Tuesday, February 23, 2010


DES PLAINES, IL (February 23, 2010) – Thousands of people and businesses worldwide will again join with the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), representing more than 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members, the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Alliance Program participants, in raising awareness of the importance of being safe at work during the annual North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week this May 2-8 and Occupational Safety and Health Professional (OSHP) Day May 5.

In addition to activities scheduled worldwide by ASSE members and OSHA Alliance Program participants, NAOSH week events and educational programs are scheduled for Washington, D.C., May 2 and 3, along with a roadway safety event May 5 in Portland, Oregon. The NAOSH kick-off events in D.C. will be held at the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Capitol, the Smithsonian and the National Zoo and will feature panel discussions on new industry workplace safety and health efforts as well as recognizing the winners of the 8th annual ASSE kids’ ‘safety-on-the-job’ international poster contest for children aged 5-14. The NAOSH 2010 theme is ‘Mission NAOSH 2010: Safe Workplaces’. Attending the events will be ASSE members and their families from around the globe, federal and state officials, and officials from ASSE, CSSE and OSHA and OSHA’s Alliance Program participants.
“ASSE members continue to lead pioneering efforts in work safety for businesses, workers and communities,” ASSE President C. Christopher Patton, CSP, said today. “NAOSH week is another tool we use to educate people on the positive benefits of protecting people, property and the environment. While millions of people go to work each day and leave there injury and illness free, still close to 6,000 people in the U.S. die each year from on-the-job injuries and 4.4 million more suffer illnesses. We continue to provide services and information that will reduce that number. NAOSH helps us reach millions of people and tens of thousands of businesses on the importance and long-term benefits of workplace safety and health and provide them with resource information.”
Past NAOSH Week events have included fleet safety classes, ergonomic awareness events, a workplace-oriented one-day free preparedness Web Expo, update on mining safety programs, a laser safety seminar, roadway work zone safety programs, corporate workplace safety and health days, teen worker safety programs, city and state work safety fairs, symposiums on a variety of topics, projects to assist charities, personal protective equipment (PPE) fashion shows, and much more. For a listing of activities from last year along with photos please go to www.asse.org/naosh09.

“Today’s economic downturn is tough for everyone and some businesses believe they can save funds by cutting back in safety. That’s not a good move from a business perspective,” Patton added. “Businesses have spent about $170 billion a year on costs associated with occupational injuries and health care, and about $1 billion every week on injured employees and their medical providers – costs that take away from company profits, research and growth-- costs that continue to go up as cuts in safety are being made. Indirect tangible costs of injuries may be as much as 20 times the direct costs, including costs from accident investigation, low employee morale, retraining workers and repairs and production delays, while the intangible costs of losing a loved one, a friend and a co-worker go beyond a price tag.”

Founded in 1911, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the largest and oldest professional safety society and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 32,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For more information on how you can participate in NAOSH Week please go to www.asse.org/naosh10.
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Addendum, OSHA Alliance Participants Supporting NAOSH Week include: Airline Group; American Biological Safety Association (ABSA); American Foundry Society (AFS); American Heart Association (AHA); American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA); American Pipeline Contractors Association (APCA); American Red Cross; American Supply Association (ASA); Association for High Technology Distribution (AHTD); Association of Occupational Health Professionals (AOHP); Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN); Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association (CSDA); Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair (CCAR); Crane, Hoist and Monorail Alliance; Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc. (IEC); ISSA: The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association; Lamar Advertising Company; Laser Institute of America (LIA); National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA); National Maritime Safety Association (NMSA); National Safety Council (NSC); National Telecommunications Safety Panel (NTSP); Precision Metalforming Association (PMA); Process Safety Alliance – which includes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), American Chemical Society (ACS), American Chemistry Council (ACC), American Petroleum Institute (API), Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), the Chlorine Institute, Inc. (CI), National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA), and the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (SOCMA); the Roadway Work Zone Safety and Health Partners Alliance -- which includes the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA), LIUNA Training and Education Fund, the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); Safe Tank Alliance which includes API, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the Steel Tank Institute (STI); Scaffold Industry Association, Inc. (SIA); Sealant Waterproofing and Restoration Institute (SWR); Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA); Society for Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC); and the URS Corporation.

Chevrolet Tahoe Police vehicle achieves lowest lifecycle cost recognition in the law enforcement market

DETROIT- The Chevrolet Tahoe Police 2WD vehicle was found to have the lowest lifecycle cost in the law enforcement market by Vincentric, a company specializing in the area of automobile lifecycle analysis. Vincentric recently released their 2010 law enforcement vehicle market analysis that measured 20 mileage/lifecycle timeframes and the Tahoe Police 2WD enjoyed the lowest lifecycle cost in the majority of scenarios.

The lifecycle computation analysis evaluated seven factors: depreciation expense, fuel costs, finance costs, opportunity costs, maintenance costs, repair costs, and insurance costs. When these seven factors were analyzed for 2010 police models of the Chevrolet Tahoe 2WD, Chevrolet Impala, Ford Crown Victoria, and Dodge Charger, it was the Chevrolet Tahoe that came out on top due to its strong residual value.

In addition to the lowest lifecycle costs in the law enforcement market, the Chevy Tahoe offers extensive functionality. A wide range of applications valued by law enforcement agencies are available including HAZMAT, K9, medical, and tactical operations, with both police and special service packages.

“We are proud our vehicles performed so well in Vincentric’s lifecycle cost analysis,” commented Joyce Mattman, Product Director, Fleet and Commercial Operations. “The low lifecycle costs of the Tahoe and Impala police vehicles offer our customers great value in this economic climate.”

Lifecycle cost analysis allows government agencies to more effectively compare the cost to own and operate law enforcement vehicles. The data provided facilitates a better informed decision about which vehicles provide the combination of features essential to their operations versus the overall lifecycle costs.

’Our intent with any of our fleet lifecycle cost analyses is to provide guidance to all types of fleet buyers, including small businesses, large commercial fleets and police and other government organizations,” stated David Wurster, President of Vincentric. “By looking at as many different mileage/lifecycle timeframe scenarios as possible, we’re able to account for a wide variety of driving and ownership patterns and provide an independent, solid foundation for accurately evaluating the lifecycle costs of fleet vehicles.”

Across all scenarios in the study, the Chevrolet police vehicles’ costs were lower than those of the Ford Crown Victoria and Dodge Charger. Not only did the Chevrolet brand dominate the police market in this study, many General Motors vehicles have also won Vincentric’s Best Fleet Value in America™ awards throughout the years.

For more information on the Vincentric law enforcement market analysis, visit the Industry Reports section at www.vincentric.com.

About General Motors
General Motors, one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 209,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. More information on General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

About Vincentric
Vincentric provides data, knowledge, and insight to the automotive industry by identifying and applying the many aspects of automotive value. Vincentric data is used by organizations such as General Motors, Audi of America, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Yahoo! Autos, Cars.com, AOL, NADA Guides, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, The Auto Channel, Business Fleet Magazine and Fleet-Central.com as a means of providing automotive insight to their clientele. Vincentric, LLC, is a privately held automotive data compilation and analysis firm headquartered in Bingham Farms, Michigan

OPENLANE and Carfax Partner to Offer Vehicle History Reports at OPENLANE.com

Redwood City, Calif., Feb. 8, 2010 — OPENLANE, Inc., a leading online auction company in North America for automotive dealers to buy and sell wholesale vehicles, has partnered with Carfax so that dealers can quickly and easily check a vehicle’s history before they purchase cars on OPENLANE’s open auction site. Dealers have one-click access to both Carfax Auction Quick Check and Carfax Vehicle History Reports directly through OPENLANE’s site.
“There are so many steps involved when purchasing a car and the more information that the buying dealer can access about the vehicle prior to purchasing it, the better,” said Daniel Farrar, CEO of OPENLANE. “By providing our entire dealer base, both franchise and independent, the ability to access Carfax Vehicle History Reports, we are providing dealers with access to more information about the vehicles and helping to make the entire transaction process even more seamless and efficient.”
Readily-available vehicle history information from Carfax through OPENLANE helps buyers at auction ensure they stock the right cars for their inventory and pay the right price. Carfax Auction Quick Check contains information that helps dealers make more informed purchases, such as branded titles, reported accidents, ownership history and more.
“There are many factors that we consider before putting any car on our lot – vehicle history is paramount,” said Geoff Bedine, Group 1 Automotive, Director of Used Vehicle Operations. “Having access to Carfax information through the OPENLANE Open Auction is a tremendous benefit that streamlines our auction buying process. Carfax Auction Quick Check helps us pinpoint the vehicles our customers want and cherry-pick the best of the best.”
OPENLANE, Inc. is a leading online auction company in North America for automotive dealers to buy and sell wholesale vehicles. The company offers end-to-end auto remarketing solutions to auto manufacturers, captive finance companies, lease and daily rental companies, financial institutions and wholesale auto auctions throughout the United States and Canada. OPENLANE powers online remarketing programs for American Honda Finance, Audi Financial Services, Avis Budget Group, Chase Auto Finance, Chrysler Financial, Porsche Financial Services, Volkswagen Credit, among others. For more information, please visit www.openlane.com or call +1 (866) 969-0321.
About Carfax (www.carfax.com)
Millions of used car buyers and sellers each year rely on CARFAX, the most trusted provider of vehicle history information. Using the unique 17-character vehicle identification number (VIN) found on vehicle dashboards and title documents, CARFAX instantly generates a detailed Vehicle History Report on any used car or light truck. CARFAX Vehicle History Reports™ provide valuable information that helps used car buyers and sellers make better decisions. For more information or to become a CARFAX subscriber, visit www.CARFAXonline.com.


MT. ARLINGTON, N.J – The International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the continuous improvement of the vehicle remarketing industry, announced the launch of a four-year sponsorship agreement with Manheim, the world’s leading provider of vehicle remarketing services. The partnership is designed to maximize support for, and interests of vehicle remarketers nationwide.

Effective this month, Manheim will be IARA’s lead sponsor and supporter of the organization’s professional development and grassroots efforts. Under the agreement, Manheim will draw on its industry expertise to assist IARA in program development, and will provide executives to speak at a wide array of IARA industry events.

“Manheim is committed to doing its part to support ongoing industry education and development,” said Lynn Morgan, vice president, Manheim Marketing and Consulting. “By supporting IARA, we believe we can offer resources to IARA members that no other company can provide. We are very excited about this new relationship and look forward to collaborating with IARA on ways to help members and the industry.”

Also included in the agreement is IARA access to Manheim Consulting, Manheim’s team of automotive strategy consultants and analysts. Manheim Consulting will provide industry expertise and analysis for the development of IARA white papers, conference preparation and other association business.

“We are extremely pleased to have Manheim’s support of IARA. Their sponsorship is vitally important to helping our organization drive continued momentum with current members as well as assist in attracting new ones,” said Matt Marks, executive director, International Automotive Remarketers Alliance. “With Manheim’s involvement, we’ll be able to increase our industry presence, build a stronger organization and take action on vehicle remarketing issues and trends that affect our members.”

About IARA
The IARA is a nonprofit organization composed of remarketing professionals dedicated to the continuous improvement of the vehicle remarketing industry. IARA was created in 2001 in response to a realization by several vehicle remarketing organizations that this multi-billion dollar per year industry had no direct representative organization. The IARA conducts two semi-annual Roundtable industry meetings, one of which is in conjunction with a national remarketing conference.

About Manheim
Manheim (www.manheim.com) is the world’s leading provider of vehicle remarketing services. Through its wholesale operating locations and array of technology products, Manheim impacts every stage of a used vehicle’s life cycle, helping commercial sellers and automobile dealers realize the full value of their vehicles.

The company’s operating location services include reconditioning, certification, inspections, dealer financing, transport, title management and marshaling, among others. Manheim is also the leader in vehicle remarketing technology, using its online tools to connect buyers and sellers around the globe to the world’s largest, most comprehensive wholesale marketplace. In 2009, Manheim handled nearly 10 million used vehicles, facilitating transactions representing more than $50 billion in value.


DELRAY BEACH, FL. (February 11, 2010) – DMV Nationwide (www.dmvnationwide.com), the newest web solution that allows dealers to instantly calculate fees and taxes for all 50 states through their secure website, has integrated access to Carfax Vehicle History Reports seamlessly into its process. Dealers can quickly and easily obtain valuable vehicle history information from Carfax without ever leaving the DMV Nationwide Web site.

“DMV Nationwide’s focus has always been to reduce exposure and streamline the information process for the dealer. Partnering with Carfax just made sense,” says Marlon Carias, CEO and creator of DMV Nationwide.

After logging in to DMV Nationwide, dealers can run a Carfax Report on their customer’s trade-in while simultaneously calculating taxes and fees. This simplifies the trade-in valuation process for the dealer. Using Carfax information, dealers can look for specific details, such as Carfax 1-Owner, to identify cars that may sell for a premium and value the trade accordingly.

For more information and details on DMV Nationwide, please visit http://www.dmvnationwide.com/ or call 1-888-50-ST-TAG.

About DMV Nationwide (http://www.dmvnationwide.com/)
Since 2003, DMV Nationwide has provided their dealers with accurate, point of sale, fee and tax calculations for all 50 states. Their simple data entry page yields much needed information for dealer’s to title and register their customer’s vehicles out of state. Easy to read tax fee summaries, customized checklists and VIN, Safety and SMOG Inspection info is displayed instantly. Dealers collect the necessary info from their customer and send all documents to the DMV Nationwide processing center. The completed title and registration is sent back to the dealer and ultimately delivered to the customer.

About Carfax (www.carfax.com)
Millions of used car buyers and sellers each year rely on Carfax, the most trusted provider of vehicle history information. Using the unique 17-character vehicle identification number (VIN) found on vehicle dashboards and title documents, Carfax instantly generates a detailed Vehicle History Report on any used car or light truck. Carfax Vehicle History Reports™ provide valuable information that helps used car buyers and sellers make better decisions. For more information or to become a Carfax-subscribing dealer, visit http://www.carfaxonline.com/.


Alpharetta, GA – (February 2010) – AmeriFleet Transportation, the Atlanta-based industry leader in total logistics solutions and transportation services to the fleet management and corporate fleet industry, announces the company’s fourth annual golf tournament in support of the Georgia Special Olympics. The event will take place on Monday, May 3, 2010 at Laurel Springs Golf Club located in Suwannee, GA with a shotgun start at 10:00 a.m.

The tournament welcomes local golfers to participate in addition to professionals within the fleet industry that will support the event. The day’s festivities will begin with registration and a continental breakfast followed by 18 holes of golf on the Laurel Springs championship course. A post golf awards dinner and silent auction will follow the day’s play.

Sponsorship levels for the event are as follows:

-Par sponsorship: $200 per person which includes entry into the tournament, box lunch and reception dinner and name on event signage
-Birdie sponsorship: $250 per person which includes entry into the tournament, box lunch and reception dinner, prominent name and logo recognition on all printed materials and opportunity for company collateral/item distribution in player gift bags
-Eagle foursome sponsorship: $750 includes entry for four into the tournament, box lunch and reception dinner, signage at one golf hole and name on event signage
-Finalist foursome sponsorship: $1,000 includes entry into tournament, box lunch and reception dinner, prominent name and logo recognition on all printed materials, signage at one golf hole and opportunity for collateral/item distribution in player gift bags

All proceeds from the event will go to the Georgia Special Olympics bringing critical financial resources to support and expand their existing programs.

“Our employees take great pride in this annual golf outing fundraiser which benefits a most worthy cause, the Georgia Special Olympics,” said John Norris, President, AmeriFleet Transportation. “The tournament has grown steadily since its inception and we are looking forward to this year’s event to be our most successful to date.”

For more information visit www.amerifleetgolf.com or call Roger Caldwell at 888/324-9515.

About AmeriFleet

Founded in 1997, Alpharetta, Georgia-based AmeriFleet Transportation provides total logistics solutions and transportation services to the fleet management and corporate fleet industry. Through more than 16 company-owned North America locations, AmeriFleet provides the industry’s most consistent high-quality transportation and ancillary services to its clients which include some of the largest fleet management/leasing companies and self managed corporate fleets in the U.S. and Canada. For more information visit www.amerifleet.com.

About Georgia Special Olympics

Special Olympics Georgia (SOGA) provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for nearly 23,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills, and friendships with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. For more information visit http://www.specialolympicsga.org/.


ATLANTA – Manheim, the world’s leading provider of vehicle remarketing services, today announced the launch of Manheim Direct, a wholesale vehicle program that allows dealers and commercial consignors to sell inventory online without transporting vehicles to Manheim operating locations. Manheim Direct was developed in response to feedback from dealers and commercial consignors looking for ways to improve business efficiencies, while taking advantage of the selling power that Manheim offers. Asbury Automotive Group, Inc., one of the largest automotive retailers in the United States, is one of several dealer groups that have already implemented Manheim Direct.

Asbury’s Manheim Direct remarketing solution includes selling vehicles straight off its dealership lots through a broad mix of Manheim remarketing channels. Like other Manheim Direct customers, Asbury’s process begins online with closed and open sales, but it can also include in-lane sales when warranted. "By streamlining our process through Manheim Direct, we expect to significantly reduce all expenses associated with shipping and selling cars at brick-and-mortar auctions," said Michael Kearney, chief operating officer, Asbury.

Manheim Direct affords sellers benefits including:

• the ability to list inventory for sale from remote locations, including rental car locations, dealer lots and marshalling yards, eliminating the need to transport inventory to a Manheim operating location for online sale, and

• a Manheim-approved listing service delivered directly to the seller’s location that positions inventory for selling success by capturing all the condition information that online buyers demand

"Our customers told us they wanted all the benefits of Manheim delivered direct to their inventory’s location," said Sue Boehlke, senior vice president, Manheim Online Solutions and Technology. "Manheim Direct does this by giving dealers and commercial consignors the ability to list inventory from anywhere, helping these sellers reduce days to sell and driving down remarketing costs. These two benefits are good news for buyers, as well. Minimal wait times for consignors to create listings mean that buyers have access to the freshest inventory possible."

"Manheim Direct is helping Asbury facilitate a variety of transaction types, including retail, open wholesale and closed dealer-to-dealer sales within its own dealer network. We expect Asbury to have greater control over its pre-owned vehicle inventory by participating in this program, and to gain efficiencies throughout its entire remarketing cycle," said Nick Peluso, senior vice president of Customer Management.

Manheim Direct is available to commercial consignors and dealers nationwide. For more information, dealers are encouraged to contact the online manager at their local Manheim operating location. Manheim location contact information can be found at www.manheim.com. Commercial consignors should reach out to their account manager in Manheim Customer Management.

About Manheim (www.manheim.com)
Manheim is the world’s leading provider of vehicle remarketing services. Through its 130 worldwide wholesale operating locations, Manheim impacts every stage of a used vehicle’s life cycle, helping commercial sellers and automobile dealers maximize the full value of their vehicles. Drawing from its auction transaction volume, Manheim Consulting publishes the annual Used Car Market Report, the definitive source of data for the used car industry. Manheim Consulting offers a wide range of services including custom analytics, business optimization and macro economic analysis.

Manheim is the online vehicle remarketing leader, connecting buyers and sellers to the world’s largest, most comprehensive wholesale marketplace through its extensive in-lane and online offerings. Manheim.com receives nearly 900,000 visitors each week.

Additionally, Manheim offers services including reconditioning, certification, inspections, dealer financing, title management and marshaling, among others. Through its wide array of services and technologies, industry publications, customer support and educational offerings, Manheim gives its customers maximum control over how they buy and sell vehicles, helping them to conduct business in the most efficient way possible. In 2009, Manheim handled nearly 10 million used vehicles, facilitating transactions worth more than $50 billion in value.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Manheim is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media and automotive services company.


ORLANDO, Fla. – Even as the economy as a whole and the U.S. automotive industry dealt with unprecedented challenges in 2009, the used vehicle market continued to provide stability and profit opportunities.

In addition, structural shifts created by the recession promise to have long-term ramifications in all corners of the remarketing industry, making it more important than ever for buyers and sellers to employ strategic remarketing practices across a variety of channels.

These and a host of other trends are analyzed in detail in the 15th annual edition of Manheim Consulting’s Used Car Market Report, which was released today online and at the National Automobile Dealers Association annual convention in Orlando. The UCMR has long been considered the industry’s most comprehensive compilation of information and analyses.

The Report, available online only (visit www.manheim.com/consulting for access), draws on Manheim’s proprietary data as well as information from a variety of industry sources. Manheim Consulting chief economist Tom Webb presented highlights of the Report at Manheim’s annual NADA news conference.

Of particular interest to franchised dealers attending the NADA event, Webb noted that while franchised dealers’ new vehicle sales dropped 21 percent in 2009, their used vehicle sales fell by only 3 percent.

“Franchised dealers have long recognized the profit opportunity in used vehicles,” he said. “In 2009, a well-run used vehicle operation often made the difference between survival and closure. Just as used vehicles are vitally important to franchised dealers, one of our goals with the UCMR is to illustrate how vitally important the remarketing industry is to the automotive industry as a whole and to the U.S. economy.”

In addition to special sections on the used vehicle marketplace and the past, present and future of remarketing, the Report features interviews with key industry association leaders and chapters on all corners of the used vehicle industry, including dealers, rental, leasing, government and commercial fleets, repossessions, salvage and international remarketing.

Among the trends analyzed in the 2010 UCMR:

• The new vehicle sales cycle, from a peak of 17.4 million in 2000 to the 2009 trough of 10.4 million, represented a drop of 40 percent, a steep percentage but one that was not out of line historically: Plotting the annual change in GDP versus the change in new vehicle sales shows that 2009 was right on the trend line.
• While total used vehicle retail sales declined for the fourth consecutive year (to 35.5 million), the peak-to-trough decline was just 20 percent, reinforcing the truth that the used vehicle market is inherently more stable than the new vehicle market.

• Though auction volumes fell to their lowest level in a decade, it is expected that they will return to “normal” quicker than new and used vehicle sales due to the increased need for auction services by both buyers and sellers.
• Wholesale used vehicle prices rose 5.1 percent in 2009 due to reduced supply, stabilization in retail demand, and a fall in new vehicle inventory levels.
• Online sales activity grew dramatically despite the overall drop in auction activity: Manheim Simulcast volume increased 17 percent while OVE.com volume grew by more than 50 percent.
• Overall visits to Manheim.com, the portal to inventory across all of Manheim’s online channels, now stand at 900,000 visits per week.

• New vehicle sales into rental fell by 25% to 1.1 million units in 2009. The shift towards “risk” vehicles (now more than 70% of purchases) continued and the average service life of rental units lengthened.
• New lease originations fell to 1.1 million, the lowest since leasing’s infancy in the early 1980s, but off-lease volumes rose to 2.7 million units.
• A modest decline in off-lease volumes in 2010 will be followed by steep declines in 2011 and 2012.
• Total vehicle repossessions reached a record high of 1.9 million in 2009, but will likely fall in 2010.
• Major commercial and government fleets purchased 588,000 new vehicles in 2009, down from 872,000 in 2008. Fleet purchases should recover in 2010, but remain well below historic peaks.

• An estimated 3.5 million vehicles were remarketed by salvage auctions, volume that was driven largely by a higher percentage of insurance claims being declared total losses.

About Manheim (www.manheim.com)
Manheim is the world’s leading provider of vehicle remarketing services. Through its 130 worldwide wholesale operating locations, Manheim impacts every stage of a used vehicle’s life cycle, helping commercial sellers and automobile dealers maximize the full value of their vehicles. Drawing from its auction transaction volume, Manheim Consulting publishes the annual Used Car Market Report, the definitive source of data for the used car industry. Manheim Consulting offers a wide range of services including custom analytics, business optimization and macro economic analysis.

Manheim is the online vehicle remarketing leader, connecting buyers and sellers to the world’s largest, most comprehensive wholesale marketplace through its extensive in-lane and online offerings. Manheim.com receives nearly 900,000 visitors each week.

Additionally, Manheim offers services including reconditioning, certification, inspections, dealer financing, title management and marshaling, among others. Through its wide array of services and technologies, industry publications, customer support and educational offerings, Manheim gives its customers maximum control over how they buy and sell vehicles, helping them to conduct business in the most efficient way possible. In 2009, Manheim handled nearly 10 million used vehicles, facilitating transactions worth more than $50 billion in value.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Manheim is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, a leading communications, media and automotive services company.

Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO, Volkswagen of America, Inc. to Keynote the 2010 NADA Convention & Expo

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Volkswagen of America, Inc. President and CEO, Stefan Jacoby today kicked off the 2010 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Expo, serving as keynote speaker. Jacoby's speech touched on the past year, the current landscape facing the automotive industry, and keys to future success for both brands and dealers in the United States.
"The fundamentals of our business are timeless, as is the connection between automakers and auto dealers," according to Jacoby. "Our industry is woven into the fabric of America, and we've undoubtedly had a big impact on American society over the years. Your entrepreneurial drive and can-do attitude define the American spirit – and we need that now more than ever."
After joining Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. in 2007, Jacoby immediately began to lead notable changes for the brand with a growth strategy based on five pillars: U.S. production, the Volkswagen organization, products, dealer network, and the brand. Under his leadership, Volkswagen improved from 30th to 7th place in dealer satisfaction ratings, moved its corporate headquarters to Herndon, Va. and announced it would build a state-of-the-art production facility in Chattanooga, Tenn. His drive continues on, as Volkswagen aims to grow its business in the U.S. with upcoming models including the all-new Jetta successor, a new midsize sedan, which will be manufactured in Chattanooga, and the successor to the iconic New Beetle.
To view Mr. Jacoby's entire keynote speech, and to learn more about Volkswagen of America, Inc., please visit media.vw.com and www.volkswagengroupamerica.com.
About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Golf, GTI, New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Eos, Passat, Passat Wagon, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. All 2010 Volkswagens come standard-equipped with Electronic Stabilization Program. This is important because the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called ESC the most effective new vehicle safety technology since the safety belt. Visit Volkswagen of America online at www.vw.com or www.media.vw.com to learn more

Navman Wireless Adds Google Maps to OnlineAVL2, Delivering Live Traffic & Street Views for Fleet Operators

GLENVIEW, IL (February 17, 2010) – Navman Wireless today announced the addition of live traffic and 360° photographic street views to its OnlineAVL2 real-time fleet tracking and management system with an upgrade of the system’s mapping software to Google Maps, using the Google Maps API Premier. The new features advance OnlineAVL2’s ability to improve fleet productivity and customer service while reducing fuel, labor and vehicle operating costs.

OnlineAVL2’s new integration with the Google Maps API Premier equips fleet operators with better information for optimizing routing and assisting drivers once they reach their destinations.

• Google Map Live Traffic Layer enables dispatchers to make vehicle assignments based on real-time traffic conditions as well as reroute vehicles already dispatched to avoid congestion that will affect service or delivery times.
• Google Street View allows dispatchers to zoom, rotate and pan through ground-level street photos to help drivers navigate to locations such as parking lots, delivery docks and building doors when they arrive at their assigned site.

Google Maps is now also the mapping platform used to display real-time GPS-based vehicle location information in the OnlineAVL2 application. The upgrade is included free of charge for all new and existing customers.

“Live traffic and street views are important tools for operations personnel who have responsibility for getting vehicles to their destinations as quickly as possible,” said Renaat Ver Eecke, Vice President, Navman Wireless North America. “Upgrading to Google Maps allows us to provide these features along with fast, accurate maps that help us deliver the real-time vehicle tracking information at the heart of our application.”

“Navman Wireless’ implementation of the Google Maps API Premier will help fleet operators make intelligent routing decisions and correctly navigate drivers to the correct address based on core map data as well as traffic conditions,” said Daniel Chu, Product Manager, Google Maps API Premier, Google Enterprise. “This is a classic example of the value of the Maps platform in helping businesses meet their mapping needs.”

The Google Maps upgrade to OnlineAVL2 is the second major enhancement to Navman Wireless’ fleet tracking and management system in a month. In January, the company announced an industry-first interactive drilldown report enabling users to access key performance metrics at any level - including region, subregion, and even month, week and day for individual vehicles - without having to run multiple reports.

Two dozen other upgrades announced in January as part of a new Version 9.3 release of OnlineAVL2 include other reporting improvements, new map usability features, and support for 10,000 customer sites per fleet. These ongoing enhancements improve fleet managers’ ability to optimize operations and increase profitability by tracking, monitoring, communicating with and analyzing the performance of their movable and fixed equipment assets.

The new Google Maps features of OnlineAVL2 are available immediately.

About Navman Wireless
Navman Wireless is a global leader in GPS-based fleet optimization products and services, including real-time vehicle tracking and OEM GPS solutions that enable companies to track, monitor and communicate with their movable and fixed equipment assets. The company’s flagship OnlineAVL2/Qube system is installed in more than 110,000 vehicles owned by over 8,500 customers worldwide, making Navman Wireless one of the world’s largest fleet management providers with coverage on five continents. Navman Wireless is based in Glenview, IL, with facilities in the U.S., Mexico, UK, Italy, Taiwan, Ireland, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia. For more information, visit www.navmanwireless.com or www.navmanwirelessus.com .

Paragon software balances the delivery workload

DALLAS, 17 February 2010 – Paragon Software Systems has developed special software to help transportation operators and service companies cut costs by optimizing delivery zones and territories, ensuring balanced workloads. Paragon Territory Optimizer is an advanced solution suitable for both logistics and field service operations that want to reduce transportation costs as well as boost customer service performance and productivity.

The software ensures that all resources – vehicles and drivers – can be assigned to compact optimized territories that reduce road miles and have achievable daily workloads. It calculates territories using accurate travel calculations and allows for time spent at each customer site. This provides a full and true picture of each driver’s territory together with their assigned jobs.

This balancing not only ensures a fair workload, but also helps to build strong customer relationships as clients get to know the drivers or engineers assigned to their particular territory. This is particularly important for companies that have customers who receive a visit once weekly or where calls are made with a range of frequencies depending on service requirements. Applications include home and wholesale deliveries, van sales, washroom/hygiene and facilities servicing, and field services.

Distribution, service and sales organizations will soon realize the benefits of this advanced solution that actively reduces transportation costs, through fuel savings and mileage reductions. Productivity and environmental impact improvements are also a featured benefit of implementing the software. The flexibility of the software also allows it to be used for strategic planning of sales territories. The software provides seamless integration with the full range of Paragon software products for intelligent automatic routing and scheduling and live vehicle tracking.

Territory Optimizer customers include Airgas Inc - the largest US distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases, welding supplies and safety equipment that has more than 900 distribution points and about 1 million customers nationwide. The company uses the system together with Paragon’s routing, scheduling and logistics planning software to match customers with their optimal distribution point, establish balanced territories, and generate detailed routes and schedules with even daily workloads.

GM Fleet and Commercial Operation’s Fleet Action Center Answers One Millionth Call

DETROIT – General Motors Fleet and Commercial Operation’s Fleet Action Center hit a major milestone in early January, 2010 when it responded to its one millionth call, further highlighting the company’s commitment to serving its fleet and commercial customer’s specific needs. With more than 500 years of automotive experience collectively, the Fleet Action Center agents work quickly to respond and resolve the fleet and commercial inquiries.

“Every call that comes in is a moment of truth. It’s a moment when someone needs help and we’re there to provide the help they need,” said Don Kaiser, GM Fleet and Commercial Operation manager of customer support and Fleet Action center. “We are an asset to our customers because we have the answers or know where to find the answers – the knowledge to meet their needs and save them valuable time.”

The Fleet Action Center’s incoming calls are manually tracked and categorized using four call prompts: incentives, fleet account number inquiries, order management and specifications, and service. The agents, most of whom have experience in many different areas of the automotive industry from manufacturing to sales and service, are cross trained in the first three categories. Service inquires are filtered directly to a specialist in fleet and commercial service issues.

“Dealers and customers have come to rely on the Fleet Action Center as an important source of knowledge to answer questions and assist in all their fleet needs,” said Brian Small, GM Fleet and Commercial Operation executive director. “Our mission is to make it as easy as possible – cut down the number of buttons pushed, keys typed or calls transferred – to help our callers get their answer quickly.”

The agents are housed at GM’s Technical Center in Warren, Mich. and many have been part of the Fleet Action Center team since the center’s beginning nearly 10 years ago.

To contact GM’s Fleet and Commercial Operation Fleet Action Center, call 1-800-FleetOp
(1-800-353-3867) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. To learn more about the vehicles offered by GM Fleet and Commercial Operation, visit gmfleet.com.

About General Motors
General Motors, one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 204,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

Association of Diesel Specialists Announces Its 54th Annual International Convention & Tradeshow

Kansas City, Mo. – February 18, 2010 - The Association of Diesel Specialists has announced details of its 54th annual convention and tradeshow. The 2010 ADS International Convention & Tradeshow – Branding Clean Diesel will be held at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas, August 3 – 7, 2010. The annual event is specifically geared toward the business owners, managers, technicians and corporate officials in the diesel industry. Showcased at the event will be a variety of seminars and educational sessions to keep attendees up to date on the latest industry trends and business tips. ADS offers various networking opportunities available for all in the industry to meet and mingle.
Also featured at the event is the ever so popular Tradeshow where attendees can meet one-on-one with exhibitors to learn all of the valuable tools and resources, new products and services that have been designed to help make their companies more profitable and competitive. Over half of the booths have already confirmed for this year’s ADS Tradeshow. Interested exhibitors should contact Rosemary Hall, Director of Meetings, for space details and availability - exhibits@diesel.org.
The ADS International Convention & Tradeshow is THE place where attendees will benefit from seeing and hearing what their peers and competitors are doing to stay successful!

Californians to Find More Alternative Fuel Choices at the Pump

Los Angeles, CALIF. (February 18, 2010) –Thanks to the Clean Cities Recovery Act Awards for Alternative and Advanced Vehicles, California drivers can look forward to more alternative fuel options at the pump over the next two years. As partial recipients of a $12,299,828 grant, CleanFuelUSA and local propane marketer Delta Liquid Energy will install 25 new public propane refueling sites in the Los Angeles Basin and Northern California.

The grant, called the Texas State Technical College’s Development of a National Liquid Propane (Autogas) Refueling Network, Clean School Bus/Vehicle Incentive & Green Jobs Outreach Program, will result in the development of approximately 184 liquid propane “Autogas” refueling stations in major metropolitan areas across the country, and aims to displace more than 3 million gallons of petroleum annually (www.energy.gov).

Delta Liquid Energy (DLE) Alternative Fuel Manager Ted Olsen explains that DLE and CleanFuelUSA worked for about a year to get the grant. They have already started construction on the first leg of what they estimate will be a two-year project to install the 25 refueling sites, which will add to DLE’s 14 other public propane refueling sites.

“With these public sites, we are making it easier and convenient for the general public and other fleet drivers to get propane motor fuel,” Olsen says, adding that DLE also plans to enhance their existing refueling sites. “This is a great step in the right direction of becoming less dependent on gasoline; with the infrastructure in place—as it is in Europe, where ‘Autogas’ and gasoline are offered side-by-side at most stations—it will be more practical for American drivers to choose an alternative fueled automobile.”

And as new Roush Ford Propane Vehicles and new CleanFuelUSA vehicles hit the road this year, Olsen says public propane sites are going to be in increasingly high demand.

For more information about Roush Ford Propane Vehicles, public propane refueling sites in California, or Delta Liquid Energy, please visit www.deltaliquidenergy.com, or contact press agency AR & Co. PR & Marketing at (805) 239-4443.

Gary Mott Becomes FLD’s Vice President

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2010) — FLD, Inc., one of the largest privately held automobile remarketing companies in the United States, has announced that Gary Mott has been promoted to vice president. Mott has been with FLD since 1993 and was most recently the vice president of business development.

Mott’s responsibilities will include training and managing the sales team and recruiting new salespeople. He will work closely with the new owners and management team, determine FLD’s public appearance schedule, and be available for speaking engagements.

Mott has taken on a number of initiatives with FLD during his tenure, including establishing a new revenue stream for captive finance lessors. In conjunction with the FLD technology department, Mott designed and executed a plan to sell thousands of consumer lease return vehicles for clients without the need for traditional “brick and mortar” overhead. The program maximized residual value sales results with an average lift of 35 percent per vehicle.

“It’s my belief that the automotive industry is a cycle with ever-changing, indefinable patterns on how to do business,” said Mott. “You have to stay steady and constant to maintain being a leader. The leadership at FLD allows each and every one of us to be the best at what we set our sights on. It is that very leadership that separates FLD from others.”

“We’re extremely pleased to have an individual like Gary as part of our management team,” said Ron Sanders, CEO of FLD. “I believe he possesses the leadership capabilities and the foresight to help guide our team and position us well in the future.”

Mott is a graduate of Indiana University.


About FLD, Inc.
FLD, Inc. is recognized in North America for providing unique and comprehensive vehicle remarketing services to commercial fleets and financial institutions. FLD is one of the largest privately held remarketing companies nationwide. The in-house technology department develops customized software solutions for a variety of remarketing channels. Founded in 1979, FLD is based in Delray Beach, Fla., and has offices nationwide. Visit www.fleetlease.com for more information about FLD, or call 1-800-754-1522.

Company Cars Go Green

Germany's ultimate corporate perk—the high-octane autobahn cruiser—is about to get greener.

Under pressure to lower carbon emissions, German companies are pushing BMW AG, Mercedes and Audi to offer more fuel-efficient cars for employee use. The car makers, which rely on such sales for a big chunk of their profits, are scrambling to comply.

In Germany, it's not so much the bonus or office that makes the executive; it's his (or her) dienst wagen. More than a perquisite, what company car you drive says whether you've arrived and how far you've moved up the corporate ladder.

A common rite of passage ...

Cost of fixing flats on Memphis city vehicles has ballooned

It used to be when a Memphis city vehicle had a flat tire, a city employee was dispatched to fix it.

That's changed.

And so has the cost of keeping the city's fleet of 5,800 vehicles on the road.

In 2003, a mom and pop tire company -- Around Town Tire & Trucking -- bested two others to win the exclusive right to repair the city's flats.

In the six years since that contract was awarded, the firm has billed Memphis taxpayers $2.6 million for 33,000 tire repairs. Costs have ballooned from $100,000 in 2005 to more than $1 million last year -- far in excess of the contract's estimated annual maximum cost.

Considering CSA 2010

I had a refreshing talk with Johnny Schrunk the other day about the new comprehensive safety analysis (CSA) 2010 program now being put in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

In his opinion, CSA 2010 isn’t a bad thing for the trucking industry – in fact, it could be a GREAT thing for those fleets that take safety seriously.

Lease vs. buy: Case 2

With the current tough economy, fleet owners and managers are boring down into every aspect of the fleet management process to make sure they are keeping their fleets safe and profitable, whether it’s equipment selection and acquisition, maintenance, or capital equipment tax considerations. This is an opportune time to compare the cost of ownership—including management time spent dealing with fleet maintenance, legalization, record keeping, etc.—with the alternative, full-service leasing.

City considers fleet manager

The Opelousas Board of Aldermen is considering the creation of the position of fleet manager to oversee the city's growing inventory of vehicles.

The city has more than 250 vehicles, but they are scattered throughout different departments in the city with nobody looking at the entire picture.

PHH Corp. to cut expenses by $100M

Jerry Selitto, president and CEO of PHH Corp., has been listening to investors and customers.

Now, Selitto and the Mount Laurel company are launching what is being called a "transformation initiative."

"We're taking an aggressive approach to make sure PHH is more profitable," Selitto said in a conference call Tuesday with investors. "We developed a comprehensive plan to transform our corporate culture."

General Motors Wants More U.S. Ethanol Stations

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – General Motors Co. is asking for more U.S. ethanol stations to help fuel its growing fleet of hybrid vehicles, Reuters reports. The car maker is producing more vehicles able to run on ethanol-gasoline blends.

Tom Stevens, GM vice chairman for global product operations, pointed out that more ethanol stations in America will help slash emissions output and lower U.S. reliance on foreign oil. By the 2012 model year, half of all GM vehicles will have the ability to perform on E85 (15 percent gasoline and 85 percent ethanol).

Jackson Co. auctioning decommissioned fleet vehicles online

MEDFORD, Ore. - Jackson County could net more than $100,000 in an ongoing internet auction for decommissioned fleet vehicles.

"In some cases a Department has reduced size and they choose to sell them," said Mike James with Jackson County Fleet Management... "Internet auctions attract bidders from the entire country. We have bids on vehicles right now from people in Arizona, Ohio, Utah, Idaho as well as local bids."

Hertz To Add Nissan Leaf EV to Rental Fleet

First there was the rent-a-racer. Now there’s the rent-an-EV.

Hertz, the world’s largest auto rental outfit, is adding the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle to its rental fleets in Europe and the United States next year. The announcement follows Nissan’s saying it will begin taking reservations for the car in April and begin putting them in driveways in December.

Read More http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/02/hertz-rent-nissan-leaf/#ixzz0gO108By2

ARI Gains Four More World-Class Technicians and Blue Seal Certification

MT. L AUREL, NJ - Automotive Resources International (ARI) is proud to announce that employees Douglas Bastow, David Broadwater, Frank McGovern and Ron Stewart recently achieved World Class Technician status issued by the Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ARI now employs 15 out of 133 total World Class technicians certified by the Institute.

Portland car dealer Ed Tonkin helms national auto association

Edward C. Tonkin took over the top job at the National Automobile Dealers Association on Monday, accepting a role his father, Ron Tonkin, patriarch of the Portland family's dealership chain, took on 21 years ago.

Machine-to-Machine Communication: the Foundation of Fleet Management Technology

Keeping It Simple

Understanding the basics of the technology used is important for any person working in fleet management. Simply put, much of the technology used in fleet management can be described as “machine-to-machine,” or “M2M” for short. Essentially what this means is that two or more machines communicate to one another. If you plug an iPod into a USB slot on your stereo to control the iPod via the stereo and listen to music through different speakers, you are employing M2M technology.

MiX Telematics Secures Global Fleet Management Contract with BG Group, Commences Rollout

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom, Feb 15, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- MiX Telematics (JSE:MIX) has been appointed as the sole supplier of vehicle telematics systems to BG Group for its world-wide vehicle fleet. The solution will see data recorded by MiX Telematics' Fleet Manager system analysed and used to provide BG Group with a comprehensive, managed service primarily focused on improving driver safety.

"Prior to securing this major fleet management contract, MiX Telematics and BG Group spent a number of years working together on a variety of individual projects," comments Terry Buzer, Managing Director for MiX Telematics (Europe). "This enabled us to demonstrate our ability to develop bespoke solutions and deliver them into multi-national operations, both of which were key factors for BG Group when it came to seeking a suitable global partner. "

In order to maximise the benefits to BG Group, MiX Telematics will leverage the unique skill-sets, services and experience of SafeDrive International, a wholly owned MiX Telematics subsidiary. The SafeDrive solution has assisted personnel in almost all of the major oil and gas producing companies to increase awareness, improve driving style, reduce accidents and ultimately save lives.

MiX Telematics' Fleet Manager system gathers a broad range of data to give a comprehensive overview of driver and vehicle performance and all information is available on-line through a secure web portal, FM-Web. To ensure the value of this information is maximised, BG Group has opted for MiX Telematics' managed service solution. This allows BG Group locations to enjoy the added benefit of a dedicated team of MiX Telematics consultants to help identify and manage trends pertaining to all aspects of fleet management, including driver safety, performance optimisation and vehicle utilisation.

MiX Telematics

Founded in 1996, MiX Telematics is a global provider of vehicle tracking and fleet management products and services to consumers and companies of all sizes in over 75 countries on six continents. The company's commercial product range -- formerly marketed under the VDO brand and sold by Siemens VDO for 10 years -- helps fleet owners ensure driver and passenger safety, reduce fleet running and fuel costs, comply with selected industry regulations, and track and protect vehicles and drivers. Commercial customers include Continental, Parmalat, Schlumberger, Chevron, Greyhound, Spar, and Scania. MiX Telematics has offices in South Africa, the United Kingdom, USA, UAE and Australia and an extensive global distribution network.


Dealers upbeat after meeting Chrysler management

Orlando, Fla. -- Chrysler Group LLC dealers left the first large-scale meeting with the automaker's new management team Sunday encouraged by the executives' commitment to reviving the company, but also concerned about surviving a new product drought.

The meeting, held at the National Automobile Dealers Association annual convention, gave dealers a chance to voice concerns about the company, which emerged from bankruptcy court last summer, and question executives about plans, products, marketing and incentive spending.

Hydrogen – Fuel of the Future, or Just a Spark in the Dark?

The Fossil Fuel Crisis – Hydrogen as an Alternative.

Thirty years ago, hydrogen fuel appeared to have a massive future as a direct replacement for petrol/diesel. In those days the main threat was the expiry of fossil fuel reserves. More modern times bring us other concerns, with global warming currently topping most agendas.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

North America's Largest Car Rental Company Converts to Biodiesel for Its Airport Shuttle Buses

GRAPEVINE, Texas - Grapevine, Tex. – Airport travel will be a breath of fresh air for Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental customers as biodiesel gets them to and from their destination. Enterprise Holdings launched efforts for their entire fleet of more than 600 airport shuttle buses across 50 North American markets to begin using at least 5 percent biodiesel (B5). The company formally unveiled their latest clean energy measure at the 2010 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Grapevine, Texas.

"Enterprise Holdings' move to cleaner burning, renewable biodiesel is a premier example of corporate responsibility," said NBB CEO Joe Jobe. "We are pleased that as Enterprise Holdings proactively seeks cleaner energy alternatives, biodiesel is among the solutions."

Enterprise Holdings will immediately convert buses in nine markets to 20 percent biodiesel (B20) as a first step toward the company's goal of converting its entire bus fleet to B20 over the next five years. Those markets include: Boston; Chicago; Denver; Detroit; Los Angeles; Miami; Raleigh/Durham; San Antonio and San Diego. The company expects to complete the conversion to B5 by spring of this year, with at least 50 percent converted to B20 by the end of next year.

"This investment to biodiesel follows our commitment to our customers and our business to use our fleet to help grow the clean fuel market. By embracing alternative fuels and engine technologies they have greater opportunity to become commercially viable," said Lee Broughton, director of corporate identity and sustainability for Enterprise Holdings. "Biodiesel's benefits to the environment support our commitment to environmental stewardship, as well as our sustainable approach to managing our business for long-term success."

Biodiesel has been in the spotlight recently as President Obama and his administration last week detailed efforts to build a new clean energy economy. Among measures to boost biofuels production, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule to implement the long-term renewable fuels standard of 36 billion gallons by 2022. The EPA guidelines identify biodiesel as an advanced biofuel and require 1.15 billion gallons of biodiesel be used domestically by the end of 2010. Biodiesel has the best energy balance and the best greenhouse gas reduction of any fuel that is currently in the commercial marketplace and is the only advanced biofuel that has reached commercialization in the U.S.

County hopes for savings with possible vehicle-sharing program

Using a successful Washington, D.C. program as a model, the Cook County Board of Commissioners is banking on an electronic monitoring system to make its management of the county’s 2,000 vehicle fleet more efficient.

Commissioners are expected to refer to the County Board’s vehicle committee a resolution requesting a study to explore how an electronic fleet management system would work in Cook County...

Monday, February 8, 2010

GM Announces Support for B20 at National Biodiesel Conference

GRAPEVINE, Texas - Today, General Motors told biodiesel supporters at the National Biodiesel Conference that the company's 2011 model year Duramax 6.6L turbo diesel engines will be fully compatible with a 20 percent blend of biodiesel (B20). The company made the announcement, which covers all 2011 GM heavy-duty products including Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Express, and GMC Savana, after extensive evaluation of B20.

GM joins Ford and Chrysler in formalizing its support for B20, providing a big boost to the biodiesel industry. These three companies produce more than 80 percent of the diesel light vehicles sold in North America.

"B20 capability in our new heavy-duty trucks is the latest addition to a growing number of alternate fuel options offered by General Motors," said Mike Robinson, vice president, Environment, Energy and Safety Policy. "We are seeking different paths to fuel solutions in order to maximize efficiency, reduce emissions and minimize the dependence on petroleum."

Previously, GM offered B20 capability as a special equipment option for fleets. GM announced several upgrades for 2011, such as upgraded seal and gasket materials, an upgraded fuel filter, and additional heating to the fuel circuit to make the new diesel vehicles B20 compatible with standard equipment.

"It's a huge win for the biodiesel industry to have GM's support for B20," said Steve Howell, technical director for the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). "Over the past seven years, a tremendous amount of cooperative effort has taken place between the biodiesel industry and the auto and equipment manufacturers to secure broader support for B20 blends in their vehicles. From the development of stringent new ASTM specifications for blends up to B20, to intensified fuel quality enforcement efforts and emphasis on the BQ-9000 program, to sophisticated testing with new particulate and NOx aftertreatment technology – this has truly been a substantial team effort, and it’s finally paying off."

The NBB and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory spent more than $10 million testing B20 during the last five years to ensure the fuel's compatibility in new diesel engines and after-treatment technology. Most of the NBB funding for the testing was provided by U.S. soybean farmers through the soybean checkoff program.

Chrysler was the first of the three major U.S. auto makers to formally support B20 use by fleet customers in their Dodge Ram pickups starting in 2007, along with implementing B5 factory fills in the Dodge Ram and Jeep Liberty. This past fall, Ford announced that their model year 2011 Ford F-series Super Duty diesel pickup line will be fully approved for use with B20.

"Ford Motor Company recognizes the benefits that are associated with the expanded use of high quality biodiesel fuel blends and has designed the 6.7-liter Powerstroke diesel engine to be approved for operation on biodiesel fuel blends up to B20," said Ford Powertrain System Technical Specialist Brien Fulton.

Biodiesel is produced from oils and fats, which are byproducts of things like soybean protein and livestock. Made from diverse renewable resources, biodiesel reduces life cycle carbon dioxide values 78 percent compared to petroleum diesel fuel, according to studies by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy. It is an excellent choice for reducing greenhouse gases without impacting the food supply.

Based in Jefferson City, the National Biodiesel Board is the national trade association of the biodiesel industry and is the coordinating body for biodiesel research and development in the U.S. Its membership is comprised of biodiesel producers, state, national, and international feedstock and feedstock processor organizations, fuel marketers and distributors, and technology providers.

BQ-9000 is a voluntary fuel quality assurance program, overseen by the National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission (NBAC) and adopted by the National Biodiesel Board and the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Deborah DeVoe Named Senior Vice President, First Transit and First Services

CINCINNATI — First Transit and First Services, the leading providers of passenger transportation contract, management and fleet maintenance services, recently hired Deborah DeVoe as senior vice president of sales, effective February 15. DeVoe is responsible for the direction and oversight of the company’s overall business development strategy.

“With 27 years of experience and a passion for customer service, team leadership and sales management, Deb has the expertise necessary to capitalize on our strategic business development goals,” said Brad Thomas, president of First Transit and First Services.

DeVoe most recently served as vice president of sales for ARAMARK, one of the nation’s top professional services and facilities management companies. While at ARAMARK, she was responsible for new contract generation, sales model development and recruitment. Her efforts resulted in more than $200 million worth of sales over a three-year period.

The Siena College graduate holds a BBA in accounting and has participated in the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management executive education program.

About First Transit
First Transit, Inc., part of FirstGroup America, is a leading provider of passenger transportation contract and management services in the United States. In 2008, FirstGroup America was awarded the National Safety Council’s highest award for safety. With more than 51 years of experience, First Transit provides operation, management and consulting for 235 locations in 41 states and Puerto Rico for transit authorities, state departments of transportation, federal agencies, municipal organizations and private companies. For more information, visit www.firsttransit.com.

About First Vehicle Services
First Vehicle Services, part of FirstGroup America, is a leading provider of contract fleet maintenance and management services in the United States. With more than 25 years of experience, First Vehicle Services maintains more than 50,000 vehicles and equipment in the US and Puerto Rico for government agencies, municipal organizations and private companies. For more information, visit www.firstvehicleservices.com.

Minnesota State Vehicles Used 25% More E85 in 2009

SAINT PAUL, Minn., Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Minnesota's state agencies are breaking their 'addiction to oil' one tankful at a time, according to a new report from the SmartFleet Committee, a group that tracks fuel use and encourages state employees to use E85 in the 2,500 flex fuel vehicles in the state fleet. In 2009, state agencies used 816,568 gallons of E85, up from 650,036 gallons used in 2008.

Executive Order 04-10, signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, calls for Minnesota state government to reduce the quantity of petroleum fuels consumed in transportation. Using E85, which contains up to 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline, moves the state closer to that goal. On Feb. 3, President Obama's Biofuels Interagency Working Group issued a report encouraging federal, state and local governments to increase their use of biofuels in fleet vehicles. "Minnesota doesn't have any fossil fuel resources of our own," stated Tim Morse, chair of the SmartFleet Committee. "It is important for state government to lead by example as we all look for alternative transportation choices that are cleaner, renewable and made here at home."

According to the report, E85 accounted for 15 percent of the total fuel used in 2009 by the state's light duty vehicles. The state's Higher Education office topped all other agencies with nearly 79 percent use of cleaner-burning E85. Other top agency users of E85 included Agriculture, the Governor's Office, Mediation Services and Revenue.

"I am pleased to see steady progress again this year," said Kelly Marczak, director for the American Lung Association in Minnesota's clean fuel and vehicle technologies program and a member of the SmartFleet Committee. "The state's use of E85 in 2009 prevented more than 3,250 tons of lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions and harmful pollutants from entering our air."

Minnesota has more than 350 public and fleet E85 refueling stations. For a complete listing of all E85 stations in Minnesota, as well as a list of all flex fuel vehicles that can use the ethanol-based fuel, see www.CleanAirChoice.org.

SOURCE American Lung Association in Minnesota

NJ Strengthens Seat Belt Law

TRENTON, NJ - New Jersey legislation was signed into law Jan. 18 requiring all vehicle occupants to use seat belts, regardless of their seating position in a vehicle.

A secondary offense, the new law allows police to issue summonses to unbuckled back seat occupants, 18 years of age and older, when the vehicle they are riding in is stopped for another violation.

The law is effective immediately. Previously, state law exempted adults riding in rear seats from seat belt requirements.

The legislation was signed into law by Jon Corzine, just one day before his term as governor ended. New Jersey's new governor is Chris Christie.

Former Gov. Corzine had a strong personal interest in the legislation. He wasn't wearing a seat belt while riding in a state police-driven SUV that crashed in April 2007. During the crash, he sustained 15 broken bones. He spent nearly three weeks in a hospital after the accident, much of that time in critical care.

Canada to match California, Quebec on tailpipe emissions

OTTAWA — Environment Canada is drafting vehicle tailpipe regulations to match the climate change goals of Quebec and California, according to a recently released federal document.

Although Environment Minister Jim Prentice ridiculed Quebec's introduction of its own standards this week, describing it as a "folly" that could result in a $5,000 price increase for car buyers, his department is preparing to publish regulations by this summer to harmonize with both California and federal U.S. standards.

"It is expected that the final regulations will be in place in the summer of 2010," said the background document published by Environment Canada at the end of 2009. "The proposed standards would require substantial environmental improvements from new vehicles and would put Canadian GHG emission standards at par with U.S. national standards and, by 2016 with the California standards."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

EV-Charge America Launches Global Charge Net™ Smart Grid Enabled EV Charging Stations, Integrated with GridPoint, Inc.’s Smart Charging Software

Las Vegas, NV, February 03, 2010 --(PR.COM)-- The Charge Net integrated software solution uses EV-Charge America’s Charge Net™ Globally Networked Charging Stations for plug in electric and hybrid plug in vehicles and are embedded with GridPoint’s smart charging software to further enhance municipalities, public and private utilities abilities to manage grid loads relative to electric vehicle charging infrastructure roll-outs now going on world-wide.

Utilities and municipalities will now have a globally networked software solution that monitors and adjusts to real-time grid loads thus allowing stake holders to adapt, modulate and optimize the supply and demand of electricity when used as a transportation fuel while integrating with other third-party software applications, including utility company’s back office control software.

Electric Utility Companies of all sizes will be able to easily and economically manage the load generated by ever increasing numbers of EVs. Demand / Response activities are monitored and optimized on any macro and/or micro geographic grid levels using this new and innovative Charge Net™ platform.

The Charge Net™ is built to effectively interact with utility company’s new time-of-use rates that are expected to be an effective tool in incentivizing EV users to charge their vehicles during night time or off-peak hours.

“This new, multiple vehicle operating system platform that is seamless to the user is being offered at a price point and ROI that is the most cost-effective in the industry. In today’s economic environment, businesses and municipalities must maximize the value of their capital expenditures by charging up to 4 vehicles from one station. Charge Net™ makes economic sense,” says Bob Rosinski, CEO of EV-Charge America.

About GridPoint
GridPoint, Inc., an established leader in smart grid software, enables utilities to easily manage the evolution to a Smart Grid. GridPoint’s software aggregates and manages an intelligent network of distributed energy resources that controls load, stores energy and produces power. Utilities efficiently balance supply and demand, improve grid reliability and empower consumers with user-friendly software to manage energy consumption. Utilities and consumers realize the benefits of energy intelligence with GridPoint’s solutions including energy management, load management, renewable integration, storage management and electric vehicle management. With GridPoint’s interoperable platform, utilities rapidly integrate and manage emerging technologies, resulting in a practical path to developing a clean, efficient 21st century grid. On the Net: www.gridpoint.com

About EV-Charge America
EV-Charge America, Charge Net has its principal US operations in Las Vegas, NV., and manufactures a complete family of electric vehicle charging stations products, software and infrastructure services. EV-Charge America's global Charge Net™ Network can be viewed at www.EV-ChargeAmerica.com

MiX Telematics Releases Top Four Business Practices to Improve Fleet Vehicle Operations in 2010

Dallas, Texas (PRWEB) February 3, 2010 -- MiX Telematics (http://www.mixtelematics.net), the foremost global provider of vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions, and its division SafeDrive International (SDI), announced today the top four business practices to help improve driver behavior. The solutions will help companies across North America improve the efficiency of their fleet management operations in 2010. It also released five trends that will most impact fleet operations this year.

"2009 was one of the most financially challenging years for companies that operate commercial vehicles," said Brian McCoy, vice president of sales and marketing at MiX Telematics North America. "Beyond the overall reduction in consumer spending, businesses operating commercial vehicles were also hit with increased fuel prices. MiX, along with SafeDrive International, identified four key business practices that can help companies improve their fleet operations with vehicle tracking and Driver Behavior Modification (DBM) solutions."

The top four business practices, also called DBM solutions, that should be implemented by companies with fleet vehicle operations in 2010 include:

1. Driver and Vehicle Performance Monitoring - Through web-based tracking of driver behaviors, (i.e. acceleration, braking, idling, etc.), companies can reduce unsafe driving habits and increase fuel efficiency. Managing this information through Performance Monitoring will benefit a company by reducing crashes and saving on liability costs as well as unnecessary fuel consumption.

2. Electronic Hours of Service - With an on-board, Internet-based solution that replaces DOT paper logs and complies with all U.S. and Canadian regulations, companies can improve internal auditing processes and minimize the administrative labor costs and time associated with driver data errors.

3. Automated IFTA Reporting - Through a fully automated, patented state line algorithm that precisely calculates interstate miles, companies can eliminate the use of manual trip sheets.

4. Comprehensive Driver Training - With new health and safety legislation, such as CSA 2010 and the new DOT Motorcoach Safety Action Plan, companies can receive customized driver training, which targets driver health and safety issues that are defined with IVMS technology.

MiX Telematics also identified five trends that will most likely have the greatest impact on fleet management in 2010. According to Charles Tasker, Managing Director of MiX Telematics International, these trends include:

1. Carbon Emissions Reduction - A reduction goal of US emissions by 17 percent by 2020 has climate legislation looming over US companies. The US House of Representatives has already passed legislation that focuses on curbing greenhouse gases and utilizing renewable energy.

2. Anywhere, Mobile Access - The consumer market has seen an increased push on "go anywhere, do anything" mobile applications with new iPhone, Blackberry and Android technology. The same technology will begin to be more specifically tailored for mobile fleet management and data tracking solutions.

3. Location-based Services (LBS) and Personal Tracking - The general consumer market has seen a rise in LBS and personal tracking technology over the past year, which will be an interesting development for the telematics industry. Through the success of LBS in the consumer market, personal tracking becomes more and more popular with end users.

4. More Affordable Technology -Telematics technology has not only advanced dramatically, but also become more common and affordable. As a result, manufacturer and solutions providers will see begin to see "traditional" on-board computers replaced by advanced mobile devices that can communicate with vehicles as effectively.

5. Advanced User Interface -More sophisticated, faster Web applications will put more control in the hands of users and will be a key differentiator between telematics services.

"2010 presents many exciting new opportunities for growth for companies with fleet operations," added McCoy. "The sophisticated vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions already being deployed by MiX are a significant asset to companies seeking to increase their market share and stabilize the bottom line this year. From calculating CO2 emissions to assessing and modifying health and safety issues through DBM, MiX offers a wide range of products and services that deliver critical information ranging from vehicle and driver performance to vehicle tracking and navigation."

About MiX Telematics North America
MiX Telematics North America is a dynamic solutions company that helps U.S. and Canadian businesses overcome the toughest fleet management and vehicle tracking challenges. From proprietary Driver Behavior Modification (DBM) solutions to real-time vehicle tracking, the company successfully implements innovative technology for a broad range of commercial applications within oil & gas, utilities and local service industries. For more information visit www.mixtelematics.net or contact Brian McCoy at 972-641-6200.

About MiX Telematics
Founded in 1996, MiX Telematics is a global provider of vehicle tracking and fleet management products and services to consumers and companies of all sizes in over 75 countries on six continents. The company's commercial product range - formerly marketed under the VDO brand and sold by Siemens VDO for 10 years - helps fleet owners ensure driver and passenger safety, reduce fleet running and fuel costs, comply with selected industry regulations, and track and protect vehicles and drivers. For more information visit www.mixtelematics.com.

About SafeDrive International
SafeDrive International (SDI), a MiX Telematics subsidiary, was formed in January 2002 after professionals from the field of land transport risk management, fleet management, competency based training and assessment and behavioral psychology aligned. Since SDI's inception it has rapidly become a market leader in providing journey management solutions targeting the inherent risks associated with land transport operations, globally. For more information visit www.mixtelematics.ae

Commercial Fleets Take Measured Action to Toyota Recall

TORRANCE, CA - Overall, U.S. commercial fleets have been measured in their response to 2.3-million vehicle safety recall and sales/production suspension of eight Toyota models due to reports of sticking accelerator pedals causing sudden, unintended vehicle speed-up.

According to an Associated Press (AP) report today on National Public Radio, Toyota informed employees it has determined a solution to the fault accelerator problem and has presented the remedy to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Fleet reactions range from simply informing drivers of the recall and forwarding Toyota instructions to allowing drivers to rent a replacement vehicle and, in a few cases, removing an impacted Toyota model from their selectors until the issue is resolved. Some companies instruct drivers to take their vehicles immediately to a Toyota dealership for an accelerator pedal inspection.

Fleet Managers Respond

Sealed Air's corporate fleet manager, Marianne Garvey, "forwarded Toyota's instructions to drivers on how to deal with the issue." The Elmwood Park, N.J.-based company is a provider of packaging materials and systems. About 65 percent of its 650-unit fleet are Toyota models, including RAV4s, Camrys, Avalons, Siennas, and Venzas.

While the recall is a "matter of concern and safety," Garvey is waiting for the automaker to provide further details and actions. If the problem occurs, she also notes "one should be knowledgeable and rely common sense" to handle the situation.

The fleet manager of a global service organization's 2,300-vehicle fleet was also deliberative in his response to the safety recall, expressing confidence Toyota would work quickly to remedy the problem. "We are mailing our drivers instructions on what they should do if they experience the problem. This is detailed instruction that we have received from Toyota. We are not parking cars. We continue to order vehicles from Toyota as we have been assured that the sales suspension will be brief," said the fleet manager.

Impacted Toyota vehicles represented a small percentage of Panasonic's 900-plus vehicle fleet. Frank Memolo, the electronics company's fleet manager, will "encourage the drivers of those vehicles to communicate with our leasing company's maintenance department regarding recalls and if their specific vehicle is part of the recall."

The fleet manager of a national retailer commented off the record. "We have sent an e-mail to all drivers in these model vehicles to be aware of the symptoms and act accordingly. [We] attached the Toyota announcement, and frequently asked questions with answers. We have just received the Vibe announcement and although we forwarded the Toyota [message] to Vibe drivers, we will follow up sending the GM announcement."

The retailer's 2,800-vehicle fleet includes approximately 200 affected Toyota vehicles and 130 Pontiac Vibes. The fleet "will not be using Toyota" on its spring order and plans to use another manufacturer that already provides the company's vans and pickups.

Although noting the recall impacted just a small fraction of the company's fleet vehicles, BASF Corp. Fleet Specialist Nancy Greb reported, "E-mail notifications were sent to all drivers as well as a follow-up phone call to let them know of the situation with Toyota. A few drivers were under the impression that this was just another 'floor mat issue.' If the driver felt that their safety was compromised in any way, BASF suggested that they contact our leasing company to obtain a rental until additional information was received from the auto manufacturer."

According to Jim McCarthy, director, Siemens vehicle management services, about 7 percent of the 247 Toyota vehicles in the Iselin, N.J.-based company's 15,000-plus unit fleet are impacted by the recall. In addition, the fleet deploys 16 Pontiac Vibes.

McCarthy said the measures Siemens has taken include cancelling Toyota Camry orders where possible "anywhere in the pipeline" and removing the Camry template from the fleet selector. Additionally, "consistent notifications are being sent to affected drivers with updates and recommendations."

A "Do Not Drive" mandate regarding affected vehicles has not been issued, but McCarthy said the action "is in discussion at this time."

To date, no Novo Nordisk drivers had experienced faulty pedal problems with their Toyota company vehicles, primarily Highlander SUVs assigned to managers, reported Donna Bibbo, manager of fleet and employee services for the healthcare company. However, Bibbo said, "We are going to allow any of them who are concerned to get a rental vehicle until Toyota has issued an official recall, and they can get their vehicles fixed."

Toyota vehicles have also been removed from Novo Nordisk's spring order cycle selector. "Better to be safe than sorry is how I look at it," said Bibbo.

At paint and finishes manufacturer Benjamin Moore, Procurement Agent Rosali Falato has "made sure are drivers are aware of the situation (all employees.)." She also clarified that a sticking accelerator "may not be in the floor mats, but the pedal itself."

Benjamin Moore's fleet numbers about 400 units.

For drivers with impacted Toyota vehicles on order, Falato requested the company's leasing company contact the employees to offer a choice of waiting the vehicle ordering another manufacturer's vehicle.

"Both of the leasing companies I currently use have been proactive in keeping me informed of the situation. Toyota has also been very good about distributing information," said Falato. "However, I needed to take the initiative with the leasing company to request they contact the drivers and offer them another option."

She believes "if Toyota took positive action to assist those in these vehicles until a 'fix' could be found, it would create more trust in the Toyota nameplate." One possible "fix" could be a "loaner program" for any impacted vehicles on order or in service.

While driver safety issues are a priority, Falato also expressed concerns "about the residual value of Toyota, considering the expanse of this problem."

Toyota's Recall Extended to Sales Suspensions

After issuing a recall last week Toyota Tuesday instructed its dealers to temporarily suspend sales of the following models:

* Certain 2009-2010 RAV4.
* Certain 2009-2010 Corolla.
* 2009-2010 Matrix.
* 2005-2010 Avalon.
* Certain 2007-2010 Camry.
* Certain 2010 Highlander.
* 2007-2010 Tundra.
* 2008-2010 Sequoia.

Included in the recall and sales suspension are GM's 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe models. The product of a joint GM/Toyota venture, the Vibe and the Toyota Matrix are similar vehicles. Since GM ended production of the Vibe last summer, only a few dozen remain in dealership showrooms.

Yesterday, Toyota extended the recall to Europe, affecting 2 million additional vehicles.

Toyota also this week expanded by 1.1 million vehicles last fall's separate 4.3 million vehicle recall related to a potential risk for floor mat entrapment of accelerator pedals.

Toyota engineers have been working "around the clock" to solve the problem in coordination with Elkhart, Ind.-based CTS Corporation, supplier of the accelerator pedal under investigation. According to media reports, CTS has tested a newly designed pedal, now in full production and expected to be delivered to dealerships and factories.

In the interim, dealers are instructed on "reshaping" the accelerator pedal. Customers who have their vehicle pedals reshaped can have a new pedal installed when they become available. In addition, Toyota will replace any Toyota all-weather floor mat in an impacted subject vehicle with a newly designed mat, free of charge.

In addition to alerts to fleet and leasing companies, the automaker has posted instructions on its Web site for drivers who may encounter a sticky accelerator pedal.

Other Fleet Industry Segments React

In his "Auto Focus" blog, Business Fleet magazine editor Chris Brown, reported "leasing companies are taking the approach to inform clients, while leaving the decision to ground a vehicle up to the client."

Identifying customers with affected Toyotas, leasing companies "are telling clients to take their vehicles to a Toyota dealer, and they are forwarding the link from Toyota that discusses the problem and what to do." said Brown.

In published statements, rental companies Avis Budget Group, Hertz, Dollar Thrifty, and Enterprise Holdings (Enterprise, National, and Alamo) announced this week they have pulled Toyota models covered in the recall and are suspending sales of the affected vehicles.

The National Auto Auction Association (NAAA), the largest U.S. used-vehicle auto auction association, has recommended all member auctions immediately halt sales of recall-impacted Toyota models. "NAAA will work with and support the decision of Toyota Motor Sales as they make every effort to address the situation," said a statement from the organization.

Several NAAA members have endorsed the organization's recommendation. Atlanta-based Manheim, a leading wholesale auto auction operation, issued a statement on its Web site in support of the association's recommendation.

ServNet Auctions, a Franklin, Tenn.-headquartered network of 22 independently owned auto auction sites across the U.S., will also follow the NAAA recommendation, according to a statement by Jeff Brasher, ServNet president.

Noting that ADESA "will work closely with Toyota's management to resolve this issue," ADESA President and CEO Tom Caruso, also issued a statement supporting the NAAA recommendation. ADESA operates 62 auction locations in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

Volkswagen's 2.0L TDI Clean Diesel Engine Named a 'Ward's 10 Best Engine' for 2010

HERNDON, Va., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- As fuel economy and emissions gain even greater awareness among today's new car shoppers, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is honored to have its 2.0-liter four-cylinder TDI® Clean Diesel engine selected by Ward's Automotive Group as one of the "10 Best Engines" for 2010. Presented at a special ceremony during last month's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the 16th-annual list represents the only awards program in North America to recognize engine excellence.

"This year's list embodies how the industry is responding to demands for higher fuel economy and lower emissions without shortchanging performance," said Ward's AutoWorld Editor-in-Chief, Drew Winter. "Auto makers, like Volkswagen, are using innovative designs and advanced technology to boost horsepower and torque while downsizing engines and increasing efficiency."

"For over 30 years, Volkswagen has been developing and refining diesel engine technology to help bring an ever-improving host of benefits to drivers now and into the future," said Mark Barnes, Chief Operating Officer, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "Our 2.0L TDI unites an exceptional balance of fun-to-drive performance and efficiency, and we are proud to have it recognized in the prestigious Ward's list."

The 2.0L TDI is compliant with the stringent Tier 2, Bin 5/ULEV II emissions standards that apply in California and all 50 U.S. states, and is available now in the all-new sixth generation Golf, the award-winning Jetta, and the versatile Jetta SportWagen models. The engine delivers 140 horsepower and a potent 236 lbs.-ft. of torque for truly efficient but thrilling performance, and can be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission, or the six-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG®) automatic transmission. Power comes on quick and even throughout the RPM range, for strong off-the-line performance, and an instant boost when needed at speed.

With either transmission, the 2.0L TDI promises up to 30 percent better fuel economy over a comparable gasoline engine, netting EPA-estimated fuel mileage in the low 30 mpg range with city driving, and the low 40 mpg range during highway conditions. Greenhouse gas emissions are cut 25 percent over a comparable gasoline engine, along with a 95 percent reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions since 1990, making for a cleaner ride with every mile. The 2.0L TDI runs quieter and smoother than diesel engines of the past, making its operation virtually indistinguishable from that of a gasoline engine.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Golf, GTI, New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Eos, Passat, Passat Wagon, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. All 2010 Volkswagens come standard-equipped with Electronic Stabilization Program. This is important because the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called ESC the most effective new vehicle safety technology since the safety belt. Visit Volkswagen of America online at www.vw.com or www.media.vw.com to learn more.


ATLANTA – The Total Resource Auctions network of salvage wholesale auctions has expanded to 72 nationwide locations, with the addition of Total Resource Auctions New Jersey in Bordentown, N.J. The first sale will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 2:00 p.m.
Total Resource Auctions New Jersey shares a location with Manheim New Jersey, one of Manheim’s top operating locations. Greg Fodor has been named manager of Total Resources Auctions New Jersey.

“The Total Resource Auctions New Jersey location greatly strengthens our presence in the Northeast and supports our continued goal of providing customers with added convenience and selection,” said Bill Tiedemann, vice president and general manager of Total Resource Auctions.

The first sale will feature approximately 100 salvage and damaged units from American Honda, Wells Fargo, GE Capital and Enterprise.

“Becoming part of the Total Resource Auctions Network gives us the opportunity to expand our reach to develop a new customer base,” said Pete Sauber, general manager, Manheim New Jersey. “We expect Total Resource Auctions New Jersey to become a significant part of our operation as we build additional relationships with insurance, commercial and dealer customers in need of salvage and damaged vehicle remarketing services.”

Fodor agreed, adding, “Salvage auction customers can expect the same high-quality services that have made Manheim New Jersey one of the leading wholesale vehicle auctions in the industry. We have the expertise and dedicated staff to deliver those services and provide added value.”

Buyers interested in attending a Total Resource Auctions sale can do so every Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., following Manheim New Jersey’s used whole vehicle auction.

About Total Resource Auctions
Total Resource Auctions allows buyers and sellers to securely exchange damaged, inoperative and salvage vehicles at 72 locations throughout the United States and via Web-based products, including Manheim Simulcast. For more information about Total Resource Auctions, go to www.traauctions.com

Partnership between Energy Xtreme and Espar Heater Systems allows vehicle electrical systems and heaters to operate without use of engine

Austin, TX - Energy Xtreme and Espar Heater Systems have partnered on a one-of-a-kind idle-reduction system that can operate both electrical and heating equipment in vehicles.

The unique system combines Energy Xtreme's idle-reduction technology with an Espar heater to efficiently power a vehicle's entire electrical load and heating unit without the need to engage the vehicle's engine. The system can also provide remote power for tools and other equipment.

"This partnership combines two very important technologies," said Ross Johnson, Energy Xtreme's business development director. "Because all of these systems will be operating independently of the vehicle engine, emissions and fuel usage can be greatly reduced."

The system will also have the capability to pre-heat a vehicle's engine, and will be compatible with a wide range of vehicles including trucks, buses and automobiles.

"Espar Heater Systems has over 39 years of North American experience in the auxiliary fuel operated heater business. We are fully aware the power supplies to mobile applications have a crucial impact on emission reduction," Espar President Volker Hohensee said. "Energy Xtreme's new development is filling that gap and will provide the missing link to make anti-idling technologies such as the Espar Heaters more successful."
About Energy Xtreme
Austin-based Energy Xtreme creates compelling solutions for businesses facing high cost and energy efficiency issues. These applications include idle-reduction products, emergency backup systems, power management systems, remote power generation and storage systems as well as proprietary carbon tracking and reporting software. For more information, visit: www.energyxtreme.net.

About Espar Heater Systems
Espar Heater Systems, based in Novi, Michigan and Mississauga, Ontario is the leader in the manufacturing of engine-independent, fuel-operated heaters used in a wide range of mobile applications, including truck, specialty, off-highway, marine, bus and automotive vehicles. These systems are recognized as anti-idling technologies and are a huge factor in reducing fuel costs and greenhouse gases. For more information, visit www.espar.com.