Fleet Management Update – JANUARY 2018
Commercial Leasing & Fleet Management Since 1955
JANUARY 2018 - 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
COLD WEATHER AWARENESS WITH VEHICLES
It appears that we are going to have a pretty cold winter even in Florida. We have taken milder winters for granted, but it appears that this cold snap may be longer lived than usual.
In talking to our clients over the past few weeks we have noticed more cold weather vehicle issues than what we have seen in the past.
With that in mind, here are a few reminders, which may ring a bell before an issue spoils your day and your wallet.
BATTERY -TEST BATTERY STRENGTH & IGNITION SYSTEM Failures occur due to cold if you have a battery on the older side of the typical 3 year lifecycle. Extreme cold pulls voltage from a battery and this can be compounded by older spark plugs and plug wires that inefficiently use the weakened voltage.
FLUIDS – CHECK LEVELS OF OIL ANTIFREEZE POWER STEERING, BRAKE AND TRANSMISSION When it gets cold, fluids thicken and that will make it harder for your car to get the fluids it need to run properly. Transmission is a big one. That fluid in particular needs to flow quickly, and your car won’t function if it flows at a slow pace,
HOSES – CHECK FOR CRACKS OR SEAPAGE IF OLD REPLACE During the winter, your hoses go from being very cold to the operating temperature of the engine very quickly. The reverse is also true. When you turn off the engine, the hoses cool down faster, and to a lower temperature. This expansion contraction extremes caused more failures, especially on older weaker hoses.
TIRES – CHECK CONDITION AND PRESSURE Most tires lose 1 pound per square inch (psi) for every 10 F of temperature drop. So, checking inflation as the air gets colder is critical. For example, a fully inflated tire at 70 F is five psi under-inflated at 20 F. Under-inflated tires do not perform well and are subject to damage or failure
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
SCOTT SMITH President
Texas Speedway was the sight of the semi-unveiling of the 2019 Silverado LT Trailboss. The pickup segment is so dominant for the Big 3 that even a few weeks of pre-debut teaser in Dallas can help forstall orders with rivals Ford and FCA.
Mixed materials are prevalent throughout the new Silverado. The automaker did not offer many details about the truck’s construction, but the new Silverado features a higher-grade steel alloy in its bed floor, which is lighter than conventional steel, The steel alloy indicates that GM is not following Ford, which uses aluminum to build truck beds. GM is expected to eventually offer a pickup bed that utilizes carbon fiber.The redesigned Silverado will offer more engine/transmission combinations, and additional technology and convenience features; however configuration details and disclosures were minimal.
The actual debut is scheduled for the Detroit Auto Show this month. We will bring you all the details as the are presented in Detroit in a couple weeks.
2017 BY THE NUMBERS
17.2 MILLION After seven years of growth, the U.S. industry’s longest in a century – auto sales declined to 17.2M down from 17.54M in 2016. 2017 still ranks as one of the five best years in history. Even with the drop there appears to be no sign of a big plunge on the horizon.
608 The number of miles away from San Francisco that Steve McQueen’s long-lost 1968 Ford Mustang GT fastback was found, 50 years after it was lost. Two of the Highland Green Mustangs were used to film the movie Bullitt. One is owned by a private collector. The other was assumed to be crushed due to damage sustained in filming. It was found in March in a junkyard in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. The car is now owned by friends Ralph Garcia, Jr. and Hugo Sanchez, who have thus far decided to hang on to the car despite reportedly receiving several offers on it as-is.
$7,500 The Electric Vehicle tax credit that almost died, but eventually were left intact in the new tax bill.
$2.4 billion The estimated value of the cars lost to flooding following Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas in August.
10,000 How many more information technology workersGeneral Motors has hired since 2012, when it decided to bring its IT department in-house.
$100,000 The price of the 2018 Ford F-450 Super Duty Limited pickup, once it’s loaded with a bed extender and off-roading option. The cheapest Ford Super Duty truck is $32,000.
$23,671 The amount of money Tesla lost on each car it sold in the third quarter of 2017.
201 The number of days President Donald Trump’s American Manufacturing Council lasted before multiple CEOs quit over the controversy regarding Trump’s response to the violence at the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Va.
6 How many months it took Waymo to accumulate its latest million miles of real-world testing for its self-driving cars. The first 1 million miles took 18 months.
7 The number of years Oliver Schmidt, a former VW executive, faces in prison for his role in the automaker’s global conspiracy to cheat on diesel emissions.
WINTER TESTING NEW MID ENGINE CORVETTE SHOWS A LITTLE MORE SKIN
The 2019 Vette is expected to have a lower hood line, longer rear deck and much shorter dash-to-axle ratio than the current C7 Corvette. Switching from a front to midengine layout means engineering a new chassis; creating a new transaxle to drive the rear wheels; developing new cooling, air-conditioning and suspension systems; and designing a new body.
The front of the midengine Corvette remains heavily camouflaged. However, it is expected to have a lower hood line, longer rear deck and a much shorter dash-to-axle ratio than the current C7 Corvette. Photos credit: KGP PHOTOGRAPHY
The total cost of retooling the Bowling Green, KY plant was close to $900 million. It also said production of the 2019 Corvette is scheduled to start Jan. 29, which will include the 2019 C7 Chevy Corvette ZR1 introduced late last year.
2019 “ALL NEW” MERCEDES G-CLASS
The all-new Mercedes-Benz G-Class has leaked before its official Detroit auto show debut this January, and it doesn’t look very different. The biggest visual changes to the still-boxy SUV appear in front with a redesigned bumper, grille and headlights. Yet surprisingly little else on the exterior has changed despite this being an “all-new” Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
However, it’s a different story on the interior. Mercedes released images of the inside about a month ago, but there are even more shots now. It’s decidedly S-Class and E-Class-like with the sprawling screen and dash layout.
HARVEY & IRMA FLOOD CARS FRAUD WORSE THAN EXPECTED
After the storms the major auto insurers assembled vehicle inspection teams to catalog the damage. But things don’t seem to be going as planned. These teams were not seeing the numbers of vehicles coming through their special lots for processing that they expected. Good news maybe for them. Bad news for consumers.
The reason for this was that of the vehicles that were flooded, a much higher percentage than expected were without physical damage insurance altogether.
This amps up the numbers that have fallen through the branding process cracks and are repaired and back on the road and eventually back on the market as used vehicles.
Insurers make sure that flooded vehicles damaged beyond repair are retitled as junk or salvage and share those vehicle identification numbers with national anti-fraud databases. But uninsured vehicles don’t get branded as junk or salvage and may be resold in private sales.
And so the fraud starts now at a much larger scale that was believed. The industry has many years of the possibility of vehicles in the market with significant flood damage. It will require a level of due diligence for five years until those vehicles fall out of the commercial market.
FLYING CARS UPDATE - GEELY BUYS TERRAFUGIA
Geely, the Chinese holding company has announced plans to fully acquire American flying car startup Boston based, Terrafugia.was started in 2006 by a group of engineers at MIT. The group which promises a flying car by 2019 has a lot of company in the endeavour. Toyota, Google’s Larry Page, Germany’s eVolo, and China’s EHang. Vahana, a subsidiary of Airbus, says it will test-fly a prototype this year.
A flying car is an awesome dream. That said, skepticism abounds as making a car into a plane is really just a way of making a plane that can kinda, sorta move down a road without knocking off the heads of parking meters.
Does anyone out there have a clue how tough the FAA will be on that product’s engineering and production? That’s just the beginning. Regs regarding who, how, when and where you can fly it is going to be an even tougher tougher hurdle to making anything like this mainstream.
Here are some fun look backs at the quest of a flying cars which has a history almost a far back as the plane itself.
The main rival of the Wright brothers, Glenn Curtiss seems to have come up with the first flying car project with the Curtiss Autoplane in 1917. The foldable-wing design with the push-propeller roadable airplane never actually achieved full flight, however.
Henry Ford was next up in 1926. His quote was bold but not to be in his lifetime; “Mark my words: a combination airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come.” He didn’t exactly build a flying CAR but he wanted a tiny plane that could be taxied from house to neighborhood airports. Charles Lindbergh, one of only two pilots to fly the Flivver, called it one of the worst planes he’d ever piloted. The Flivver was DOA.
The Aerobile was a two-place, high-wing, cabin monoplane with a transmission drive system that operated the propeller in the air and the rear wheels on the ground. The one-piece wing was removed by moving a lever and pins. Painted in “Buick blue,” it had many standard Studebaker, Ford, Austin, and Willys automobile parts to keep the price down and maintain the look of a car.
Moving along to the post war period, Hall and Tommy Thompson with what would later become a major aircraft manufacturer, Convair Aircraft designed and developed the Convair Model 116 Flying Car. It was featured in Popular Mechanics magazine in 1946. It flew on July 12, 1946, completing 66 test flights. A lofty production target of 160,000 was planned, with a projected $1,500 price tag. Convair anticipated that the Model 118 would be purchased in large numbers to be rented at airports. Nope, only the two prototypes were ever built.
Let’s skip a few and go to 1973 in Oxnard, CA. The Mizar was constructed by melding a push pull design Cessna Skymaster to a Ford Pinto and fitting them together. What could go wrong? On an early test flight in 1973, the right wing strut’s mounting attachment failed not long after takeoff. The pilot knew turning the craft might rip the Skymaster clean off, so he put the Mizar straight down in a bean field and drove the wounded vehicle, airframe still attached, back to the airport. Later in the summer of 1973 the wing folded in and the crash killed both developers and of course the project was shelved.
In the 90′s we see the VTO (Vertical Take Off) Moller M400 Skycar: Presales with deposits were taken in the 1990′s but it didn’t make its first test flight until 2003. Footnote; it had just three wheels, not four, which technically made it a flyable motorcycle.
Airbus and Italdesign showed the above prototype at the Geneva auto show in March. Think of it as a modular drone, with either a flight attachment or a road attachment, letting you play on your phone as much as you want while you’re delivered to your destination like a package. Uber says it will demonstrate flying taxis in Los Angeles, Dallas and Dubai in 2020, with full operations in 2023. We shall see.
IF YOU WANT FUEL EFFICIENCY YOU BUY A (fill in the blank)
……..Probably a Prius comes to mind or a hybrid skateboardish configuration. The F150 is probably not going to be your first guess and probably based on fuel economy it may be your 28th guess based on fuel rankings by the EPA. That said, Ford has been doing a great deal of tinkering with the F150, including aluminum bodies and EcoBoost V-6 engines to improve efficiency. Now an F150 hybrid is coming onto the scene.
|NEW WRANGLER – ELECTRIFICATION — 2020 GRAND WAGONEER|
FCA ANNOUNCES JEEP FUTURE AND FERRARI CROSSOVER
The SUV / Crossover trend is growing as a vehicle segment at a tremendous rate and FCA can’t ignore that even with their Ferrari brand. Sergio Marchionne confirmed speculation that Ferrari is bowing to the inevitable and drawing up plans for a crossover sports car. The active project in Maranello, Italy has a codename F16X.
Marchionne commented, “That space is too big and too inviting and we have a lot of customers who will be more than willing to drive a Ferrari-branded vehicle that has that king of utilitarian objective.’ The product like all Ferrari models will be a limited production model to preserve exclusivity. and due out in the 2021 time frame.
For all the Jeep enthusiasts out there, additional comments were made by Marchione about the future of the Jeep brand.
Fiat Chrysler won’t consider selling Jeep as a separate entity. The CEO has spoken about the rationale against splitting Jeep from the rest of Fiat Chrysler before, telling analysts in July that Fiat Chrysler needed “to worry about the stump that’s left behind.”
Marchionne has increased the value of Fiat Chrysler for top shareholder Exor NV and other investors by spinning off units and spending heavily on a global expansion of the Jeep SUV brand. Worldwide sales of the profitable vehicle type will probably increase by 9.4 million units from 2017 to 2024, accounting for two thirds of the auto industry’s expansion, IHS Market estimates.