Industry Research

Vehicle Choices Empower Operators At International LCT Show

Posted on February 13, 2013

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The Chrysler 300-L, extended six inches, will be manufactured by Livernois Vehicle Developmentof Inkster, Mich. The 300 model at the Show is a pre-production prototype and will be engineered to meet or exceed all federal safety standards and certifications.
The Chrysler 300-L, extended six inches, will be manufactured by Livernois Vehicle Developmentof Inkster, Mich. The 300 model at the Show is a pre-production prototype and will be engineered to meet or exceed all federal safety standards and certifications.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Since the retirement of the Lincoln Town Car sedan in 2011, the variety of luxury sedans and minibuses has grown each year, with the latest International LCT underscoring again the dynamic chauffeured vehicle market that has taken shape over the last two years.

Hot on the Show floor last week were the official debuts of multiple extended versions of the Chrysler 300 sedan and the Cadillac XTS sedan. Among the notable exhibits was the SoCal Penske Professional Vehicles and Acton Fleet Sales area where the partnered dealerships unveiled exclusively manufactured 300 and XTS extended sedans.

Other vehicle headliners included the debut of: Two new Toyota Avalon models, one of them a hybrid version; the official addition of the Lincoln MKS sedan with a wider trunk opening; the more fuel efficient BMW 740Li with a V-6 engine and lower cost compared to a 750Li; multiple Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van models; a MV-1 para-transit luxury stretch; an exotic pink limousine stretch from L.A. Custom Coach; the debut of new high-end buses from the new Grech Motors of Krystal founder Ed Grech fame; and a new line of Lincoln MKT stretch limousines and Sprinter buses from Executive Coach Builders.

And that’s to name a few. More complete vehicle coverage will be featured in the April issue of LCT Magazine. [LCT Magazine is still awaiting final photos of the Show and will post them in the coming week].

The vehicles were the attention grabbers during an ILCT Show that had more of a pre-recession vibe. About 3,000 attendees milled about 118 exhibits and among 100 vehicles throughout the three-day event Feb. 4-7 at the MGM Grand. Anecdotal reports indicate brisk sales and orders for OEM and coachbuilder exhibitors.

Among other highlights:

  • The state of the chauffeured transportation industry appears to be the most positive in five years, as evidenced by the annual State of the Industry presentation.
  • The National Limousine Association made sizable fundraising strides for the Harold Berkman Memorial Fund, which dispensed $10,000 in charity donations in honor of deceased limo industry icons Tom Mazza and Carla Boroday. The association also raised $40,000 at its annual wine-tasting fundraiser Feb. 4 while drawing about $25,000 in new commitments to its growing NLA Political Action Committee.
  • NLA board directors elected California operator Gary Buffo as NLA President, who succeeds three-term president Diane Forgy, who served from 2010-2013, leading the industry during one of its most challenging periods.
  • NLA leaders warned of a coming era of aggressive federal labor, transportation and energy regulations affecting limousine operators nationwide. They underscored the importance of supporting industry trade groups and advocacy efforts.
  • LCT Magazine marked its 30th anniversary with a special video tribute during the Awards Celebration Feb. 6.

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