Industry Research

2010-11 LCT FACT BOOK: Looks Like The Worst Is Over

Posted on April 30, 2010 by LCT Staff - Also by this author

The dismal 2009 industry numbers show the low point of the recession. It should be mostly up from here.

The rear-view mirror this year offers the industry’s most hopeful view, since the worst of times are gradually receding into the distance.

LCT’s annual Fact Book, the touchstone of industry trends and numbers, captures the challenges operators faced in 2009. The good news is that as this Fact Book went to print, the first quarter of 2010 was already showing signs of better times ahead with increased operator, coachbuilder, and advertising activity in the industry.

2009 could well go down as the craziest year in industry history, a turbulent time wracked by recession, political uncertainty and paralysis, and an opportunistic hit job by government officials against the business travel sector. Such volatility obviously had its effect, as LCT’s annual operator survey numbers indicate.

Some of the most notable stand-outs from this year’s survey, which mostly reflects the state of the industry through December 2009, include:

• For 2009, 56% of operators reported an annual revenue decrease, while 33% reported an increase. For 2008, 38% of operators reported a revenue decrease, while 50% reported an increase.

• 36% of operator revenue in 2009 was derived from business/corporate travel, a significant drop from 50% in 2008. With the meltdown/slowdown in the financial services and banking sectors, along with the crackdown on corporate business travel, this number is no surprise.

• The average gross revenue for respondents in 2009 was $1,057,488 (median was $374,500), down $284,000 from the average gross revenue in 2008. The median figure, which more accurately reflects the status of small to medium size companies, however, held steady.

• The number of operators reporting revenues of less than $100,000 rose from 17% in 2008 to 22.4% in 2009; those reporting revenues between $100,000 and $249,000 rose from 19% in 2008 to 25.9% in 2009. Meanwhile, those operators reporting annual revenues in categories between $250,000 and $2.9 million all fell by several percentage points, indicating that more of the larger operators got shoved down into lower revenue categories for 2009.

• Sedans, the daily workhorses of the chauffeured transportation sector, generated on average 40% of operator revenue in 2009, down from 48% in 2008. Meanwhile, revenue share from stretch limousines rose slightly, from 12% in 2008 to 13.8% in 2009. Revenue share from non-stretch SUVs climbed from 8% in 2008 to 9.9% in 2009. Revenues from limo, party, shuttle, and mini-buses generated about the same share of revenue for operators from year to year. Some of the more positive glimmers include:

• Although operator profits took a hit, they didn’t completely tank as was the case in other retail and service sectors. The median operator profit margin for 2009 was 10%, down from 15% in 2008. Given the severity of the recession, any profit margin in two digits seems positive.

• 48% of operators said they get reservations from third party industry web sites such as, compared to 46% in 2008, a sign that online commerce continues to grow despite economic contraction.

• Average fleet sizes did not decline from 2008 to 2009, but median fleet size went down from 8 to 7.

• Although not part of LCT’s official survey, NLA membership miraculously grew year over year despite a dropoff in the overall numbers of operators in the chauffeured transportation industry. As of March, membership registrations were 4.7% ahead of March 2009.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

What's On The Must-Have List For Younger Travelers?

The line between business and leisure travel is blurrier than ever for Millennials.

Global Business Travel Likely To Advance Despite Uncertainty

Many signs show the global economy is improving. Total spending worldwide approached $1.3 trillion in 2016.

Stronger Economy Means Higher Travel Pricing In 2018

GBTA Convention Coverage: Air, hotel, and ground transportation rise on back of inflation, higher oil prices, and emerging markets.

Business Travel Spurs $547 Billion In GDP, 7.4 Million Jobs

GBTA Convention Coverage: Much of the industry's economy heft accrues directly to sectors that serve travelers.

America's Top Business Travel Cities

Factors include number of on-time flights, cost of lodging, reliability of mobile network coverage, traffic congestion levels, and emergency-room performance.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - July 2017 $12.95 COVER STORY: * Why These Titans Work So Hard to Give it Away * *


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


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