Automakers Retreat From Fleet
For the Detroit three automakers, rental fleets were a place to off-gas huge volumes of cars nobody would buy. No more. Big U.S. retail sales last month were possible because of demand but also because automakers anticipated it. And that meant they could slash less-profitable fleet deliveries. "We're not leaving any fleet business on the table, and we're fulfilling our orders, but right now the retail business is on fire," said Erich Merkle, chief sales analyst for Ford Motor Co.