In 1939, Zollie Frank and Armund Schoen based their new business (originally called “Four Wheels”) on the strategy of supplying cars to businesses and providing the support services required for their effective operation. This unique approach to vehicle use and management marked the beginning of a new business and a new industry: automobile fleet leasing. Wheels now has over 70 years of experience in the industry with annual sales volume approaching $3 billion. And our business is still 100% fleet leasing and management. Our company growth has been strictly internal; that is, business earned through diligence and good service, with no outside acquisitions of other domestic leasing companies.
Wheels is a privately-held corporation operating under our parent company, Frank Consolidated Enterprises, which is ranked by Forbes magazine as one of the 200 largest private companies in the United States. Ownership has always been part of our senior management, and we have had only two presidents in our company’s history – our founder, Zollie Frank, and our current president, Jim Frank. This stability has ensured that, while the methods of doing business, the products themselves and the ways in which services are delivered have changed, our core values remain constant.
We remain committed to working with each client to build an ongoing program that delivers measurable success to the client. As our president, Jim Frank, has said,
“…most importantly, we stay focused on why we’re all here – to service the needs of our clients. With us, the client doesn’t come first; they are the only one in line.”
Success over the Years
- Zollie Frank founds Wheels, Inc. and creates the fleet leasing industry.
- Wheels arranges to acquire and lease used cars for clients’ transportation needs during the war. New cars were not being manufactured from late in 1941 through early 1945.
- Wheels institutes a system whereby drivers could obtain replacement tires through local outlets of national tire companies. This system was a precursor to our vendor network.
- Wheels begins using open-end leases.
- Wheels introduces courtesy delivery method of new vehicle distribution.
- Wheels begins conducting business in Canada.
- Wheels creates a specialized truck engineering department.
- Wheels signs the first truck fleet to use a fleet management company.
- Wheels introduces the concept of providing each client with an Account Executive.
- Wheels develops the industry’s first version of computerized vehicle ordering.
- Wheels begins conducting business in Puerto Rico.
- Wheels starts receiving daily status updates from vehicle manufacturers.
- Wheels institutes a dual entry system for new vehicle orders to actively control data quality and minimize processing errors.
- Wheels introduces sophisticated computerization with IBM 1401 and random disc storage.
- Wheels’ Remarketing system begins tracking used vehicle sales versus AMR statistics to measure resale performance.
- Wheels introduces comprehensive expense and experience reporting with our F.A.C.T. (Fleet Activity and Cost Trends) system.
- Wheels begins issuing credit cards for fuel purchases.
- Wheels introduces our maintenance program.
- Wheels offers a customized program to help clients choose manufacturer incentives that most optimize their vehicles’ value.
- Wheels completes arrangements with domestic vehicle manufacturers to begin electronic transmission of new vehicle orders.
- Wheels develops a vendor network with maintenance and collision repair shops.
- Wheels creates the industry’s first electronic information tool for clients.
- Wheels introduces automated pre-payment for courtesy delivery dealer charges via our unique draft system.
- Wheels begins handling vehicle registration renewals for clients.
- Wheels introduces maintenance coupon books.
- Wheels enhances vehicle ordering systems to ensure all orders placed are buildable and accurately priced per manufacturer specifications.
- Wheels is the first fleet lessor to request that manufacturers transmit Target Production Week vehicle status.
- Wheels launches Wheels Information Network, the first Windows-based client service tool.
- Wheels introduces Insight, the first electronic expense auditing and analysis capability in the fleet market.
- Wheels partners with Fleet Synergy International, a partnership of premier fleet management and leasing companies with 20 member-partners and coverage in over 30 countries.
- Wheels introduces the first online accident management system for clients.
- Wheels creates DriverView®, the first online driver ordering system and the leading driver tool in the industry.
- Wheels begins conducting business in Mexico.
- FleetView®, Wheels’ award-winning online fleet management tool, is released.
- Wheels’ parent company, Frank Consolidated Enterprises, buys Fleet Logistics International, a group of companies in Europe that provides corporations with solutions to their international fleet needs.
- Wheels introduces the industry’s first online motor vehicle record (MVR) system.
- Wheels creates the industry’s first real-time connection with vehicle manufacturer production information.
- Wheels invents Vehicle Replacement Optimization, the market’s first automated replacement analyzer.
- Wheels becomes the first fleet management company to receive I-CAR’s Gold Class designation for our Collision Management Program.
- Wheels launches new fuel card in Canada.
- Wheels creates WheelsDirect, the industry’s first online driver and employee used vehicle sale program.
- Wheels develops the industry’s first online upfit equipment ordering capability from templates.
- Wheels becomes the first fleet management company to show online condition reports of sold vehicles.
- Wheels introduces Alerts, the industry’s first online exception-based drill-down reporting tool, in FleetView®.
- Wheels develops the industry’s first French language driver ordering tool.
- Wheels invents the industry’s first online driver violations payment system.
- Wheels develops the industry’s first online tool for collaboration in managing account transitions.
- Wheels introduces the Paperless Office, the industry’s first truly virtual office where clients can access any data for making decisions from anywhere in the world.
- Wheels launches the only universal fuel card in Puerto Rico.
- Wheels introduces Expense Variance, the industry's first online budget analysis tool.
- Wheels introduces Cost Projection, the industry's first online fleet cost modeling and forecasting application.
- Wheels creates Decision Tools, a series of online expense management tools, including Cost Projection and Expense Variance, that provide comprehensive analysis and solutions to fleet management issues.
- Wheels enters strategic partnership with ALD Automotive to offer comprehensive global fleet management. Serving more than one million vehicles in 40 countries, the partnership is the industry’s farthest-reaching fleet management solution.
- Wheels introduces the Application Code concept, a new strategic way to analyze and compare vehicles based on how they're used, helping to judge and measure fleet performance.
- Wheels launches Custom Query Tool the first flexible, custom reporting solution.
- Wheels creates Driver Performance service, the industry's most comprehensive, integrated, and flexible way to identify and take action on drivers’ performance.
- Wheels earns its highest-ever ranking on the InformationWeek 500 list of the top technology companies (#18 overall), and is the top fleet management company rated on the list. The ranking marks the 11th consecutive year Wheels has been named among InformationWeek's top 500 companies.
- Wheels introduces the Selection Modeler tool on FleetView. Selection Modeler is the industry’s first online tool that guides selector decision-making by providing customized, consolidated new vehicle detail from sources like manufacturers, safety rating agencies and client-specific pricing plans. This allows clients to easily and accurately balance total cost, safety, and fuel economy when deciding on vehicles that best meet their selector needs.
- The Wheels Account Management Program earns a Gold American Business Award ("Stevie") for Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year.