Operator Charles Wisniewski taps what he calls the strength of a “Goliath” but the gentle touch of a “boutique.”
NORWALK, Conn. — KING LIMOUSINE INC.of Hartford County recently partnered with TEDDY’S TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM of Norwalk, Conn. to become a stronger regional chauffeured transportation company serving central and southern Connecticut and suburban regions near New York City.
The merger will add King’s five livery plates to Teddy’s, bringing the total fleet size for Teddy’s to 43. King’s founder, Steven M. Begin, will become general manager of King Limousine.
Teddy's primarily serves the Fairfield County and Westchester County, N.Y. livery markets, while King Limousine is headquartered in Hartford with its vehicles based in Farmington.
Financial terms of the merger weren't disclosed.
“Like Teddy’s Limo, King brings ‘the strength of Goliath but the touch of a boutique’ to hyper-local chauffeured ground transportation,” said Charles Wisniewski, President and CEO of Teddy’s. “I like what Steve Begin has done for his business. He is very customer-focused, and he brings a fanatic attention to detail to each ride. Our merger gives him the ability to bring so many more resources to his clientele,” he observed.
Begin commented, “I had been looking for a partner, and chose Teddy’s because their family has the same values as mine; we’re both very focused on consistently delivering the best service to our clients. I've developed long-term relationships with many of my customers, and I look forward to continuing those, while adding much-needed resources to help grow our business. The merger with Teddy’s will take both companies to the next level.”
Wisniewski said the Hartford area is a major corporate hub that's convenient to Teddy’s current base. Several of Teddy’s clients, for whom it is a designated provider of executive transportation, already have operations there. “Teddy’s customers will see additional cost-effective travel routes seamlessly incorporated into our system, and King’s customers will enjoy improved availability of rides to the New York area airports, as well as a new Platinum Rewards loyalty program and other benefits,” he said.
“Road warriors know there is often a vast difference in service levels across livery providers,” added Wisniewski, a past president of the National Limousine Association. “Teddy’s is known in the industry for being an early adopter of innovative customer service, fleet management and marketing technologies, including the availability of 24/7 online booking, systems that pinpoint a traveler’s whereabouts in real time, and solutions that help corporate purchasers manage a worldwide transportation budget. We combine that with a program of rigorous employee screening, training and monitoring to ensure that the traveling executive can count on the prompt, courteous service that minimizes stress and maximizes productivity on every trip,” he said.
Begin founded King Limousine in 1992 and has built the business into a successful boutique firm that provides chauffeured car service to elite corporate and celebrity clientele and limousine service for gala special events, as well as car service to Bradley and the New York metro airports. During the recent recession, business has remained steady, a measure of his success in customer retention.
“A client once told me I’m like a small, French restaurant, consistently executing perfect service for the people in front of me,” Begin recalled. “It’s about building relationships and delivering service with integrity. I’m looking forward to being able to offer that to more clients by adding Teddy’s systems and resources to help us expand the business.”
Founded in 1932, Teddy’s Transportation System, Inc. is one of the top 50 ground transportation companies in the U.S. Sales growth earned Teddy’s a place on Inc. magazine’s inaugural list of America’s Fastest Growing Companies in 2007, and on each succeeding annual list (2008, 2009 and 2010). Teddy’s was also recognized as a finalist in the 2007 Connecticut Family Business of the Year competition.
Information: (800) 888-3339; www.teddyslimo.com.
Sources: StamfordPlus.com and HarvardBusiness.com