Fleet Jam Session to Analyze Hurricanes' Effect on Industry

From 500,000 to 1 million vehicles will need to be replaced due to Hurricane Harvey’s impact, according to market watchers. The impact of Harvey — now called "the costliest and worst natural disaster in American history" — will have far-reaching effects, not only on Houston-area dealerships and wholesale auctions but also throughout the South and Midwest.

Seminars in the Fleet Jam Session, a two-hour block of programming dedicated to fleet issues in car rental, will provide insights into the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Fleet Jam Session is part of the agenda of the 2017 Auto Rental Summit, convening in Miami on Nov. 6.

Commercial, government, and rental fleet losses could total as many as 18,500 units, says Jonathan Smoke, Cox Automotive’s chief economist. Among other hot topics, Smoke will discuss Harvey’s effects in his seminar “Remarketing Big Picture: 2017 and Beyond.”

The rental industry is dealing with the immediate vehicle supply challenge presented by Harvey, as rental companies look to replace damaged rental units while thousands of residents seek replacement of personal transportation and disaster relief workers need cars.

“There will be high demand for cars ready to be remarketed,” says Joe Lyons of America’s Auto Auction. “Trucks and van rental will boom as tradespeople come to rebuild, and they’ll need to buy de-fleeted trucks and vans, as well.”

Lyons will join Mike Muehlenfeld of Mile Fleet and Robert Miller of Advantage/EZ Rent A Car to discuss these impacts and others in the seminar “Fleet Planning for 2018.”

The impacts to online buying, inventory movement to affected regions, potential delays of new vehicles into fleet, and an overall shortage of vehicles will have an impact on new and used values in the immediate and long term. Jonathan Banks of JD Power & Associates’ Valuation Services will speak to these and other issues in “Valuation Outlook: A Segment-by-Segment Analysis.”

Auto Rental Summit — the conference dedicated to “people, process, and profits” — will take place Nov. 6-7 at Miami Hilton Downtown.

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