FLEET MANAGEMENT UPDATE

SEPTEMBER 2018

SCOTT SMITH CVLE
President

904-398-5000

LEASEBACKS - THE TIMING COULDN'T BE BETTER.

WITH RISING RATES, NOW IS THE IDEAL TIME TO LOCK IN A RATE ON A LEASEBACK.

Growing businesses typically find themselves with a growing fleet. Either purchased with cash or bank financed, this can tie up a considerable amount of cash. Your fleets equity can almost always be more effectively used in areas that are more difficult and or expensive to borrow against.

New clients will often discuss with us how they can free the cash that is lying dormant in their fleet. Choosing a sale and leaseback means that you can expect to see a healthy amount of cash injected back into your business. With the sale of your previously owned vehicles your cash flow will be stable and this will also likely improve your balance sheet status.

We would be glad to address the details. So, check out the particulars and give us a call to get started. LEASE BACK LINK

Our objective in these newsletters is to keep you informed on fleet issues and new products so that you can keep your transportation costs in line. We hope you enjoy the information below and will call us with any questions or needs that you might have regarding your next vehicle.

CALL US AT 904-398-5000. 

FORD PUTS IT ALL ON CROSSOVERS AND MORE HYBRIDS

Here is what you can expect to see out of Ford for the next 2-3 years. Look for a lotta trucks, some SUVs and a few crossover/sedans and a Mustang.

F-150: Ford's profit machine keeps rolling along. Despite redesigned pickups from its top rivals, the F series is poised for a record sales year in 2018. Ford freshened the F-150 this year and added a diesel variant. The next-generation F-150 will appear in 2020. It will include a hybrid model that Ford says can double as a mobile power generator.

Super Duty: Since the Super Duty switched to an aluminum body in 2016, sales have soared. Ford will freshen it in late 2019. Likely updates include a new engine that helps improve performance.

Fiesta: U.S. Production of the subcompact sedan ends in May. Ford hopes its entry-level car buyers will transition to the EcoSport crossover.

Focus: U.S. production has ended. Ford is considering a retool of its Michigan Assembly Plant to build pickups and SUVs. The nameplate will live on in the U.S. with the Focus Active wagon that will be imported from China starting in the second half of 2019.

Fusion: Ford said production of the nameplate would end in the next few years, but after backlash from dealers, reports surfaced that Ford would offer a wagon version to compete with entries from the likes of Subaru. The wagon version of the Fusion is expected in 2022.

Taurus: Ford will stop building the venerable nameplate at its Chicago Assembly Plant in March as it makes room for more crossover output.

Mustang: It Stays and is the most popular sports car for the past three years. Ford will introduce the Mustang Shelby GT500 next year, and a Mustang hybrid is coming in 2020 with increased power and more low-end torque. The next-generation pony car is expected in 2021. (SEE MORE DETAILS BELOW)

EcoSport: Ford began importing the India-built crossover this year and it now becomes the entry-level vehicle. The EcoSport was in the middle of its life cycle when Ford brought it stateside and a redesign coming in 2021 tuned to the US market. SEE ABOVE 2020 CONCEPT

C-segment off-road crossover: It's slated to debut in 2020 and, although Ford has not decided on a name, the company could revive the Maverick moniker, which it trademarked this year. A recent company presentation showed it as being built on Ford's new modular front-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive unibody platform along with the Escape, Focus and Transit Connect.

Crossover EV: Ford plans a "Mustang-inspired," long-range battery-electric crossover. The crossover, which comes out in 2020, was tentatively named the Mach 1 this year, but the name is likely to change. Production was originally slated for Flat Rock, Mich., but Ford this year decided on Mexico instead.

Escape: The company's best-selling nameplate after the F series gets a redesign that will debut in the second half of 2019. A plug-in hybrid variant is expected at the same time. Expect a more refined look to differentiate the Escape from Ford's off-road offerings. The vehicle will also be slightly larger than the current version, with more interior legroom.

Edge: Ford is freshening the midsize crossover for 2019 with slight cosmetic changes The base model gets a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine paired with a new eight-speed transmission.

Explorer: Ford freshened its large crossover for the 2018 model year with a new grille and updated technology. The next-gen Explorer will debut early next year with a srear wheel drive and a plug in hybrid variant..

Flex: Ford's large crossover gets the chopping block in 2020 when union contracts in Canada expire.

Expedition: Ford's biggest family hauler now sporting 300 lbs less and a lot of aluminum was a total redesign in 2018. Freshening coming in 2021.

Autonomous vehicle: Ford plans to introduce a self-driving vehicle for commercial use in 2021. Although the automaker has tested its autonomous technology mainly on the Fusion sedan, its first self-driving vehicle is likely to be a Transit Connect, or similar vanlike vehicle, to help carry food, packages and other goods.

Compact pickup: Ford may add a compact pickup to its U.S. lineup in 2022 possibly smaller than the Ranger like the Brazilian sub compact pickup.  The Transit Connect will be redesigned in 2021 and is expected to be used as Ford's commercial autonomous vehicle.

Transit Connect: Ford freshened the small van this year, adding a 1.5-liter EcoBlue diesel engine to the cargo van and wagon body styles. Ford owned a dominant 44.8 percent share of the small-van segment in 2017. T

Transit: The large van will get a freshening in the first half of 2019, likely adding an awd option.

Bronco: The anticipated revival of the Bronco nameplate happens in 2020. The Bronco goes head up against the Jeep Wrangler and promise a true off road vehicle.

Q5
U.S. LUXURY BRAND SALES - BMW CATCHING MERCEDES BENZ
Aug. 2018  sales Change from Aug. 2017 Jan.-Aug. 2018 sales Change Jan.-Aug. 2017
Mercedes* 20,339 –20% 199,215 –6.6%
BMW 23,789 1% 199,157 2.30%
Lexus 28,622 –7.1% 189,025 –2.3%
Audi 20,907 5.50% 148,070 4.60%
*Excludes Sprinter and Metris sales      Audi Q5: Audi beat M-B for the first time.

MUSTANG REDESIGN IS EXPECTED IN 2021

According to a report by Automotive News, the next-gen Mustang is scheduled to drop in 2021—allegedly a year later than originally intended per CEO Jim Hackett's instruction. The report also says the new 'Stang will ride on a modular architecture shared with the Explorer and Lincoln Aviator SUVs which means that while core models will stay rear-driven, an all-wheel-drive variant is a strong possibility.

Unless Ford built some obscure, one-off, special edition, all-wheel-drive Mustang in the '80s we don't know about, this would be the very first Mustang to send its power to all four wheels.

When The Drive reached out to Ford for comment, however, a company spokesperson said rather cryptically, "All-wheel drive doesn't apply to Mustang as much as it does SUVs, which is one reason why we're moving into performance utilities." Ford unveiled the Edge ST in January.

WOODWARD AVE DREAM CRUISE

The Woodward Dream Cruise – WDC – is the World's Most Popular Car Cruise and largest one-day automotive event. It is held annually the 3rd Saturday of August on Woodward Avenue just north of Detroit in Michigan, USA. rain or shine. Official Date: August 18, 2018. Saturday, 9 am to 9 pm. In Reality: It's a week long event, starting Monday August 13th, ending on the 18th. WDC Official Websites: WOODWARDDREAM

Experience the entire length of the Woodward Dream Cruise in this time-lapse video below.

Join the cruise in our Dodge Challenger Hellcat at 8 Mile Road in Ferndale, MI and run all the way up through Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, Huntington Woods, Berkley, Bloomfield Township, and Bloomfield Hills before ending on Wide Track Drive in Pontiac, MI.

The dream was alive Saturday at the 2018 Cruise between and as always it was a mutual celebration, by a million people or so and an estimated 40,000 cars. A nice detail that pleased many was as the world's biggest spontaneous parade rocked steady: A lot of the car radios were playing Aretha.

 

MBENZ BUILDING AMAZON SPRINTERS IN NEW SC PLANT

Mercedes-Benz Vans opened its new Sprinter assembly plant in South Carolina Sept 5th, and began delivering cargo vans to Amazon.for their new direct delivery service debuting this year. Mercedes-Benz will deliver 20,000 vehicles by the end of 2019.

Mercedes-Benz also launched the U.S. version of its 2019 Sprinter at the media event. The van is entering its third-generation with an optional factory telematics system, revamped interior, MBUX (Mercedes Benz User Experience) connected vehicle system, and a 2,0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine for U.S. buyers.

The new Charleston facility allows Mercedes-Benz to shift North American production of its Sprinter to North Charleston to avert a 25% tariff aka the "chicken tax." The tariff was imposed in 1964 under President Lyndon B. Johnson as retaliation for tariffs by France and West Germany on U.S. chicken. Previously, Mercedes-Benz built vans sold in North America in Dusseldorf, Germany, and then partially disassembled them and shipped them through Rotterdam, The Netherlands, to the U.S. in knock-down kits. They arrived through the Port of Charleston and were reassembled at the current plant's location.

Several van upfitters including Knapheide and Auto Truck Group have also build new inventory and assembly facilities to support the production pipeline..

LOW BUDGET PARKING SENSOR BEING TESTED BY NTSB

Swiss researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, ETH Zurich, and the University of Illinois have found that bath time toys are riddled with bacteria and fungi that could make you ill.

The National Rubber Duck and Chicken Manufacturers Association NRDCM has come up with an amazing technological breakthrough to reduce the backing up inventory off their shelves in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Tianjin due to the Swiss/Illini study.

Sales in the Southeast have picked up and the NRDCM is hopeful that they can avoid avert the 25% tariff on light trucks and chickens imported into the U.S. known as the "chicken tax." The tariff was imposed in 1964 under LBJ as retaliation for tariffs by France and West Germany on U.S. chicken. YEAH WE KNOW IT'S FAKE FLEET NEWS.

Our objective in the Monthly Fleet Update is to keep our clients and friends informed with important and entertaining information regarding the automotive world. We hope you have found the articles interesting. If you would like to discuss anything regarding the newsletter, your business vehicles, or any vehicle offered in this communication, please call me.

Regards

SCOTT SMITH