Long Wheelbase Popular With Vehicle Buyers

Posted on November 13, 2014 by - Also by this author

An alert industry source sent me this article from Popular Mechanics magazine recently that should reassure the chauffeured transportation industry about the future of long wheelbase luxury vehicles: People want them!

This refreshing article rebuts the received wisdom we’ve been hearing from some automakers and government sources about the new recession-driven reality that vehicles will just have to be smaller to meet efficiency standards.

It turns out that was a premature prediction. Aside from consumers preferring longer wheelbase vehicles and paying for them, green vehicles have proven overrated and costly, while technological discoveries have yielded vast energy reserves worldwide. Fuel prices for now are falling as the economy recovers. Auto sales are up. The air got cleaner while global warming froze in its tracks.

Furthermore, a dealer source told me that automakers are able to re-engineer large vehicles with lighter materials and composites, which still make larger platform sedans possible under fuel economy guidelines. That’s why Lincoln and Cadillac are hinting at larger, longer sedans to come.

These trends should affirm the original appeal of chauffeured transportation, which is all about luxury vehicles with long wheelbases.

However, the Lincoln MKT Town Car, Lincoln MKS and Cadillac XTS — all produced for the new era of smaller luxury vehicles — will still serve a valuable niche within ground transportation. As limo operators configure fleets for a more competitive, price-sensitive market driven by diverse consumer preferences, standard wheelbase vehicles still will be needed in limo fleets.

Going forward, operators likely will use standard wheelbase vehicles for app-driven/on-demand or lower tiers of service, perhaps, and longer ones for traditional reservation-based chauffeured service. A $36,000 MKS can be priced better to the middle class airport rider with an app than a $68,000 BMW 7-Series better suited to the CEO on an all-day as-directed run.

Hopefully, this means the cultural demonizing of big vehicles, often parroted by fussy, no-can-do environmental groups, will run cold. Large, luxury vehicles are an American tradition. With technological efficiencies, manufacturing breakthroughs, cleaner burning engines and vast new energy reserves, the big cars should remain a proud staple of American transportation.

One quibble I have with the article is its first sentence: “American don’t have chauffeurs.” Now, most of us in the limousine industry know better. There are many people beyond and below the level of hedge-fund billionaires who use chauffeured transportation, which reflects the long wheelbase luxury choices of consumers.

The sentence points to an ongoing challenge for the limousine industry to better educate the public on the concept of chauffeured transportation. But that will be a topic for another day. For now, the more consumers want to drive a long wheelbase vehicle, the more willing they are to be chauffeured in one.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (1 Comment)

More Editor's Edge Blog Posts

September 22, 2016

Looking Like Livery Trash?

The more casual and coarse society gets, the more chauffeured service can gleam with a counter-couture-culture.

September 2, 2016

Public Doesn't Like Driverless Cars The Way Techies Do

As the dates for autonomous milestones move up, motorists retain a healthy skepticism of self-driving vehicles.

August 22, 2016

Comment Sums Up The Uber Dilemma For Operators

Opposite sides rage against the ride app machine: When do you consider an app legit?

August 10, 2016

Two News Items To Make You Go: Ah-Ha & Oh, No

What happens when the big buses are chauffeured, while more sedans to the airport are driven?

July 6, 2016

Industry Pricing Problem Apparent On Airport Runs

I did a test recently of two almost identical limo rides to and from the airport. It's time to talk about rates.

See More

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (1)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blogs

See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - September 2016 $12.95 COVER STORY: * How Do We Max Our Markets? * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close