STIRRING THE POT: LCT Magazine sets the chauffeured transportation industry aflame again this summer with its annual 100 Largest Fleets List, a never ending source of industry controversy and mirth, as the LCT Publisher makes clear in her column. The List is here to stay, as you will read soon.
My point: Companies that for whatever reason ignore it or take themselves out of the running are missing a prime marketing opportunity when the list circulates at the Global Business Travel Association annual convention and trade show July 22-25 in Boston. That’s ultimately what the list is really about: Getting noticed. Corporate travel buyers want to see who’s got how much in-house ready metal for the road. Thankfully, we always find enough companies willing to cooperate. [This year, we sent three solicitations to the entire LCT operator database, so no excuses if someone missed the deadline].
As an added bonus this year, the CEO of the largest chauffeured transportation company in the world, ranked No. 1 on the List, has gone all-in for the 2013 Lincoln MKT Town Car as his primary chauffeured fleet vehicle. Empire CLS CEO David Seelinger, who last November dissed the MKT in a major industry speech as “a camel,” now sees it as more of a, shall we say, black stallion. According to my exclusive interview/cover story with Seelinger, he was won over since November by the balance of technology, comfort, price, strong mechanical reputation of Ford, and overall practicality of the vehicle. Plus, he had a chance to drive it.
Once you get past the 100 List, the real theme and purpose of the issue is about leadership. This issue is an experiment of sorts as we get industry leaders and up and comers to weigh in on what management approaches have worked best over the years. Look for us to revisit and refine this theme next year.
Leadership also, of course, is front and center at the 2012 LCT Leadership Summit in Puerto Rico. LCT always likes to change things up a bit, from Chicago, to Miami Beach, and now to the El Conquistador Resort, San Juan-Farjado, Puerto Rico Oct. 22-24. Don’t let anyone else fool you; this is the one and only true executive-style leadership conference in the entire chauffeured transportation industry, and always will be.
We also have some insightful vehicle reviews of the new, affordable BMW 535i GT and the 2013 Cadillac XTS sedan, which LCT sampled at a GM media event in May. Regardless of who is choosing what vehicle, remember, it’s a wide open market full of desirable options, and as operators, you ultimately must pick what your clients want and what fits the metrics of your business.
Vehicles coming up in LCT Magazine: BMW 750Li in the August issue; Chrysler 300 Limited in September; and the re-tooled 2013 Toyota Avalon in an issue this fall.
August LCT is on its way to mailboxes, and some of the articles will be hitting LCTMag.com before then. Please check in daily at LCTMag.com.
— Martin Romjue, LCT editor
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