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

Is the 20 teens decade really almost over? The years come and go quickly and even slightly quicker this year with the late arrival of Thanksgiving.
With the year end and the Holidays approaching we reflect back upon all the reasons for our gratitude.
My work and the relationship with my clients is a large and enjoyable part of my life. As gifts are given and received I reflect on our friendship and the gift you have given me allowing me to serve you. For this I want you to know that I am grateful and I thank you.
I wish you and yours a Very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year and a NEW DECADE all filled with abundance, joy and treasured moments.
When we work with a client our common goal is to keep your costs as low as possible. Call us and we can discuss the variables that affect your decisions and give you the input to make the best decision for your specific needs

CALL US AT 904-398-5000


GT Leasing | 904-398-5000  | 2810 St Augustine Rd | Jacksonville | FL | 32207


In the US tax code businesses are incentivized to acquire equipment and vehicles by allowing an immediate expense deduction for purchases of depreciable business equipment (including vehicles) instead of capitalizing and depreciating the asset.
The Section 179 deduction is a full deduction and can be taken if the piece of equipment is purchased or financed. The full amount of the purchase price is eligible for the deduction up to $1,000,000 in 2019.
The deduction on the tax return can obviously be very significant, but only if you have the taxable income to offset. Also be mindful you won't have any deductions in subsequent years to offset income. Although, this doesn't work for most of our clients it does work for many.
Most companies think they have to purchase their vehicles in order to accelerate the depreciation in section 179 but there are simple options with leasing.
We have been able to work up a leasing program with specific terms, useful life and residuals that easily enables the full use of the Section 179 deductions by our clients. Why not have the best of both worlds which is having GT Leasing manage your acquisition and disposal of vehicles and qualify for your accelerated depreciation.
You should consult your tax adviser to find if you can use this to your advantage and if so we tailor a lease that complies with the requirements.
As cars become increasingly computerized and more connected, how much data is my vehicle collecting about my driving, and who has access to that info?
Should drivers be able to protect their data better in an increasingly connected world? How would you do this?
With 98% of vehicles manufactured by the end of the 2020 model year containing data collecting hardware and software, nothing's driving the acquisition of data faster than, well, driving. As new technology makes its way into vehicles, so does the apparent desire to harvest information about the vehicle itself.
While many manufacturers are involved in collecting data, very few of them seem concerned about the attendant risks. Even worse, most vehicle owners seem to show very little understanding of the underlying technology and most manufacturers have not made an effort to inform customers as to how much is being collected or how it's being distributed. Additionally the manufacturers on the receiving end of this firehouse of data are not quite sure how to save and more importantly how to protect it.
Not only can a connected vehicle collect data regarding your location and driving habits, but automakers could easily provide these data to third-party agencies who use this information for advertising and statistical analysis purposes, or even to insurance companies which could go as far as using the information to determine how to rate your next policy based on perceived driving habits and locales and amount of miles you drive.
Utilizing information from a modern car's complex Controller Area Network (CAN Bus) system, it becomes possible to record active data from the vehicle's sensors, producing statistics regarding oil level, how hard an owner brakes or accelerates, tire pressure, fuel consumption, malfunction indicator lamp codes, and more. All of these data could be put to use in order to preemptively sell drivers services based on their driving habits, rather than a dealer sending a postcard in the mail to remind you about your car's upcoming 60,000-mile service.
The consumer may also be offered in-car services that they could potentially purchase at the touch of a screen, much like another form of advertising in the vehicle. Though this data never technically needs to leave the manufacturer, it can easily result in dealers offering what they see as value-added services that consumers may otherwise not buy into.
Once you actually become aware of what's happening with the auto data, it's fairly simple to opt out on much of the collection if you so desire. Just select the utilities and settings mode of your electronics and choosing the opt out mode of your wireless transmission.


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.



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.



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.


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).


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.


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    


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.



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.