TORRANCE, Calif. — LCT’s web polls are designed to provide insight into operators’ opinions on issues that affect their businesses. This year has seen a fluctuating economy, skyrocketing fueling prices, and the retirement of the iconic Lincoln Town Car. The answers LCT readers provided to these polls reflect operators’ sentiments of 2011 and give us a foretaste of where the industry is headed in 2012.
At the beginning of the year, most operators told us they would be running their fleet vehicles longer than usual before rotating them out, but they also said they would be adding employees during the year.
During the fuel price spike, the vast majority of operators said they were spending at least 11% of their overall revenues on fuel costs. More than half of respondents saw decreased revenues during the budget deficit dramas of August and September.
And as far as vehicles go, expect to see an increasingly diverse fleet mix throughout the industry. Most operators expressed their openness to shifting their vehicle brand loyalties and said they would not buy a Lincoln MKT Town Car in April. The stretch limousine market also continues to atrophy as an even number of operators said they would either replace the Town Car stretches in their fleets with fewer or not at all.
Before reviewing the past polls, make sure you mark your opinion for the current one.
Here are the official results of LCT’s 2011 Web Polls:
In the last 2 years, have you been running your fleet vehicles longer than usual before rotating them out?
Is your company adding employees in 2011?
Do you plan to buy one or more Lincoln MKT Town Cars when orders are taken next April?
31.4% Wait and see
What % of your overall revenues are you spending on fuel costs?
18.2% answered 1-10%
41.8% answered 11-14%
40% answered 15%+
At this point, how willing are you to shift your chauffeured vehicle brand loyalties?
21.5% Definitely changing brands
30.8% Very willing
26.2% Not sure
12.3 % Unlikely
How have the stock market meltdowns and deficit dramas of Aug./Sept. affected your business?
18.2% None/no change
57.6% Revenues have decreased
24.2% Revenues are still going up
Do you eventually plan to replace your stretch Town Car limo(s) with another stretch limo(s)?
22.6% Yes, same number or more
38.7% Yes, but fewer
— Michael Campos, LCT assistant editor