BMW GETS INTO THE BIGGER ACT: BMW's 730d model with a wider wheelbase is being pitched as the ideal "luxury chauffeured saloon." This model goes head to head with the Mercedes S550, which along with the E-Class, are the two leading luxury chauffeured sedans in Europe now. Mercedes and BMW have made tremendous strides in the U.S. retail market, with factories in the Sunbelt region churning out multiple models to meet American motorist preferences.
Given that European chauffeured transportation companies are at the cutting edge of greener and leaner luxury service, do the S550 and BMW 730d have the potential to make inroads into the chauffeured sedan market as they have in the luxury motorist retail market? Will the future of sedan-based livery involve a mixed fleet of greener Lincolns, Cadillacs, Mercedes, and BMWs? Will a client who drives a BMW and Mercedes as a personal car want to the chauffeured in a bigger model of the same make? All questions that need to be explored as luxury chauffeured service evolves. -- M.R.
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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.