Arizona Sports and Tourism Authority depends on revenue from the 3.25% rental car tax to make debt payments on the University of Phoenix stadium as well as to promote tourism and pay for Cactus League stadiums.

The rental companies are seeking a refund of money that they have paid in sales taxes over the past four years, according to the report. An Arizona judge ruled that the rental car tax went against a state constitutional provision. Taxes imposed on the use of vehicles — on public streets — are restricted to funding road construction, maintenance, and related purposes.

Three rental companies are involved and paid about $200,000, but the city of Phoenix has collected more than $34 million from its rental car tax since 2012, according to the report.

The claim was filed last week for the companies by attorney Shawn Aiken. The claim could expand into a class-action case, says the report.

Click here for the full Associated Press report.

14 Jun, 2016

Which Credit Cards Ranked Highest for Rental Insurance Coverage?

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The major credit card networks provide some form of rental car insurance coverage to their customers, but types and levels of coverage vary by card, according to the “2016 Credit Card Auto Rental Insurance Report” by CardHub, an online credit card search and compare tool.

CardHub looked at the online car rental policies of all the credit cards currently offered by the 10 largest issuers. It then collected the information needed to answer these six questions: What vehicles are excluded? What other exclusions do the policies have? What is the quality of the coverage? How does one activate the benefit? How should claims be filed? How easy is it to obtain complete policy information?

For the first time this year, CardHub examined the insurance coverage at the card level; its previous studies evaluated coverage at the network level. According to CardHub, it made the change in 2016 after finding inconsistencies among offers on the same network and/or issued by the same credit card company.

After grading the cards, Citi credit cards were found to have the most favorable rental car insurance policies, according to the study. MasterCard took the title for the best network coverage; Visa finished second, followed by American Express and Discover.

Key Findings

Here are some other key findings of the study:

• Almost 40% of cards only cover domestic rentals for up to 15 days.
• There’s a 6% chance you could get penalized for driving on a dirt/gravel road.
• Only Citi and Discover credit cards provide global coverage. Ireland, Jamaica, and Israel are the most common country exclusions among the credit card companies.
• More than 60% of credit cards don’t cover all rim/tire damage.
• Nearly 10% of credit cards will not reimburse you for loss of use, which can cost upward of $100.

CardHub’s study also looked at the coverage that customers can expect from a credit card’s standard rental
insurance policy versus the best policy. For the study, CardHub used American Express’ Rental Collision Policy as the “standard rental insurance policy” and Citi’s Rental Collision Policy as the “best policy.”

For coverage amount, the best policy covers up to $100,000 while a standard policy covers the cost of repairs and the vehicle’s book value or the vehicle’s purchase price (whichever is lower). When it comes to the duration of coverage, most policies cover 30 days; the best policy covers 31 days.

When looking at vehicle exclusions, a standard policy usually excludes vans, trucks, pickups, motorcycles, recreational or off-road vehicles, and certain popular SUVs, antique, exotic, or luxury vehicles. The best policy only excludes off-road vehicles, according to the study. For country exclusions, the standard policy doesn’t cover rentals in Australia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, and New Zealand. The best policy has no country exclusions for renters.

In certain areas of coverage, the “standard policy” and “best policy” don’t vary greatly — if at all. For instance, policies labeled standard to “best” cover costs stemming from damage, theft, or vandalism of rental vehicles. Both standard and “best” types cover towing costs, loss of use, and the personal insurance deductible. In addition, to receive the insurance coverage offered by credit cards, both types only require the customer to decline the rental company’s supplemental coverage.

14 Jun, 2016

Small Car Values Continue to Drop

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This week’s Black Book Market Insights report looked at which vehicle segments continue to face heavier-than-normal depreciation, particularly over the last month.

Smaller cars, including the sub-compact cars (-2.4%) and compact cars (-1.6%), are two of the three segments that are showing the greatest single-month valuation drop, according to Black Book. The compact van has also seen a drop in value (-2.2%).

“Sub-compact cars saw the largest drop in values last month, and they continue to experience downward pressure as demand is weak and supplies remain abundant,” said Anil Goyal, senior vice president of Automotive Valuation and Analytics.

According to the report, here are other key stats:

– Volume-weighted, overall car values decreased by 0.47% last week. This is worse than the average depreciation rate of 0.27% seen in the previous four weeks.

– Sub-compact car and mid-size car segments experienced a significantly higher drop in value of 0.87% and 0.79%, respectively.

– Volume-weighted, overall truck values decreased by 0.30% last week. The average depreciation rate in truck segments was 0.15% in the previous eight weeks.

– Compact van, sub-compact crossover and minivan segments experienced the largest decreases at 1.59%, 0.79%, and 0.65%, respectively.

8 Jun, 2016

Make a Game of It: Strategies to Improve Employee Engagement

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We all have been engaged at some level of gamification throughout our lives. In business, big brand companies have been using gamification techniques for decades to improve sales and brand loyalty as well as increase customer retention.

Today, the name of the game is retaining employees and increasing their level of engagement. Engagement is paramount to create a better ambassador for your brand and increase the loyalty of your most important customer — your employee.

Making priorities like financial target achievement, skills development, and team cohesiveness a focus for your team members — as it is for your organizational leaders — is at the crux of achieving peak performance.
“Gamification” is proving to be one of the most effective ways to bridge this gap.

The stats are staggering as to why gamification should be one of your top initiatives. Recent employee surveys have detailed the issues in the current workforce: $11 billion is lost annually in the United States due to employee turnover, while only 16% of the U.S. workforce is “fully engaged.”

Here are the steps to creating and implementing a gamification plan.

Step 1: Create the Environment

Creating an environment of healthy competition where stakes are measured, rewards are earned, and everyone is driven toward a common goal move the needle more quickly than simply creating a stick- and-carrot environment where rewards can quickly lose their luster.

Healthy competition also has the added element of creating a buzz around strategic initiatives that can have your teams thinking and talking (positively) about work, even when they are off the clock. That’s a sign of an engaged workforce and the signature of an organization, not just a place where people work.

Step 2: Gain Buy In

The most effective gamification strategies come from soliciting the people who will be playing the game.

A recent survey by TalentLMS found that the great majority of respondents were in favor of point systems, multiple difficulty levels, real-time performance feedback, online learning, and leaderboards that allowed them to compete with colleagues.

Step 3: Establish the Rules

Gamification is not only about contests, it’s also about applying game-design elements and principles in non-game contexts. These techniques will turn a temporary pop in numbers into sustainable success:

Keep it simple: The strategy should be easily explained as to the concept, the actual game, and the goal of the game.

Focus on both the individual and the team: To get every level of your team involved, you should incorporate not only individual achievements but also a team-focused element. This helps build a team environment; everyone has a stake in the outcome — individually and collectively.

Solicit game ideas from the group: If your team is part of the process of creating a gamification strategy, ask for ideas to create a higher level of engagement. It also promotes ownership on their part to improve the sustainability and success of that particular strategy.

Make it voluntary: Participants should have the option to participate. Forcing someone to participate will only increase his or her level of disengagement. A proper strategy — with employees assisting on the development of the strategy — will help reduce the number of team members not willing to participate. Be patient, they will come around.

Keep an eye on the prize: There should be a goal to each of the strategies. This goal should be able to be measured, attained, and easily explained to all of those participating.

Step 4: Keep a Scoreboard

As outlined in “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” by Chris McChesney and Sean Covey, keeping a compelling scoreboard engages your team by reporting if the team is winning or losing. The keys to an effective scoreboard include:

Use an engaging method: Remember, you are motivating your frontline; these are people-focused workers who are not always numbers-focused. Thus, printing up sales reports and tacking them to a cork board is not an effective way to motivate. After the first few days of the report being on the board, even if you post an updated report daily, people stop taking notice.

Make it visible to the team: Does your team have access to the program and then sign on and log in to see the score? If not, it’s not visible to the team. The team is the organization — from the C suite to middle managers to the frontline. Not all will have quick access. You want your scoreboard to be quickly accessible, easily viewed, and able to be updated daily.

Highlight the right metrics: If your organization is like many others, there is a constant threat of analysis paralysis. Many metrics often change depending on which report you use or who you are asking. Focus on the base metrics that impact the overall numbers.

For example, if you are measuring revenue, is there a volume component that your frontline cannot control? If so, move to a more accurate measurement, such as revenue divided by transaction or revenue divided by rental days. It evens the playing field — an agent who works a busier shift may generate more revenue but be far less effective in your sales process.

Demonstrate the leaders: You should be able to tell at a glance whether the team is achieving its goal or how far it has to go to meet its goal. The use of a thermometer measurement is a fast way to do this.

Read More:Auto Rental News

2 Jun, 2016

New Recalled Rental Car Law Goes Into Effect

By |June 2nd, 2016|Uncategorized|Comments Off on New Recalled Rental Car Law Goes Into Effect

On Wednesday, a federal law went into effect that prevents car rental companies from renting vehicles that have been recalled by the manufacturer until they are properly repaired.

According to ABCNews.com, the new law comes after years of hard work from Cally Houck and her family following the deaths of her two daughters in a rental car crash; a vehicle that was under recall, but never fixed.

Raechel and Jacqueline Houck were 24 and 20 years old, respectively, when they were involved in the accident that killed them in 2004. The two women were driving a Chrysler PT Cruiser rented from Enterprise when it began to leak steering fluid and caught fire. The car then crashed into a tractor trailer.

It was later discovered that the vehicle had been recalled due to the potential fire hazard, but was rented to the sisters anyway. After more than a decade of fighting for justice, though, their mother Cally feels vindicated that a similar situation will not happen again thanks to the new federal law.

“I’m proud of our efforts, I’m so grateful for the help of consumer advocates who rallied behind this,” Houck told ABC News. “We all worked together and we didn’t give up. We remained firm and committed.”

The new law passed as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 last year and was signed by President Barack Obama into law in December. The regulation does make car rental companies with 35 or fewer cars exempt, a compromise from the original proposal of any company with 10 cars or more.

“I feel we’ve won a huge battle, but we haven’t quite won the war,” Houck told ABC News. “And the war is for corporations to take responsibility in any kind of situation where you have a recalled product and that recalled product causes injury.”

Source: Travel Pulse