FLEET MANAGEMENT UPDATE
Commercial Leasing & Fleet Management Since 1955
DECEMBER 2019 - We hope you will find our monthly Fleet Management Updates useful. Please feel free to call us or leave a comment below regarding any questions you may have about the newsletter or subjects you would like us to include in future months. We invite you to sign up at the bottom of this newsletter page for future Fleet Management Updates to be sent directly to your email.
SCOTT SMITH President
GT Leasing | 904-398-5000 | 2810 St Augustine Rd | Jacksonville | FL | 32207
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PICKUP FUEL ECONOMY CROWN IS CHANGING??
GM and Ram have been longing to unseat Ford's fuel economy crown and it appears that 2020 will be the year and GM may be the new top dog.
As GM awaits EPA certification of its new 3.0-liter inline-six Duramax diesel engine, Tim Herrick, executive chief engineer of GM's full-size trucks, last week said internal testing has the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado achieving 30-40 mpg at speeds of 50-65 mph.
The automaker released the results — collected from testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — HOWEVER, last week after FCA announced a redesigned EcoDiesel V-6 engine that it said would probably lead the segment in fuel economy and offer segment-leading torque of 480 pound-feet.
GM didn't dispute FCA's claims and declined to comment directly on the expected fuel economy ratings of its diesel pickups. The internal results are based on a controlled environment but give a glimpse at the potential of GM's new engine to achieve more than 30 mpg highway — a feat once considered almost unattainable for a pickup.
So, officially, the EPA hasn’t released estimated fuel economy numbers for the new Silverado.
After driving it around, though, it won’t be too much of a stretch for a two-wheel-drive model to net over 30 mpg on the highway. For comparison, the F-150 nets 22 mpg city, 30 highway, and 25 combined. The Ram is slightly less impressive, at 20 mpg city, 27 highway, and 23 combined.
GM's diesel engine is expected to be available this fall in the 2020 Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 models. It is rated at 277 hp and 460 pound-feet of torque. FCA's EcoDiesel - expected to become available in the fourth quarter — will offer 260 hp
The Silverado’s 3.0-liter turbodiesel costs $3,890 more than the base turbocharged, 2.7-liter four-cylinder, making it an easy upgrade in our eyes.
CHEVY SILVERADO'S INVISIBLE TRAILER CAMERA SYSTEM
We're looking forward to the latest towing aids Chevy is passing down from the 2019 Silverado HD to the 2020 Silverado 1500 , including the clever Invisible Trailer accessory camera system.
This stitches together images from two cameras to make it look as if you can see through your trailer on the infotainment screen and the ASA InCommand app that lets you control various camper functions through the infotainment screen.
Chevrolet’s exclusive “Invisible Trailer” camera system is reason alone to buy the truck if you tow a lot. That’s a fully enclosed trailer on the hitch but you can see the truck following you as if you were actually towing an empty flatbed trailer. As you can see, the view in the rear view mirror is completely blocked. All it takes is an extra camera Chevy will sell you and can be installed at home in under an hour.
2021 - TRAILBLAZER MAKES A COMEBACK
The Chevrolet Trailblazer is coming back early next year as a 2021, albeit in a very different form. GM announced the new subcompact SUV this month, and says the Trailblazer will slot between the Trax and Equinox Chevrolet's SUV lineup. The Trailblazer takes a lot of design influence from the new, midsize Blazer, especially up front.
Chevrolet says its new SUV will be available in RS guise, pictured above, with a standard two-tone roof.
No other specifications are available as of this writing, Chevrolet's official statement simply saying details will be "shared later." For now, the company just says the Trailblazer will come standard with front pedestrian braking, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and lane-departure warning.
Adaptive cruise control will be optional, as will rear park assist and a high-definition rear-view camera.
The Trailblazer announcement comes right on the heels of Buick debuting the Trailblazer's cousin, the new Encore GX. The Buick crossover is positioned between the subcompact Encore and midsize Envision. It's safe to assume these products are closely related.
The introduction of the new Chevrolet Trailblazer gives Chevy one of the broadest lineups of crossovers and SUVs, expanding the brand’s U.S. crossover offerings from four to five models.
ELECTRIC WILL BE A RUDE AWAKENING by Keith Crane Automotive News
I am constantly amazed by watching the auto industry rush headlong into an abyss of electric cars while consumers have no idea it's just around the corner.
I have little doubt that electric vehicles are coming, if for no other reason than most of the world is putting lots of pressure on governments to lower emissions and adopt EVs.
It does not take a lot of observation to realize that China is leading the way. I suppose China can mandate EVs overnight, but the Chinese are still going to have to figure out what to do with the millions of internal combustion engines still in use. They can scrap the cars and, more importantly, the trucks — but it will take quite a while. Meanwhile, everyone is looking at Norway as the poster boy with its high EV adoption rate. It may well be a case of successful adoption — but in a very small market.
We have a lot of manufacturers rushing to convert operations to EV production without telling the millions of consumers and thousands of dealers — especially in the U.S. — what exactly they are planning.
We have hundreds of millions of cars and trucks running all over the U.S. with owners who have no intention of replacing their vehicles anytime soon, regardless of what companies and governments might be suggesting. So, yes, we will see many thousands of EVs with their chargers dotting the landscape. But keep in mind: That will be thousands of electrics in a land of millions of vehicles.
The real question should be whether the auto companies can survive a global conversion to electricity when there will be millions of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles with owners saying quietly and politely, "No, thanks, I will stick with my gasoline vehicle." They might convert to electricity eventually. But it will take many years, and I am not sure that the car companies have the fortitude to hold on for a decades-long conversion.
I know plenty of zealots, particularly among the media, who are devoted EV fans. I can only tell them, as with autonomous vehicles, be patient. This is not a sprint but a marathon, and it will take a very long time in a country with so many vehicles. It may well happen, but chances are very good that none of us will be around to see it.
Maybe fuel cells could be the answer for cleaner air and a less-hot environment, but do not bet on it.
Internal combustion engines have more than a 100-year head start. It will take a long time to replace all those vehicles. It will happen, slowly over time. But don't sell your car anytime soon — it isn't a buggy whip. Just be very patient.
J D POWERS RELIABILITY SURVEYS 2019
The 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Vehicle Dependability study is out and we take a close look at the winners and losers. The study details the top brands, pickups and SUVs for dependability. Dependability often equals higher resale value.
This annual survey takes a look at the last 3 years of ownership with this list comprising of 2016 models. It asks consumers what problems they have had and ranks the brands and vehicles by problems per 100.
While dependability has improved over the years, J.D. Power says there is still room for improvement.
Vehicles are more reliable than ever, but automakers are wrestling with problems such as voice recognition, transmission shifts and battery failures. Flawless dependability is a determining factor in whether customers remain loyal to a brand, so manufacturers need to help customers who are currently experiencing vehicle problems and address these trouble spots on future models.
J.D. Power noted that this year for the first time ever, mass-market brands outperformed lusury brands for dependability; the global PD100 for the first group was 135, versus 141 for the prestige automakers. The overall global PD100 for all brands in 2019 is 136 (an improvement of 6 over 2018).
CAR2GO VEHICLES STOLEN IN CHICAGO - MASSIVE THEFT OF RIDE MOBILITY THROUGH THEIR APP
Car sharing company CAR2GO temporarily suspended all service after 100 of its vehicles were compromised (stolen) by a "fraud issue," according to the company.
Users attempting to use the service in Chicago Wednesday afternoon were shown an error message saying it is temporarily paused, along with Minneapolis, and Toronto. In a statement, Car2go said they are "currently working with law enforcement to neutralize a fraud issue in Chicago."
The Chicago Police Department confirmed it was contacted by "a car rental company" that some of its vehicles may have been rented by fraudulent means through an app. "Due to information provided by the company, numerous vehicles have been recovered and persons of interest are being questioned," CPD said in a statement.
Police said they are still working to determine if other vehicles are missing, and most of the recoveries appear to be "isolated to the West Side." car2go said the fraud affected 100 of its 400 vehicles in Chicago. "No personal or confidential member information has been compromised. Out of an abundance of caution and safety for our members we are temporarily pausing our Chicago service," the company said.
BIG THREE'S HD PICKUPS HEAD TO HEAD
GM, is nipping at Ford's lead by adding big boosts in towing capacity, trims and techy options to its redesigned Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD lineups. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles promised 1,000 pound-feet of torque along with lush interiors on its redesigned Ram 2500 and 3500 HD trucks that debuted at last month's Detroit auto show.
Ford's freshened 2020 model will debut the third-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel alongside a new 7.3-liter V-8 engine and updated 6.2-liter V-8. In the last 10 years, Ford's maximum towing capability has jumped roughly 10,000 pounds. The 2019 F-450 can tow up to 35,000 pounds with its diesel engine. Ford would not get into specifics on the 2020 Super Duty, saying only that the rating would increase.
Rivals are catching up to Ford's towing figure. GM's latest iteration arrives in showrooms mid year. When equipped with an optional 6.6-liter diesel V-8 rated at 445 hp and 910 pound-feet of torque has a towing capacity up to 35,500 pounds. The redesigned Ram, meanwhile, can tow up to 35,100 pounds.
The other towing, torque, has Ram on top with 1,000 lb-ft besting GM's 910 lb-ft. Ford has not disclosed the 2020 ratings.
Additional reading: AUTOWEEK - LINE IN THE DIRT
MERCEDES BENZ CALLED OUT FOR "MADE IN AMERICA" SPRINTER ADS
When Mercedes-Benz Vans opened a new plant in North Charleston, South Carolina last year, the company rushed to shout the news from the rooftops and let everyone know that its Sprinter model was being built in America. That would be big, if true, but it turns out only around 10 percent of the vans are actually built completely in the South Carolina facility. In fact, the rest leave Germany as partially assembled chassis to be finished in the Lowcountry plant—this has, in turn, resulted in quite the controversy.
The non profit Truth in Advertising took a sampling of VINs from 2,390 new Sprinter vans on dealership lots and found that most 2019 Sprinters are only assembled here, not built from scratch. Muddying the waters further for Mercedes-Benz is the study’s finding that even the vans that are completely assembled in the North Charleston plant have a significant number of foreign components. The result is that they do not comply with the Federal Trade Commission's standard for a "Made in the U.S." marketing claim.
CLASSIC CAR MANUALS CAN SELL FOR BIG BUCKS
If you have an original owners manual for a classic sports car in your grandfathers attic, it may be worth a tidy sum of money. An original owner's manual for a classic car can quite valuable, especially if it belongs to a rare high-performance model. The manuals, which contain technical data and other information, often go missing as cars pass from one owner to the next. Replacing them can be difficult — and expensive.
On the popular Bring a Trailer classic car site, for example, a driver's manual for a 1967 Porsche 910 sold for $14,000. Link
Porsche is in the process of nurturing it's historically popular classic car division. It may just have put a pin into the inflated market by offering reprints for nearly 700 models it's cars for $70 to $150. The books, exact reproductions of the originals, date as far back as 1952. classicshop.porsche.com.