Ford’s commercial vehicle arm has been teasing the upcoming Tourneo Custom EV ahead of its formal debut on May 9th, 2022. Ford Pro is eager to expand its lineup of all-electric light commercial vehicles and has already started production of the E-Transit, making the Euro-focused Tourneo the next model queued to be juiced up.
As you might have noticed, or heard from us, rental agencies have been hoovering up new and used vehicles to offset the 2020 selloff that stemmed from everyone mysteriously canceling their travel plans that year. Returning to normal, which is something anyone who didn’t assume the world was ending could have predicted, has resulted in increased pricing for vehicles — regardless of whether you’re renting or buying.
Rental companies typically try to play the vehicle market like the rest of use stocks or (if you’re hip) crypto. Buy low, sell high. But 2021 has created a perfect storm of increased demand coming after a long stretch of nothing and an auto industry that doesn’t seem to be capable of building cars thanks to all sorts of component shortages. But it’s no sweat for the big rental agencies because they’re now able to charge just about whatever they want. They’re keeping vehicles in their fleets longer, making more money off them, and selling them back at elevated prices.
With car rentals crippled through 2020 as society collectively stopped traveling in response to the pandemic, businesses entered 2021 with the perfect excuse to charge exorbitant fees to lend out some of the cheapest vehicles on the market. Cities have it particularly bad as rental firms find themselves with a surplus of locals wanting to escape and not enough vehicles to serve them. Daily rates now surpass three figures in metropolitan areas and can balloon by hundreds more if a customer wants to return the vehicle out of state (depending on the agency).
However, Hawaii is where things start to get really weird. The islands are reportedly in such short supply of rental cars that tourists are borrowing U-Hauls, where the biggest concerns of mileage and finding a parking space pale in comparison to the upfront cost of something more typical of vacationing families.
Running a car company is hard, in case you haven’t noticed. It gets even more difficult when various and sundry world events conspire to create a jittery public or wonky cost structures. Toss in a pinch of interest rate paranoia and you’ve the perfect recipe for a very challenging industry.
Last month, sales of light vehicles in America was roughly flat compared to the same time period one year ago. This would normally not be cause for much celebration but, against a backdrop of a disastrous April, it is almost worth breaking out a case of the good stuff.
The next time you’re in a new town and decide to hail a cab instead of opening Uber or Lyft on your phone, there’s a chance you may find yourself in one of Ford’s new fleet offerings.
Two new options are now available through the Blue Oval: an EcoBlue-powered Transit Connect and a Fusion Hybrid Taxi. The latter is apparently purpose-built for livery service, and includes a few bits from the 2019 Police Responder Hybrid Sedan — news that’s sure to please Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues.
I have a question about fleet replacements. Currently, we have a vehicle fleet that includes:
- 2010 Ford Explorer, 103k miles
- 2006 Ford Crown Vic, 78k miles
- 2006 Buick Lucerne, 82k miles
- 2005 Chevy Impala, 76k miles
- 2014 Ford Explorer, 40k miles
- 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan, 65k miles
- 2008 – Ford Crown Vic, 70k miles
- 2011 Chevy Impala, 18k miles
- 2014 Jeep Patriot, 28k miles
- 2014 Jeep Patriot, 18k miles
- 2014 Jeep Patriot, 23k miles
- 2011 Chevy Impala, 46k miles
- 2007 Dodge Caravan, 123k miles
- 2012 Chevy Impala, 24k miles
- 2012 Chevy Impala, 22k miles
Our budget only allows to replace nine vehicles with a 2014 equivalent version of each.
What would you decide to keep and replace? What guidelines would you consider?
When is a Gregorian calendar not a calendar? When December 2015 ends on January 4, 2016.
AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson brought greater attention to the subject of the unnecessarily convoluted auto sales calendar when, in a conversation with Automotive News reporter Amy Wilson, Jackson said, “It’s ridiculous that I have to get on the air and explain the industry calendar to make sense of sales.”
Dealers are shaving thousands off of Volkswagen’s Golf GTI — up to $5,000 at some dealers — and the hatchback is relatively easy to find at rental car counters across the country.
So, is everything going OK with 2015’s North American Car of the Year™?
Why aren’t we seeing diesel/electric hybrid cars and light duty trucks? Wouldn’t the fuel economy be phenomenal? Gas hybrids do well in their own right, as do diesels. So what’s holding up the diesel/electric Passat? Many cities have gone to diesel/electric buses for fuel savings, so we know the technology is real for passenger vehicles. Is the combined torque simply too much for mere mortals to use responsibly?
What gives, Sajeev?
The esteemable Jack Baruth backed one up toward an odd-looking statue back in March. Sales then boomed in April and May.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
In truth, Jack was no fan of the Chevrolet Captiva Sport he rented earlier this year, saying, “It won’t strike the desirability chord in anyone’s heart,” and, “This is a car to avoid at all costs.”
Fleet buyers, including most especially the rental car companies in the United States, did not avoid the Captiva Sport. They flocked to the reclothed Saturn Vue in large numbers.
A vast number of new cars sold in the United Kingdom end up going to fleet buyers, with strict guidelines dictating what can and cannot be purchased for a company fleet. One of the main stipulations is “no coupes”. But BMW seems to have found a way around that.
According to a report from consulting firm AlixPartners, each and every car in the Zipcar or car2go car-sharing fleets means 32 lost vehicle sales. Based on a survey of 2,000 adults in 10 major cities who use car-sharing services, the report says that Americans would have bought an additional half million new or used cars and light trucks since 2006 if they did not have access to those services. That figure is expected to grow to 1.2 million by the end of the decade.
I have this feeling that our most impressionable automotive years are our high school years. Maybe it’s because I was so eager to drive that I noticed anything with wheels. Maybe it’s that auto shop class where I got to wrench on a Wankel (that sounds wrong doesn’t it?). Whatever the reason, it seems many of my brand and model name identities were formed in the mid 1990s. For me, “Impala” doesn’t conjure up the W-Body abomination GM has been selling for the past 13 years. Instead “my” Impala has always been the 1994-1996 [s]Caprice[/s] Impala SS with the 5.7L Corvette LT1 engine. This is my benchmark on which every Impala must be judged.
One of the most interesting things to come out of the recent Chevy Impala launch – aside from the fact that GM thinks it can sell the thing for $40,000 – is that the current, unloved Impala will live on as a fleet-only special called the “Chevrolet Impala Limited.” To that, I say: great idea.
I’ve been a proponent of fleet-only cars ever since the 1997-2003 Chevrolet Malibu was rebranded the Chevrolet Classic, a name which would’ve been appropriate when it debuted. In fact, I think there should be even more fleet-only cars – an idea that’s unpopular in the automotive industry, but highly praised between my ears. Allow me to explain.
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- EBFlex So all the reasons that were present and caused Ford to substantially raise prices less then a year ago are no longer present? What changed? Does it still cost Ford $25K more to make a fake Mustang than it does a comparable Edge? “The Michigan-based company cites “significant material cost increases,” supply chain issues and changing demand for the new higher prices. ”So those issues are solved?
- Stanley Steamer What is that white roadster in the background?
- Bufguy The Seville was not an X car....Yes the Seville was based on the x car platform but the changes were so extensive that GM designated the platform “K,” because it very little in common with the X. Only the rear subframe, front suspension, part of the floor and the roof were carried over unchanged.
- Spookiness I kind of like this. Somebody in my building had a late (77?) Chevy Concours, silver with burgundy cloth interior.
- Jeff S These were good cars. Came close to buying a new 75 Chevy Nova 2 door. My father had a 62 Chevy II 300 for 12 years which my 2 brothers and I drove to high school and then I drove the 1st year of college. My middle brother had a 2 door Limited Skylark X car with the 4 cylinder, fuel injection, and 4 speed manual that went well over 200k miles--it had the most comfortable red velour seats it was light gray with a maroon half vinyl top. He never had to replace the clutch and mostly routine mileage mostly highway.