Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dependable Auto Shippers Hires Industry Veteran to Lead Corporate Sales

(DALLAS) October 26, 2010 – Dependable Auto Shippers   (DAS), the largest privately owned provider of vehicle relocation services in the U.S., announces the hire of Chris R. Chalk, CRP, GMS, as director of corporate accounts. Chalk brings more than 10 years of experience in the relocation industry to DAS where he will be responsible for growing corporate relationships across the country.

"We're thrilled to have Chris join the team," said John Roehll, executive vice president of sales and marketing. "Chris is an industry veteran with a broad array of experience in the relocation industry. His knowledge and consultative approach to sales will help DAS lead industry trends and provide customers with peace-of-mind and exceptional service."

Prior to DAS, Chalk served as director of business development for Graebel Companies, Inc., in Atlanta, where he represented the company's relocation services, van lines, move management and international service lines for the eastern U.S.

Before joining Graebel in 2007, Chalk served as director of national accounts for GMAC Relocation Mortgage where he managed accounts and grew revenue in 15 states.

Chalk also spent five years at Xonex Relocation as director of business development, selling relocation management and household goods solutions.

Chalk holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and criminal justice from the University of Georgia. He is a Certified Relocation Professional, Global Mobility Specialist and Certified Move Consultant. Chalk is also a member of the Employee Relocation Council, and is currently president of the Metro Atlanta Relocation Council. He has previously served on the board of the Southeast Regional Relocation Council and the Charlotte Metro Area Relocation Council.

About DAS
Dependable Auto Shippers   (DAS) is one of the largest privately owned vehicle relocation services in the U.S. Founded in 1954, DAS operates from its headquarters in Dallas, with branch offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and Newark, N.J. Using a network of more than 95 terminals worldwide, DAS ships cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles around the world. For more information about auto shipping with DAS, visit

Explore Breadth and Depth of Propane-Fueled Commercial Lawn Care Equipment at GIE+EXPO

WASHINGTON (October 28, 2010) — A wide variety of commercial lawn mowers that run on clean-burning propane are available now from more than a dozen industry-leading manufacturers, with many on display at the 2010 Green Industry and Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO), starting today in Louisville, Ky.

Propane mowers are supported by an existing nationwide refueling infrastructure and incentives that make those mowers a cost-effective and affordable business purchase. Mower operators can cut their greenhouse gas emissions in half and reduce carbon monoxide emissions by 80 percent by switching from gasoline to propane. They can also avoid the toxic gasoline spills that can occur during refueling.

GIE+EXPO attendees can learn about propane-fueled equipment through a series of manufacturer-led seminars in the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) Propane Pavilion in Booth 11198. Representatives from Cub Cadet, Dixie Chopper, EnviroGard, Exmark, Ferris Industries, Husqvarna, and Scag Power Equipment will present seminars, as will the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and Downers Grove, Ill.-based contractor Competitive Lawn Service. Equipment from Cub Cadet, Husqvarna, Schiller Grounds Care/Bob-Cat, and Snapper Pro will be displayed in the booth.

"Propane-fueled commercial mowers reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 50 percent compared with gasoline-fueled mowers, and they are safer to use during pollution advisory periods," said PERC Vice President Brian Feehan. "Commercial lawn and landscape company operators can take immediate advantage of that benefit, since more than 29 models are available from top name brands. An effective propane refueling infrastructure is in place, with refueling stations located in each state, and fuel delivery programs are available from most propane providers."

Propane-fueled commercial mower manufacturers exhibiting at GIE+EXPO include Ariens/Gravely (Booth 7120), Bad Boy (5140), Cub Cadet (5116), Dixie Chopper (7214), Exmark (7094), Ferris Industries (5054), Husqvarna (9094), Scag Power Equipment (7060), Schiller Grounds Care/Bob-Cat (3058), and Snapper Pro (5054). Exhibitors also include Briggs & Stratton (7104) and Kawasaki (Booth 1064), makers of propane-specific engines for some mower models.

Along with federal incentive programs designed to encourage the use of propane-fueled vehicles, PERC's state partnership program offers matching dollars toward the purchase of mowers, vehicles, and conversion systems certified by the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Programs exist today to help introduce this new technology into the market," Feehan said. "And propane mowers can save companies money because of competitive fuel pricing, the virtual elimination of fuel spillage and leakage common with gasoline, and convenient propane fuel delivery that eliminates the need to travel to an off-site location for refueling."

Propane-fueled commercial mowers use propane cylinders of varying capacities, and many propane providers offer cylinder exchange programs that typically include on-site storage installation. For larger volumes, a no-spill dispenser can be installed on site and used to refuel mowers and propane-fueled work trucks.

For more information about propane-fueled commercial lawn mowers and work trucks, and for a schedule of seminars being held in the PERC Propane Pavilion at GIE+EXPO, visit Booth 11198 or

Wexco Industries Announces ISO9001:2008 Re-Certification

October 25, 2010 - Pine Brook, NJ:  WEXCO Industries, one of the nation's leading windshield wiper blade suppliers and windshield wiper system manufacturers is pleased to announce their re-certification to the ISO 9001:2008 standard.  The 2008 standard is now the requirement for any new certification after November 14, 2010. WEXCO's certification is a pre-requisite to its ongoing tier 1 supplier relationship with many heavy duty vehicle manufacturers.

WEXCO's third party auditor is STR-Registrar, LLC, which is an ANAB accredited firm.  ANAB assesses and accredits certification bodies that demonstrate competence to audit, and certify organizations conforming to management systems standards.

As its OE business has increased, WEXCO has placed an ever-increasing emphasis on  continuous improvements in process control, lean methodologies, and development of best practices.  Operating within the framework of an ISO-based quality system, the company makes these strides while remaining compliant with customer requirements, and documented internal procedures.

WEXCO is presently qualifying to the ISO TS-16949 standard, targeting cerification by June 2011.  TS-16949 encompasses the entire ISO 9000 standard, and adds additional focus on the design/development, production, and where relevant, installation and servicing of automotive-related products.

 For more information about WEXCO Industries, visit

Kenworth PremierCare PM Delivers 15 Percent Reduction in Maintenance Costs for The Salvation Army

SEATTLE, Wash., Oct. 27, 2010 – After converting The Salvation Army's fleet of trucks at its San Jose and Oakland locations to Kenworth PremierCare(R) Preventive Maintenance, the organization's western territorial director of production estimates that the contract maintenance program has saved his organization about 15 percent on its maintenance costs.

For years, Henry Filoteo said his organization used a variety of dealers, service locations and on-site service providers to handle fleet maintenance and repairs. That arrangement led to inconsistent quality, higher costs and difficulties in managing the fleet.

"With Kenworth PremierCare we're getting a full inspection every time a mechanic goes under the hood," Filoteo said. "As just one example, we saved about 300 percent on brake jobs because the technicians at the Inland Kenworth-Fontana location replaced worn brake pads before they caused damage to the brake components."

Kenworth PremierCare Preventative Maintenance provides fleets of any size a customized preventive maintenance (PM) solution for their trucks, regardless of manufacturer. Since maintenance is as close as the nearest participating Kenworth dealer, fleets like The Salvation Army and their drivers don't have to rely on unfamiliar maintenance shops to complete regular PMs and other repairs. For The Salvation Army, the key to saving money is preventive maintenance – catching things before they fail or get damaged and cost more to repair, Filoteo said.

"Also, when our trucks are scheduled for their PMs, the local Kenworth dealer has all the parts waiting in its inventory before the truck goes in," he added. "That means I'm not having to spend time going to other OEM dealers to get the parts we need."

The Salvation Army operates a fleet of 300 Class 6 straight trucks and 20 Class 8 tractors out of 22 locations throughout its western territory, which covers an area from Colorado to Hawaii and includes California, Oregon and Washington. The count includes 54 new Kenworth T270s that The Salvation Army acquired earlier this year from NorCal Kenworth in the San Francisco Bay Area to meet emission regulations issued by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). NorCal Kenworth also set up the Kenworth PremierCare PM program for The Salvation Army. The new Kenworth trucks are a weight class higher and more durable than the trucks they replaced, which has improved driver productivity, Filoteo said.

The truck fleet picks up donations and delivers them to warehouse locations where they are sorted, cleaned and prepared for sale at The Salvation Army's family stores. Proceeds from the sales fund the organization's residential adult rehabilitation centers.

By the first of the year, The Salvation Army will use Kenworth PremierCare PM at 12 of its 22 locations, with plans to convert its remaining 10 locations in the following months. By converting its locations, FilnMo said The Salvation Army's western territory will also be better prepared to meet the fleet maintenance reporting requirements of the Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010) as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration implements them.

Filoteo said as The Salvation Army has brought more locations on board with the contract maintenance program, the savings have beenonsistent. The program also makes it much lessikely that his organization misses a scheduled pickup. Just the thought of missing scheduled pickups makes Filoteo cringe since he also serves as business administrator for The Salvation Army's Adult Rehabilitation Center in Seattle. Filoteo knows too well that if one of his organization's trucks can't pick up donations of appliances, furniture, clothing and other household items from businesses or residences, it's likely that the organization not only doesn't get the donation, but also develops a negative reputation that can be difficult to overcome.

"Each of our trucks makes about 30 stops each day, and we have to schedule appointments a week or more ahead of time," Filoteo said. "If we have a truck that breaks down after the first three stops and we have to call 27 other donors and tell them ‘we're sorry, we can't send a truck out to pick up your donation today,' not only is that a huge inconvenience, it's likely we'll lose a lot of donations. These are people who may have stayed home from work or rearranged their personal lives so that they could be at home for our drivers to come pick up their donations. They may end up telling their family and friends that you can't count on The Salvation Army to pick up the donation when they say they would.

"We can ill afford to lose any donations because demand is up at our retail stores and donations are down," he added. "During these troubled economic times, people are holding on to their furniture, appliances and clothing longer, so we're getting fewer donations."

That's why Filoteo and The Salvation Army have come to depend increasingly on the Kenworth PremierCare Preventive Maintenance program to keep the organization's fleet running.

"I've always been an advocate of preventive maintenance," Filoteo added. Although he's been with The Salvation Army for 14 years, Filoteo's background is in truck maintenance. For 21 years, Filoteo worked at a truck repair facility and body shop in Bakersfield, Calif., to service oil trucks and other equipment on the oil fields. "I learned the importance of spotting things ahead of time, and that it was much cheaper to be pro-active and fix things locally than to have it break down on the road and have to tow it to another facility."

Kenworth PremierCare Preventive Maintenance provides fleets of any size a customized PM solution for their trucks, regardless of manufacturer.  The program offers several maintenance schedule choices and service levels. For more information, contact your Kenworth dealer, call 1-800-KW-ASSIST, or visit Kenworth PremierCare Services under Parts and Service at

Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World's Best(R) heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth is an industry leader in providing fuel-saving technology solutions that help increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The company's dedication to the green fleet includes aerodynamic trucks, compressed and liquefied natural gas trucks, and medium duty diesel-electric hybrids. In 2009, Kenworth became the first truck manufacturer to receive the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Excellence award in recognition of its environmentally friendly products. Kenworth's Internet home page is at Kenworth. A PACCAR Company.

J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Future Global Market Demand for Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles May Be Over-Hyped; Wild Card is China

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 — Combined global sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are expected to total 5.2 million units in 2020, or just 7.3 percent of the 70.9 million passenger vehicles forecasted to be sold worldwide by that year, according to a report issued by J.D. Power and Associates. For comparison, global HEV and BEV sales in 2010 are forecasted to total 954,500 vehicles, or 2.2 percent of the 44.7 million vehicles projected to be sold through the end of 2010.

The report, titled "Drive Green 2020: More Hope than Reality" considers various factors affecting the future potential for "green" vehicles in the world's largest automotive markets. These factors include market trends, regulatory environment, consumer sentiment and technology development in these markets.

According to the report, it will be difficult to convince large numbers of consumers to switch from conventionally powered passenger vehicles to HEVs and BEVs. A consumer migration to alternative powertrain technologies will most likely require either one of the following scenarios, or some combination of these scenarios:
*    A significant increase in the global price of petroleum-based fuels by 2020
*    A substantial breakthrough in green technologies that would reduce costs and improve consumer confidence
*    A coordinated government policy to encourage consumers to purchase these vehicles.

Based on currently available information, none of these scenarios are believed to be likely during the next 10 years.

"While considerable interest exists among governments, media and environmentalists in promoting HEVs and BEVs, consumers will ultimately decide whether these vehicles are commercially successful or not" said John Humphrey, senior vice president of automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates. "Based on our research of consumer attitudes toward these technologies—and barring significant changes to public policy, including tax incentives and higher fuel economy standards—we don't anticipate a mass migration to green vehicles in the coming decade."

Consumer Sentiment about HEVs and BEVs
Consumers have a variety of concerns about HEVs and BEVs, including:
*    Dislike of their look/design
*    Worries about the reliability of new technologies
*    Dissatisfaction with overall power and performance
*    Anxiety about driving range
*    Concern about the time needed to recharge battery packs

More importantly, however, are the personal financial implications of deciding to purchase an alternative-energy vehicle. While many consumers around the world say they are interested in HEVs and BEVs for the expected fuel savings and positive environmental impact they provide, their interest declines significantly when they learn of the price premium that comes with purchasing these vehicles.

"Many consumers say they are concerned about the environment, but when they find out how much a green vehicle is going to cost, their altruistic inclination declines considerably" said Humphrey. "For example, among consumers in the U.S. who initially say they are interested in buying a hybrid vehicle, the number declines by some 50 percent when they learn of the extra $5,000, on average, it would cost to acquire the vehicle."

The overall cost of ownership of HEVs and BEVs over the life of the vehicle is also not entirely clear to consumers, and there is still much confusion about how long one would have to own such a vehicle to realize cost savings on fuel, compared with a vehicle powered by a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE). The resale value of HEVs and BEVs, as well as the cost of replacing depleted battery packs, are other financial considerations that weigh heavily on consumers' minds.

Finally, it is clear from research in the world's largest automotive markets that buyers of hybrid and electric vehicles occupy a unique demographic niche. Buyers of HEVs and BEVs are generally older, more highly educated (possessing a postgraduate degree), high-income individuals who have a deep interest in technology, or who like to be among the early adopters of any new technology product. As a result, it is not clear that HEVs and BEVs will appeal to the general population.

Government Regulations
While the governments of the world's largest automotive-producing nations have schedules in place for improving fuel economy and reducing exhaust emissions, there is little consensus about the timing or manner in which these objectives are to be achieved. Some governments are promoting HEVs, others are focusing on BEVs, and still others are considering additional options.

According to Humphrey, the lack of consistency in regulations across markets is causing global automakers to hedge their options by seeking alliances and technology-sharing agreements. The heavy fixed costs associated with developing multiple powertrain options simultaneously are prohibitively expensive. When combined with the projected lower sales volumes of these products, collaboration pEtween auto companies is almost a necessity to control costs and remain competitive.

One unpredictable aspect of the 2020 outlook is how markets would be affected if more stringent and consistent legislation is adopted that supports specific technologies. In particular, China has the ability to move quickly, invest heavily in the development of one specific propulsion technology, and mandate fuel economy or emissions standards that could favor a particular technology or require a minimum sales penetration level for vehicles with a designated technology. Given the size and growth rate of the Chinese auto market, such a coordinated regulatory environment might allow Chinese companies to achieve economies of scale and drive down the cost of alternative-energy vehicles.

While HEVs and BEVs offer an interesting alternative for the future, it must be acknowledged that many of the shortcomings that defined battery-based vehicles 100 years ago are still prevalent today. These include limited driving range, extended recharging times, limited support infrastructure, and the high cost of battery packs.

Moreover, while reducing exhaust emissions was not an important factor in the development of battery-based vehicles 100 years ago, it has been a significant driver behind the development of BEVs today. For many governments, the primary goal of transitioning to alternative powertrains is to reduce exhaust emissions, and it is not clear how much of this can be achieved.

"We don't want to replace tailpipe emissions with the emissions of coal- and oil-fired power plants that produce the electricity used by BEVs" said Humphrey. "We have to look at the carbon footprint of the entire energy supply chain."

Breakdown of Global HEV and BEV Sales by 2020
Of the 5.2 million HEVs and BEVs forecasted to be sold worldwide in 2020, some 3.9 million units are expected to be HEVs, according to the J.D. Power and Associates global forecast numbers for the third-quarter of 2010. The leading markets for HEVs are the United States (1.7 million units), Europe (977,000 units), and Japan (875,000 units). China is expected to sell fewer than 100,000 HEVs in 2020.

Of the 1.3 million BEVs projected to be sold worldwide in 2020, sales in Europe will account for 742,000 units; sales in China will account for 332,000 units; and the United States and Japan should each account for sales of approximately 100,000 BEVs in 2020.

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction.  The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually.  For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies:
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a global information and education company providing knowledge, insights and analysis in the financial, education and business information sectors through leading brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2009 were $5.95 billion. Additional information is available at 


SHANGHAI, Oct 27, 2010 -- Ford Motor Company today announced a series of appointments that will help it continue to expand its operations in its Asia Pacific and Africa region.

Jeffrey Shen, president of Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co. Ltd (CFMA), a joint venture among Ford Motor Co., Mazda Motor Corp. and Changan Automobile Co., has elected to retire, effective Dec. 31. Shen joined Ford Lio Ho Motor Co. in Taiwan in 1980, later becoming its president, and has overseen the expansion of CFMA, based in Chongqing, since January 2007.

Marin Burela has been elected by the board of CFMA to succeed Shen as president and will be responsible for overseeing the joint-venture's continued expansion, which currently includes construction of its third assembly plant and preparations for a second engine plant, both located in Chongqing, China. His appointment is effective Nov. 1.

In his role as president and CEO of Ford Australia and New Zealand, Burela oversaw profitable growth through significant efforts in improving manufacturing, sales and marketing.  Prior to his role in Australia, he held a series of senior positions in North America and Europe, including global small car vehicle line director, leading the development of Ford's small car product portfolio, including the new global Ford Fiesta.

Robert Graziano will succeed Burela as president and CEO of Ford Australia and New Zealand, leading the continued expansion of Ford's model lineup in Australia and the market launch of the all new Ford Ranger pickup truck, one of the most important new products of the global One Ford plan. His appointment is effective Nov. 1.

Prior to his current role as chairman and CEO of Ford China, Graziano held a series of leadership positions in the Americas, Asia and Africa. He developed Ford China's expansion plans, overseeing investments of $1.3 billion during the past 12 months alone, while expanding the dealer network and achieving record growth in sales volume and profits. Under his direction, Ford China has become recognized for its leadership in environmental sustainability.

"We thank Jeffrey for his years of service and wish him the best in his retirement," said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford's Asia Pacific and Africa region, which is headquartered in Shanghai, together with Ford China.

"As we continue to realize our aggressive growth plans in Asia Pacific and Africa, we are very fortunate to have a deep bench of talented executives whose exceptional strengths and experiences we can draw on as we grow our operations in this important and diverse region.

Bob and Marin are excellent leaders who have unique skill-sets well-suited for the future requirements in Australia and at our joint venture in China. We are proud to foster a culture of continuous improvement that provides opportunities for new and interesting challenges to help our managers grow and develop at every level."

Reflecting the importance of Ford's expansion in the world's largest automotive market and the continued integration of its regional and China operations, Hinrichs will assume additional responsibilities as chairman and CEO of Ford China, effective Nov. 1.

Ford expects 70 percent of its growth in the next 10 years to come from its Asia Pacific and Africa region, with a majority coming from China.

Ford's Asia Pacific and Africa region encompasses markets on three continents, including Australia, China, India, Thailand and South Africa. Industry sales in the region are expected to increase from 16 million units in 2009, to an estimated 35 million units by 2018.

Ford has invested US $4 billion since 2006 in the region and employs more than 25,000 people here.

Navman Wireless Automates Field Reporting for Fleet Vehicles with New E-Forms Addition to OnlineAVL2 Fleet Tracking System Eliminates Manual Data Entry; Integrates with Back-End Software

GLENVIEW, IL (October 26, 2010) — Navman Wireless today announced the addition of industry-first field reporting capabilities to its OnlineAVL2 fleet tracking system, enabling employees to complete pre-populated electronic forms from vehicles on job sites instead of filling out reports by hand or PC. The new feature enables data to be quickly captured from service vans, school buses, construction equipment, government cars and other vehicles from the road and automatically integrated into the OnlineAVL2 software, eliminating manual data entry as well as providing near-real-time availability.

With the new enhancement to the OnlineAVL2 platform, forms pre-loaded with information such as job ID, location, time and customer contact can be generated with a click and displayed on the Navman Wireless M-Nav 760 dispatch/messaging/GPS navigation unit in each driver's vehicle. Drivers can fill in the required information and return each completed form simply by touching the M-Nav screen, making the data easily accessible to the back-office OnlineAVL2 software for reporting purposes.

Forms can be created and customized to the fleet's needs from the OnlineAVL2 interface with a few clicks, including defining the form structure, fields and actions such as linking one form to another based on driver response. Uses include:

*    Service job reports, for collecting data on services rendered, time spent, parts used and charges billed.
*    School bus child checks, for confirming that no children are left on the bus when each route is completed.
*    Equipment maintenance reports, for tracking fueling, greasing and inspection of bulldozers and other construction equipment.
*    Snowplow street updates, for real-time information on municipal snow removal efforts. 

"Automating field reporting in a fleet environment saves time that would otherwise be spent writing notes and reports by hand for later data entry by someone in the office," said Renaat Ver Eecke, Vice President and General Manager, Navman Wireless North America. "Our new electronic form functionality makes OnlineAVL2 the first fleet tracking platform to streamline the process by feeding the forms to vehicles while they are actually on the job site."

Other Enhancements

Other upgrades in the new Version 10.2 of OnlineAVL2 include the option to display graphically realistic icons for different types of vehicles (cars, vans, pickup trucks, long-haul trucks, etc.) for easy dispatcher identification on the system's real-time fleet location maps; the ability to disable system data for specific users at specific times such as non-working hours to protect their privacy; and new asset usage reports specifically designed for monitoring construction equipment.

The software upgrades join a major hardware addition to the OnlineAVL2 platform that began shipping this week. The new Qtanium 300 is a ruggedized GPS tracking device for public and private construction contractors that is designed to withstand the dirt, weather and vibrations suffered by bulldozers, excavators, cranes and other off-road ‘yellow iron' assets. The unit features an IP67-rated waterproof enclosure and connecting cables, with various shock resistance, anti-tampering and battery features to ensure reliable operation in the off-road environment.

The enhancements extend the benefits that have made OnlineAVL2 one of the leading GPS-based fleet tracking solutions in the world, with deployments on five continents that are helping companies reduce fuel usage, trim other operating costs, improve fleet productivity and maximize customer service.

OnlineAVL2 is delivered under the Software-as-a-Service model with no major in-house software installation or maintenance required. The OnlineAVL2 application and all accompanying hardware – including the Qube on-road and Qtanium off-road GPS tracking devices, plus mobile messaging/turn-by-turn GPS navigation devices available for use with on-road vehicles - are developed and manufactured by Navman Wireless.

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

Smith Electric CEO Bryan Hansel Responds to Obama Administration's New Fuel Standards For Trucks

KANSAS CITY, OCTOBER 26, 2010 – In response to the Obama Administration's proposed regulations requiring big rigs and medium-duty trucks to increase fuel economy 10 to 20 percent by 2018, Smith Electric Vehicles CEO Bryan Hansel released the following statement:

"The Obama Administration has set an admirable goal to significantly improve fuel consumption for all work trucks, which consume as much as 20 percent of the nation's gasoline use. Companies that must now meet the president's deadline should know that all-electric trucks offer fuel costs that are as much as 75 percent lower than diesel. They also cut tail pipe emissions to zero. As a nation, we could easily meet the new rules the administration has set by continuing to adopt electric-truck technology in place of diesel-powered trucks, which will not only make our air cleaner, but also will be a better business investment for all companies looking to cut their fuel costs."

NAFA's Annual Conference Heads to Charlotte With New Sessions Designed for Veteran Corporate Fleet Managers

PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 26, 2010 -- Experienced corporate fleet managers who want to continue their education in fleet management are the focus of NAFA's 2011 Institute & Expo (I&E). The annual conference, which returns to the East Coast for the first time since 2006, has added nearly a dozen educational sessions specifically designed for veteran corporate fleet managers. Over 2,000 fleet professionals, including fleet managers of all industry segments and experience levels, are expected to attend the I&E April 9-12, 2011 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, NC.

The new advanced educational sessions for veteran corporate fleet managers were designed by NAFA Fleet Management Association to meet the higher-level needs of veteran industry professionals. Taught by some of the premier minds of the industry, these sessions will provide fleet managers with the strategic outlook they need to succeed today and tomorrow. Each session will include interactive dialogue and discussion to allow attendees to take part in the learning experience instead of just listening to more "talking heads."

Here are just a few of the new sessions designed for veteran corporate fleet managers:

* "The Mobilization of Fleet Management" -- Discover how to apply technology through an integrated approach that ensures a successful transition from a Web-based system to a hybrid of Web and mobilized systems.

* "How Do You Get Remote Drivers to Change Behaviors?" -- Experts share ideas that have been proven effective, including initiatives that will have a positive impact on safety, costs, and operational efficiency.

* "Congratulations, You're the Global Fleet Manager! Now What?" -- Top executives share how they identified and overcame obstacles to effective global management, including dizzying regulations, privacy laws, accounting standards, cultures, business practices, labor skills, and technology levels.

* "Managing through Merger, Acquisitions, and Divestitures" -- More than just case studies, this session features expert direction and strategies for a successful transition of fleet asset from one company to another.

Spread out across 4 days, the I&E includes over 60 hours of fleet training and educational sessions for fleet managers of all levels of professional experience from those just starting out to fleet managers with decades under their belt. In addition, the I&E features an expo floor with more than 200 vendors and the ability to network with colleagues from all segments of the fleet industry.

The 2011 I&E takes place April 9-12, 2011 at the Charlotte Convention Center. The date is three weeks earlier than usual for the annual conference, so major preparation for the I&E is already underway. A new website has been created at to provide complete conference details, including schedules, hotel information, online registration, and frequently asked questions.

Media sponsors for NAFA's 2011 I&E include International Fleet World, Fleet Maintenance, Fleets & Fuels, Fleet Digest, CAMAUTO, Canadian Automotive Fleet, FLEETSolutions, FleetFOCUS, Naylor LLC, and Light & Medium Truck.

About NAFA Fleet Management Association

NAFA is the world's premier non-profit association for professionals who manage fleets of sedans, public safety vehicles, trucks, and buses of all types and sizes, and a wide range of military and off-road equipment for organizations across the globe. NAFA is the association for the diverse vehicle fleet management profession regardless of organizational type, geographic location or fleet composition. NAFA's Full and Associate Members are responsible for the specification, acquisition, maintenance and repair, fueling, risk management, and remarketing of more than 3.5 million vehicles including in excess of 1.1 million trucks of which 350 thousand are medium- and heavy-duty trucks. For more information visit

ROUSH CleanTech Driving Alternative Fuels and Propane Forward

LIVONIA, Mich. (October 18, 2010) – Jack Roush, legend and champion of motorsports, takes his track knowledge to the streets today with the announcement of a brand new venture bearing his well established brand - ROUSH(R) CleanTech, an environmentally-sound company destined to provide clean, "green" transportation fueled by propane and other alternative fuel options.

ROUSH CleanTech aims to increase the intensity of the corporate investment ROUSH has already made in liquid propane injection powered vehicles, while expediting new products to the market and putting more clean-fueled vehicles on roads worldwide. Products currently in development include Ford F-450, F-550, F-650, and F-53 / F-59 strip chassis, all with a 6.8 liter V10 propane engine.

"For more than 35 years the ROUSH brand has developed experience in OEM-level automotive engineering, design, manufacturing, certification, and assembly," said Todd Mouw, vice president of sales & marketing. "Today we announce the formation of ROUSH CleanTech, which blends our corporate talents into delivering product into the alternative fuels landscape. Our focus is on three key areas: providing the very best in quality, performance, and service for our customers."

"More than 14 million vehicles around the globe operate on propane, but in the United States that figure is fewer than 300,000," continued Mouw. "ROUSH CleanTech's existing lineup of liquid propane injection powered vehicles, including several models of Ford F-series pickups and E-series vans, and future product offerings will revolutionize the way people view alternatively-fueled modes of transportation."

According to Joe Thompson, the president of ROUSH CleanTech, propane offers a variety of advantages. "Propane burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel, with up to 20 percent less nitrogen oxide, up to 60 percent less carbon monoxide, 24 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and fewer particulate emissions when compared to gasoline," said Thompson. "Already the third most widely used fuel, it is available 'right here, right now' with a national infrastructure already in place. Propane plays a strong role in lowering our national dependence on imported oil, as 90 percent of the propane used today comes from domestic sources of production, and an additional 7 percent from Canada."

For more information on the new company, please visit

American Truck Dealers Support Fuel Economy Improvements, but Concerned about Higher Truck Prices

WASHINGTON (Oct. 25, 2010) – The following is a statement from Kyle Treadway, chairman of the American Truck Dealers (ATD) and owner of Kenworth Sales Company in Salt Lake City, Utah:

"Dealers support improving fuel economy for medium and heavy-duty trucks. However, today's fuel-economy proposal for model years 2014-18 is expected to add thousands of dollars to the cost per truck. We are concerned that this could price some buyers out of the market.

"To its credit, the Administration clearly is attempting to tailor its mandates to specific vehicle subclasses and to each manufacturer's unique production. Compliance flexibility will be essential to the national truck fuel efficiency program's success and its ability to prevent an unworkable patchwork of state-by-state mandates. 

"These first-ever truck rules will govern how new medium and heavy-duty trucks are built for sale. If technologically feasible and economically practical, they should result in vehicles that commercial fleets, owner/operators and small businesses will want to buy, at prices they can afford. If not, truck dealers, their employees and the economy in general will suffer without environmental and national security benefits being achieved."

EPA/DOT miss opportunity to include natural gas in greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency regs

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Domestically produced natural gas, which already fuels fleets across the country, has been left out of the government's proposed rule to reduce emissions and improve fuel efficiency in medium and heavy duty vehicles, in spite of the fact that natural gas is the cleanest burning alternative transportation fuel commercially available today. 

The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation today released a 660-page proposed rulemaking that establishes targets for reducing the emissions and increasing the fuel economy beginning with the 2014 model year for three categories of trucks: combination tractors, heavy-duty pickups and vocational vehicles.  The rule includes regulatory incentives for electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles, but not for natural gas vehicles. 

"It is unfortunate and disappointing that this Administration has not included incentives for natural gas powered trucks," said Richard Kolodziej, president of NGVAmerica. "The rules are designed to address the urgent and closely intertwined challenges of dependence on oil, energy security and global climate changes, and natural gas vehicles do just that and more.

"These vehicles are capable today of delivering greenhouse gas reductions of more than 20 percent compared to petroleum fueled vehicles.   And every new dedicated natural gas vehicle that is put into service displaces 100% of the petroleum that would otherwise be used."

Unlike other fuel choices, natural gas powered vehicles are readily available today for many medium and heavy-duty vehicle applications.  Waste collection and transfer vehicles, for example, now account for about 11 percent of total vehicular natural gas use, are the fastest growing natural gas vehicle segment.

"In the weeks ahead, NGVAmerica  will be working with its members and others in the natural gas industry to ensure that EPA is aware of the benefits of natural gas trucks and includes a stronger role for them in its final rule," said Kolodziej.

The two agencies have set January 3, 2011 as the deadline for comments on the proposed rule.


DETROIT, Oct. 25, 2010 – Ford Motor Company today announced plans to invest an additional $850 million in Michigan between 2011 and 2013 as part of the company's commitment to competitively grow its engineering and manufacturing employee base, upgrade its facilities in the state and further improve its vehicle fuel economy.

"Fuel economy and technology are consumers' biggest priorities – and we have made them Ford's as well," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas. "We are pleased to work with state and local government leaders to find new ways to work together, invest in our people as well as Ford facilities, further improve our competitiveness and secure jobs in Michigan."

Ford's investment will generate up to 1,200 new full-time positions in manufacturing and engineering operations in Michigan by 2013.  The company expects approximately 900 jobs will be hourly positions in its Michigan manufacturing facilities and the remaining 300 will be salaried positions within its engineering and manufacturing operations.

Ford is making the Michigan investment commitment after working with officials on a new Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) package that replaces several existing state incentives and makes Michigan a more competitive place to invest in new fuel-saving technologies and facilities. The Michigan Economic Development Council considers the package this week.

Once approved, Ford will allocate its $850 million investment across a variety of plants including Van Dyke Transmission, Sterling Axle, Livonia Transmission and Dearborn Truck Plant.

For instance, a significant portion of the company's additional investment will benefit engineering and production of Ford's new six-speed transmissions, which are planned for many future Ford vehicles and built at the Livonia Transmission Plant and Van Dyke Transmission Plant. By 2013, 100 percent of Ford vehicles will incorporate a six-speed transmission as part of the company's commitment to leadership in fuel economy performance in all vehicle segments.

"We applaud the State of Michigan's leadership in finding innovative solutions aimed at making both the state and Ford more competitive," Fields said. "Promoting investments in technologies, facilities and our workforce ultimately will help revitalize manufacturing in Michigan and help Ford compete with the best in the business world-wide."

This most recent investment commitment builds on the $950 million the company previously announced in Michigan to transform the Michigan Assembly Plant from a large SUV factory to a state-of-the-art car plant, which will build the new Focus arriving in showrooms early next year, as well as the company's battery electric Focus and next generation hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, all planned for production at the Wayne, Mich., facility by 2012.

"We've worked hard to keep Michigan the center of the automobile industry, and Ford's investment is further evidence that our efforts are succeeding," said Governor Jennifer M. Granholm.  "We look forward to continuing our partnership with Ford as the American auto industry builds the green vehicles of the future."

Mitchell 1 Celebrates 15 Years of Management Software Evolution

POWAY, Calif. – Oct. 25, 2010 – It’s been 15 years since Mitchell Repair’s first Microsoft Windows-based shop management software was released as 'Series I’ on Sept. 21, 1995. This ground-breaking software provided vehicle repair shops with an electronic solution for writing estimates, repair orders and invoices. Series I also stored all written vehicle history, allowing users to quickly retrieve and review previous completed work. Many changes have taken place over the years since the introduction of Series 1. Today, Mitchell 1 is proud to reflect on the evolution of its industry-standard Management System as it celebrates 15 years of tremendous growth and outstanding achievement. 

Shortly after the initial release, a multi-user version of Series I was introduced. The multi-user version enabled shops to manage the workflow in the shop from five different workstations. Mitchell 1 also included integration to the Mitchell Repair parts and labor database in the second release. This allowed Series I users to build estimates faster for thousands of vehicle configurations as most part numbers, prices, details, labor times and descriptions were copied to the order screen for users who previously had to enter much of this information manually.

"Looking back, Series I was an important milestone in the history of Mitchell 1 as it immediately provided the means for users to improve their overall shop efficiency and professionalism, growing their business in the process," said John Dwulet, senior product manager for Mitchell 1’s management software solutions. "We’re still building on that success with Manager SE and ManagerEnterprise to meet the needs of today’s increasingly sophisticated repair shops."

A third version of the shop management software was released as Series II in 1997. In addition to the functionality included in Series I, the newer Series II offered shops a major upgrade to their parts-handling activity with a complete inventory module, purchase order functionality and related reporting capabilities. Shops with Series II software were now able to track their inventory levels and outside parts purchases, as well as prepare re-stocking orders to replenish their on-hand inventory.

"I re-joined Mitchell shortly after Series I's introduction and it was immediately clear to me that we were part of a whole new ballgame," said Tim McDonnell, senior corporate trainer for Mitchell 1. "Having begun my career at Mitchell as a book editor in the early '80s, I could fully appreciate that a revolution was now under way in our business. Series I followed by Series II were the first shots fired across the bow of the industry, demonstrating Mitchell’s serious intent and solid commitment to evolving its products to meet the needs of the industry. I've always been proud to be part of that on-going process."

The dawning of the 21st century brought changes to the organization and its products. In 2001, Mitchell Repair changed its name to Mitchell 1. In 2002, Series I and II were reintroduced as Manager and ManagerPlus. This marked a pivotal year for shop management software as parts catalog integration became a key development task for the next few years. Mitchell 1’s first integration to an external catalog was NAPA. As time went by, Mitchell 1 continued to develop more interfaces for additional catalogs. Today, Mitchell 1's Manager and ManagerPlus products integrate to more parts catalogs than any other provider of shop management software.

About Mitchell 1:
Headquartered in Poway, California, Mitchell 1 has provided quality repair information solutions to the automotive industry for more than 90 years. The Mitchell 1 family of products includes a complete line of integrated software tools designed to improve repair shop productivity. Mitchell 1’s OnDemand5 and Manager products now serve as the industry standard for innovative repair, estimating and management software. The Mitchell 1 Business Performance Services gives shop owners automated marketing solutions to improve bottom line profits.  Mitchell 1 is a recipient of the ASE Blue Seal of Excellence award. For more information on Mitchell 1 products and services, automotive professionals can visit the company’s Web site at To learn about career opportunities at
Mitchell 1, visit

TZA Unveils ProTrack Drivers Labor Management System to Boost Delivery Performance, Reduce Costs on Routes Featuring Frequent Stops

TAMPA, FL - October 25, 2010 - TZA, a leading supply chain consulting and labor management software firm, today launched its ProTrack Drivers Labor Management System and the route delivery performance-focused ProTrack Dashboard interactive console. Introduced at the 2010 Distribution Solutions Conference here this week, they initially support transportation operations serving the food and beverage, grocery, automotive parts and retail industries.

ProTrack Drivers is a dynamic driver productivity management system which integrates easily into any route optimization platform. It calculates highly accurate delivery times for each customer location along each route, based on multiple work variables and specific parameters encountered by drivers at numerous stops. Delivery times which are calculated by ProTrack Drivers are returned to the user's routing system for final route optimization, resulting in a 10 to 15 percent reduction in average miles per stop.

The web-based ProTrack Drivers integrates with on-board systems in establishing comparisons of actual times required for deliveries at each stop and travel times, against a calculated expected time. The application also interfaces with any time and attendance system to account for all paid hours within an operation.

"Given today's driver shortages, high fuel prices and increasing customer demands, the delivery performance of individual route drivers at each stop is a critical factor for companies seeking to reduce costs," says Paul Schweet, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for TZA.

Integrates with all route optimization systems

While disparate tools such as routing systems, time and attendance systems and on-board computers generally assist in managing a driver's daily performance, Schweet believes each works independently from one another.

"These systems on their own do not provide the visibility or reporting needed to improve driver productivity, especially a driver's performance at each delivery location."

By combining the data available from separate sources into ProTrack Drivers, he adds, companies get a range of information allowing transportation managers to easily gauge driver performance and utilization reducing overall costs through objective measurements.

The system also provides the basis for decisions tied to driver incentive pay or component pay programs, as the data it generates can help justify higher rates of pay for selected drivers as their performance improves as well as show how and where delivery costs are being reduced.

Schweet feels transportation departments considering ProTrack Drivers will be those focused on meeting operational goals such as reduced overtime and turnover, fewer delays during deliveries, and overall labor and asset savings as well as those seeking to improve customer service, on-time delivery performance, driver productivity, employee utilization and workplace morale.

Illustrates driver productivity using dashboards

Additionally, the web-based ProTrack Dashboard, introduced in June, will be deployed widely along with the ProTrack Drivers system to provide graphic depictions of key performance indicators (KPIs) and data points relevant to driver performance. This will allow executives to make fact-based business decisions based on a clearer view of employee and delivery fleet performance and productivity trends. For managers, ProTrack Dashboard provides a feature-rich yet easy-to-use and intuitive labor management tool giving them an interactive, drill down capability, 3-D visualization, data filtering and animations.

"For too long, transportation departments have relied on data-intensive paper summaries gleaned from multiple sources. These firms lacked a valuable tool - an easy means to collect and analyze daily, weekly and monthly KPIs of route drivers," Schweet says.

For employees, he adds, ProTrack Dashboard offers a tool enabling managers to sit down with route drivers and use illustrations to graphically show the employee their path to any needed workplace improvements or a means to earn performance-based incentives.

"ProTrack Drivers and our dashboards help keep the driver focused on behaviors that are rewarded and the business on track and profitable."

CKCVR Annual Fleet Study Shows Increased Demand for Class 8 Trucks in 2011

Columbus, OH (October 25, 2010) The Annual Fleet Study just completed by CK Commercial Vehicle Research ( shows a 47% increase in the number of fleets who plan new Class 8 and medium duty power unit purchases in 2011 versus those that planned orders for 2010 as reported in the annual study conducted in October 2009.  The number of respondents, average fleet size and total power units represented is similar for both studies.  "The strongest demand comes for Class 8 units" explained Chris Kemmer of CKCVR. "88% of the power units planned by this group for 2011 are for Class 8 vehicles." 

Sixty-eight representatives from small, medium and large for-hire, private and government fleets operating a total of 45,000 Class 8 and 12,000 medium duty power units responded to the 2010 study questionnaire.  In addition to planned equipment demand for next year, the respondents also answered questions about their equipment brand and 2010 emission engine technology preferences, new specifications, maintenance sourcing and their overall view of industry manufacturers.  For more information about CKCVR's 2010 Annual Fleet Study and details on how to order, send an e-mail to

CKCVR regularly polls their fleet advisory panel about equipment purchasing, technology choices, fleet operating environment, maintenance practices and current industry issues.  CKCVR publishes the quarterly Fleet Sentiment Report 

CK Commercial Vehicle Research (CKCVR) is a business of CK Marketing & Communications located in Columbus, Ohio.  CKCVR surveys fleet advisors representing a mix of large, medium and small for-hire, private and government fleet operations. 

HCL and Odessa Sign Strategic Partnership Deal

HCL Technologies Ltd. ("HCL") and Odessa Technologies, Inc. ("Odessa") have announced a strategic partnership to expand distribution channels, augment implementation capacity and increase speed-to-market for select installations of Odessa's end-to-end lease and loan management system, LeaseWave(R). The partnership establishes HCL as a preferred implementation partner and enables Odessa and its customers to leverage HCL's 64,000 member workforce with over 450 professionals experienced in implementing lending and leasing solutions throughout the world.

"Odessa has established itself as a market leader by delivering a proven lease management solution that successfully combines all the benefits of scalable state-of-the-art technology with mature functionality that traditionally was only found in legacy systems.  The combination of Odessa's world class equipment finance solution with HCL's worldwide distribution channels, implementation expertise and support services offers the equipment finance industry a comprehensive path for overhauling outdated technologies that have limited innovation, flexibility and growth." says Mike Pennell, Vice President, HCL.

"After 13 years of serving our industry, Odessa is now 150 people strong and continues to grow. But we also recognize that the industry is at a critical crossroads in terms of technology; and this presents an unprecedented opportunity for LeaseWave(R). Given this landscape, the HCL relationship removes potential scale-related constraints on select installations. It also allows Odessa to focus on key segments in the US industry while leveraging HCL's worldwide presence", says Madhu Natarajan, CEO, Odessa. 

About HCL Technologies
HCL Technologies is a leading global IT services company, working with clients in the areas that impact and redefine the core of their businesses. Since its inception into the global landscape after its IPO in 1999, HCL focuses on ‘transformational outsourcing', underlined by innovation and value creation, and offers integrated portfolio of services including software-led IT solutions, remote infrastructure management, engineering and R&D services and BPO. HCL leverages its extensive global offshore infrastructure and network of offices in 26 countries to provide holistic, multi-service delivery in key industry verticals including Financial Services, Manufacturing, Consumer Services, Public Services and Healthcare. HCL takes pride in its philosophy of ‘Employee First' which empowers our 64,557 transformers to create a real value for the customers. HCL Technologies, along with its subsidiaries, had consolidated revenues of US$ 2.7 billion (Rs. 12,565 crores), for the year ended as on 30th June 2010. For more information, please visit

About HCL Enterprise
HCL is a $5.3 billion leading global technology and IT enterprise comprising two companies listed in India - HCL Technologies and HCL Infosystems. Founded in 1976, HCL is one of India's original IT garage start-ups. A pioneer of modern computing, HCL is a global transformational enterprise today. Its range of offerings includes product engineering, custom & package applications, BPO, IT infrastructure services, IT hardware, systems integration, and distribution of information and communications technology (ICT) products across a wide range of focused industry verticals. The HCL team consists of over 71,000 professionals of diverse nationalities, who operate from 29 countries including over 500 points of presence in India. HCL has partnerships with several leading Global 1000 firms, including leading IT and Technology firms. For more information, please visit

About Odessa Technologies, Inc.
Odessa Technologies, Inc. is a software company exclusively focused on the leasing industry. The company is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA and employs a staff of 150 people. The LeaseWave(R) suite is a fully Internet-based family of products, providing an end-to-end lease and loan origination and portfolio management solution for equipment leasing and finance, vehicle leasing and finance and fleet management*->mpanies. The LeaseWave(R) suite is specifically engineered, to be configurable and customizable and accommodate even the most complex of business models, as ev}enced by its diverse customer base.

Yokohama Tire Corporation's New 'ADVANTAGE® Online' Website Helps Dealers Manage Program Growth

FULLERTON, CA (Oct. 25, 2010) – Yokohama Tire Corporation announced today the launch of a new website based on the company's industry-leading loyalty program, the Yokohama ADVANTAGE Associate Dealer Program®. The ADVANTAGE® Online website monitors program earnings for consumer and commercial associate dealers including cash rewards, travel incentives and full marketing support from showroom displays to outdoor signage.

"Our number one goal is to support our dealers and help grow their business," said Dan King, Yokohama vice president, sales and marketing. "ADVANTAGE Online offers our dealers – both consumer and commercial – powerful, at-a-glance resource for their quarterly and annual progress. An array of metrics is made instantly available, including Performance Snapshot, Rewards History and Co-Op Advertising Funds."

The Performance Snapshot is a complete, customized dashboard view of a dealer's business as it relates to their ADVANTAGE earnings. This is broken down into three categories:

*    Past Performance:  Provides immediate access to the dealer's tier-level attainment for each quarter that has closed in the current year.
*    Current Quarter Progress:  Includes results from each month and allows dealers to see how many units are needed for purchase to reach the next tier.
*    Annual Projections:  Calculates what the current purchasing trend can yield in terms of annual payouts.

With a few clicks, dealers can learn detailed information about their rewards. The Rewards History provides data on past years, types of rewards earned and total earnings.  Meanwhile, the Co-Op Fund balance instantly shows how much the dealer has available for use in advertising.

"The ADVANTAGE Online program demonstrates our commitment to the success of our tire dealers," said King. "Their benefits grow as their business with Yokohama grows."

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in the United States, Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company's complete product line includes the dB Super E-spec™ - the world's first tire to use orange oil to reduce petroleum – as well as tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama's extensive product line, visit

Yokohama is a strong supporter of the tire care and safety guidelines established by the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Details can be found at the "Tire Safety" section at

Transportation Managers to Discover Clean Fuel Options at Workshop in Albany, N.Y.

WASHINGTON (October 25, 2010) — The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) and the other members of the Alternative Fuel Trade Alliance continue their nationwide training program on alternative fuel at a workshop for fleet managers Thursday, October 28 in Albany, N.Y.

This free workshop, held in Albany's Crown Hotel Plaza, is the seventh in a series of 14 training seminars across the country made possible by a $1.6 million grant from the Energy Department. The workshops cover alternative fuel quality, infrastructure, available vehicles, safety, the latest technologies, and the environmental impact of propane, ethanol, biodiesel, and compressed natural gas.

Each workshop culminates with a ride-and-drive event that gives fleet managers a chance to get behind the wheel of vehicles that run on alternative fuels.

"Fleet managers eager to respond to customers' growing interest in working with businesses that offer sustainable solutions will see the benefits of propane autogas and other alternative-fuel vehicles," said Brian Feehan, vice president of PERC. "Choosing vehicles fueled by alternative fuels result in fewer harmful emissions and less reliance on imported oil."

The Alternative Fuel Trade Alliance consists of PERC, the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Biodiesel Board, and the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation. Fuels represented include propane, ethanol, biodiesel, and compressed natural gas. 

Each of the full-day collaborative workshops scheduled over the next two years will involve a site in the Energy Department's Clean Cities program, which uses local coalitions to promote the use of alternative fuels such as propane. This workshop is hosted by the Central New York Clean Cities. 

Previous workshops have been held in Indianapolis, Chantilly, Va., Hoover, Ala., Casa Grande, Ariz., and Denver. Workshops are scheduled for November 16 in Arlington, Texas, and December 9 in San Francisco. Workshop sites for 2011 include San Diego, Seattle, Orlando, Fla., and Kansas City, Mo.
Vehicles and equipment fueled by propane, the most widely used alternative fuel, include trucks, vans, school buses, shuttles, forklifts, and commercial mowers.

To Kgistes for a workshop or view an archived webcast, visit
PERC promotes the safe and efficient use of propane as a transportation fuel for its cost-effectiveness, efficiency and productivity, reliability, portability, and environmental friendliness. For more information on PERC and its programs, visit

Monday, October 25, 2010

Audi A3 TDI® Performs Flawlessly in First-Ever Extended Drive on RenDiesel(R) Synthetic Fuel

HERNDON, Va., Oct 25, 2010  -  Two Audi A3 TDI models running on Rentech, Inc. (NYSE AMEX: RTK) synthetic RenDiesel(R) fuel flawlessly completed the 1,000-mile ‘Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future' tour spanning the length of California.

The endurance drive, part of the ‘2010 Green Car of the Year Tour', started in Eureka, California on Monday, October 18 with the intent of demonstrating that today's diesel technology and advanced synthetic fuels each offer significant green advantages. Clean diesel engines can make significant contributions in the push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption to make America less reliant on imported oil. Combining clean diesel technology with ultra-clean synthetic fuels can further reduce both greenhouse gases and tailpipe emissions.

Currently available in the market, the Audi A3 TDI provides environmental benefits by producing about 30% less greenhouse gas than a car powered by a comparable gasoline engine, with up to 50% better fuel economy.

The potential of clean-burning synthetic diesel, such as RenDiesel, to produce even less emissions, indeed points to a bright future ahead for Audi TDI technology as a viable green solution.

"The benefits of modern clean diesels like the Audi A3 TDI are apparent on many levels, from improved environmental performance to providing the kind of driving performance people expect," said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of Green Car Journal and editor of "Operating on advanced, clean burning fuels like synthetic RenDiesel simply makes the diesel equation even more compelling."

"We are proud to have partnered with Audi and Green Car Journal on this successful 1,000 mile journey which demonstrated that domestically produced synthetic RenDiesel is a viable solution today to reducing vehicle tailpipe and greenhouse gas emissions," said D. Hunt Ramsbottom, President and CEO of Rentech. "The environmental and performance benefits of RenDiesel seen while driving the Audi A3 TDI show promise for a clean diesel energy future," Mr. Ramsbottom added.

The two Audi A3 TDIs on the demonstration tour are representative of the clean diesel technology that earned the prestigious Green Car of the Year award at last year's Los Angeles Auto Show. The vehicles ran the entire route, from the farthest reaches of northern California to southern California, on Rentech's synthetic diesel fuel, expected to be produced in commercial quantities in a few years at the Company's new project in Rialto, California, that will produce synthetic diesel fuel from green waste and other organic materials diverted from landfills.

The RenDiesel fuel used on this drive was produced from natural gas at Rentech's demonstration plant in Colorado. RenDiesel can also be made from synthetic gas produced from biomass and waste resources. RenDiesel provides a viable solution that can be deployed to minimize the transportation sector's environmental impact. The renewable RenDiesel to be produced at Rentech's Rialto Project is expected to reduce GHG emissions on a lifecycle basis by as much as 97% over conventional diesel fuel and by a comparable amount over electric vehicles. A vehicle using RenDiesel is also expected to be as much as two times more fuel efficient than one running on ethanol. RenDiesel contains approximately 60% more energy per gallon than ethanol and diesel engines typically achieve 20-40% more miles per gallon than gasoline engines. RenDiesel also produces fewer volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions than ethanol or traditional diesel.

Throughout the ‘Eureka! Diesel Drives the Future' demonstration drive, one of the Audi A3 TDIs achieved 39.7 mpg on average, while the other car averaged 43 mpg. The Audi A3 TDI has an EPA average highway fuel economy rating of 42 mpg on traditional clean diesel fuel. The results were promising, demonstrating that RenDiesel synthetic fuel can operate for more than 1000 miles with no noticeable differences in performance compared to traditional fuels, and research is planned to confirm that this performance can persist over the full lifecycle of vehicles such as the Audi A3.

LeasePlan USA's Matthew Betz Speaks at Michigan NAFA Education Seminar

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (October 25, 2010) – LeasePlan USA's Vice President, Government Fleet Services, Matthew Betz, gave a presentation on distracted driving at the Michigan NAFA Chapter's Education Seminar on Oct. 21, 2010.

During the session, Betz presented the National Safety Council's (NSC) "Growing Epidemic of Cell Phone Use While Driving" training. The training was delivered to the group as if they were a class of drivers in order to show how easy it can be to train their own drivers on the dangers of distracted driving. The NSC training kit includes a participant guide, an instructor guide and a presentation.

"The NSC has prepared this tool kit in a way that includes everything a fleet manager needs to know to train their drivers, including steps to prepare for the course, materials needed for the meeting, a detailed agenda and more. And, the materials can be downloaded for free on the NSC website.
It's a great resource for anyone looking to curb distracted driving in their fleet," said Betz.

The NAFA Michigan Chapter sponsored the annual educational session in conjunction with the Tri-State Chapter and Western Reserve Subchapter.

LeasePlan USA is a subsidiary of LeasePlan Corp. N.V., the world leading provider of fleet management services. The company, which manages 1.3 million vehicles across 30 countries, offers clients customized plans for total fleet cost reduction through its technologically advanced products and dedication to customer service.

QuikTrip Chooses Kenworth T370s For Fresh Approach to Food Delivery in Arizona

TOLLESON, Ariz., Oct. 22, 2010 – Given the bite that gasoline can take out of a household budget, more drivers are looking for value whenever they fill up. Enter QuikTrip, the Tulsa-based gas station chain where customers will stop – and stop again – for the convenience of getting fuel and good eats in one place.

By "good eats," we're not talking about typical gas station fare. QuikTrip prepares fresh sandwiches, wraps, salads, fruit, pastries, and other food at company-owned kitchens and delivers them to each store daily. "Customers can buy fuel anywhere, but they'll choose QuikTrip because they like the food," said Manny Rubio, who manages QuikTrip's food distribution operation in Arizona, one of the company's top growth markets. "You'd be hard-pressed to find a fuel retailer that puts as much emphasis on consistency and quality."

That commitment extends to its trucks. QuikTrip uses Kenworth medium duty trucks to deliver fresh food from its kitchen commissary in Tolleson, Ariz., to more than 75 convenience stores and gas stations in metropolitan Phoenix and Tucson.

With the Arizona retail network expanding, the Arizona operation added three Class 7 Kenworth T370s with PACCAR PX-6 engines this year, joining a fleet of eight Kenworth medium duty trucks purchased in 2006.

"What stands out about the Kenworth T370 is that it fits both our image as a company and our everyday needs as a distribution operation," Rubio said. "It's a great-looking truck and we're proud to have our name on it, plus it provides the low operating costs and driver comfort we expect."

QuikTrip trucks make 10 to 12 deliveries on routes ranging from 75 to 250 miles. The Kenworth T370's combination of 220-horsepower PACCAR PX6 engine, automatic transmission, and a load that starts out light and diminishes with each stop can deliver impressive fuel economy and reduce the physical strain on drivers.

"We promote our drivers from within the distribution operation. It's more effective to train someone from our QuikTrip family to operate a truck than it is to train a truck driver to meet our high standards," Rubio said. New drivers adapt so well to the Kenworth T370 that they can earn a CDL and be productive in a matter of weeks instead of months. "That's huge for us," Rubio said. "They feel comfortable in the truck quickly, especially with the automatic transmission. We can spend more time preparing drivers for other aspects of the job."

The Kenworth T370 cab is a big part of the equation. QuikTrip drivers have a demanding job working around fuel islands, unloading food, stocking shelves, and staying on schedule – all during an evening shift. At a busy gas lot, the Kenworth T370's sight-lines and maneuverability can reduce the risk of scrapes and dings.

"With other makes and models of box trucks, they look pretty beat up after just a short time in service," Rubio said. "We have Kenworths nearing the end of their depreciation program that look and perform exceptionally well."

QuikTrip manages its own maintenance schedule and its truck dealer, Inland Kenworth in Phoenix, handles nearly all preventive maintenance and repairs. The arrangement helps QuikTrip improve utilization and focus on distributing fresh food instead of running a big shop.

"Other dealers have approached us about other makes of truck," Rubio said, adding that QuikTrip also has a Kenworth T660 day cab for weekly inventory delivery to its Arizona stores. "But there's a lot of value in being consistent. Our Kenworth T370s help us control our operating costs and keep our drivers happy every day. As a Class 7 truck, it also gives us the versatility we'll need as more stores and more products come on board. It's a great fit now and in the future."

Kenworth Truck Company is the manufacturer of The World's Best(R) heavy and medium duty trucks. Kenworth is an industry leader in providing fuel-saving technology solutions that help increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. The company's dedication to the green fleet includes aerodynamic trucks, compressed and liquefied natural gas trucks, and medium duty diesel-electric hybrids. In 2009, Kenworth became the first truck manufacturer to receive the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Excellence award in recognition of its environmentally friendly products. Kenworth's Internet home page is at Kenworth. A PACCAR Company.

Greater Rockford Auto Auction Join Forces with General Motors and GMAC

ROCKFORD, Ill. –Greater Rockford Auto Auction announced it is now an approved auction provider for General Motors and GMAC Remarketing, the physical auction business unit of Ally Financial. GMAC and Ally vehicles will be sold weekly at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays, and GM sponsored auction vehicles will be sold every other week starting Oct. 27, 2010.

“It’s a new day at GRAA,” said Mark Capriola, general manager of the auction. “This relationship demonstrates our ability to provide a high level of service to GM, GMAC/Ally and our dealers. We are proud of this achievement and embrace the responsibility that comes with it. This opportunity is significant for our dealers, employees and business partners.”

GRAA is expanding its facility and has recently added more space to accommodate the increase in vehicle inventory. To support the new relationship, the organization has created dozens of new jobs and promoted talent from within.

“Joining forces with one of the world’s largest and most prestigious automobile companies confirms GRAA’songoing commitment to its customers,” said Mark Clark, GRAA president. “Our experienced staff has made this day possible.”

GM and Ally/GMAC will help celebrate the inaugural auction sales at GRAA with special incentives and transportation assistance programs.

The Greater Rockford Auto Auction was established in 1974 in Rockford, Ill., by D.M. “Swede” Clark. It is an independently owned dealer-only auto auction consigning more than 1,000 vehicles every Wednesday. For more information or to buy vehicles online, visit

GE Capital Fleet Services Providing Telematics Solutions for American Fire Protection Group

Eden Prairie, Minn.- October 25, 2010- GE Capital Fleet Services today announced that it will provide American Fire Protection Group (AFPG), a national fire protection system provider, its telematics-based Mobile Resource IntelligenceSM program, with a goal of significantly increasing AFPG’s fleet efficiency while reducing operating costs.  AFPG will have access to GE’s Monitor solution allowing AFPG’s business leaders to view and manage their mobile fleet resources in real time.  

AFPG provides fire protection systems to the construction, building and property management industries. With a network of companies spanning the country, AFPG works with regional and national organizations on projects and facilities.  Under the service agreement, GE will outfit the company’s fleet of light trucks with GE’s latest telematics units. 

“Through the use GE Capital Fleet Services’ Mobile Resource Intelligence solutions, we will not only streamline operations to better serve our customers, but will also improve productivity," said Dan Windnagle, CEO of AFPG.  "Having a fleet that is operationally and fiscally efficient is essential to achieve our business objectives, and we look forward to driving continued improvements through GE’s innovative fleet-optimization technology."

GE’s Mobile Resource Intelligence program offers clients a suite of telematics-based business intelligence solutions.  The program is designed to provide business leaders with innovative decisioning tools to help them achieve their fleet productivity, efficiency, compliance, safety and green objectives. 

“Our solutions create a bright, visible path connecting the vehicles our clients have in field with their fiscal and customer service goals,” said Dyan Finkhousen, Mobile Resource Intelligence Strategy Leader for GE Capital Fleet Services.  “Thought leaders like American Fire Protection Group are distinguishing themselves in their markets and making it easier for their employees to do business through the use of these intelligent decisioning solutions.”

About GE Capital, Fleet Services
GE Capital, Fleet Services, based in Eden Prairie, Minn., is a global fleet management company with operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Visit the Web site at follow the company’s eco news and updates via Twitter (@GEFleetSvcs)

GE Capital offers consumers and businesses around the globe an array of financial products and services. For more information, visit or follow company news via Twitter (@GECapital). GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified infrastructure, finance and media company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide. For more information, visit