STRETCHING IT: British public officials in Birmingham and towns across the country are not happy with the increase in stretch limousines, which are usually built by U.S. limo manufacturers and imported. A traffic commissioner will be meeting with the UK limousine trade association and local authorities from across the country to discuss safety issues. Chauffeured transportation was provided for years through luxury sedans, which can weave through the tight streets and not cause as many logistical problems as stretch limos. But young customers have loved the stretches. It will be interesting to see what happens.
In other global news, Australian operators are feeling the recessionary pinch as business drops 30%-40%, much like what the U.S. industry is experiencing. -- J.L.
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On my trip to Chicago last week for the 2012 BusCon Expo, I had the pleasure of experiencing a new ride — the 2013 MKT Town Car.