Richard Murillo and Int’l LCT Show attendees Geoffrey Jacobs and Angela Metcalf, in front of American Limousine Sales
’ 70-inch MKS limo.
LOS ANGELES — American Limousine Sales specializes in worldwide sales of new and used chauffeur vehicles, while also consistently turning out its brand of custom stretch limousines. The company also does custom upfits for limo buses and small vans. On the International LCT Show floor, sales manager Richard Murillo could be seen holding court beside his company’s diamond white, 2013 Lincoln MKS stretch with custom Maybach-style roof and white-and-black interior.
“We’re what I consider a relatively small coach builder,” Murillo says. “We’re trying to keep it small and simple and focus more on quality rather than quantity.” American Limousine produces three to four custom stretch limousines a month, and comes out with a new upfit limo bus every two months.
The custom stretches from American Limousine have a style that differentiates them from others on the market, Murillo says. “I build them out in a way I think they will retain value, and I think our product and services are able to be distinguished.” Citing the MKS stretch as an example, Murillo explains how the vehicle was meant to impress clients with its sense of upscale sophistication.
Classy Curb Appeal
“There are different ways of attracting attention,” Murillo says. “One is being loud, like a triple-axle Hummer with two big doors and a bullhorn. That’s one. Then there is sophisticated attention. Showing up in a very nicely done stretch like the MKS — that has curb appeal. It gives a sense you have arrived. Even though people are saying the limousine is dead, in my honest opinion I can’t agree with that.”
American Limousine Sales has even stretched a Hyundai Genesis, which recently was posted on LimoForSale.com, and attracted the attention of web bloggers across the automotive sphere. The idea for the Genesis stretch came from a client operator request, which is how many of the more creative stretches evolve at the company. The 70-inch MKS also arose from a client consultation. The operator wanted a 70-inch Lincoln, but was not happy with the Lincoln MKT design, so American offered him the MKS as alternative. The coachbuilder and the client liked the outcome.
American Limousine procures most of its sedans for stretching through auctions, both local and online, as well as from clients looking for a trade-in. For now, the company has held off manufacturing larger limo buses, since the market is competitive with many quality coach builders already producing them. But it keeps a steady business with its upfit work on used shuttles, vans and limo buses.
Aside from coach building, American Limousine Sales gets much of its steady income through chauffeur vehicle sales. The inventory includes a variety of new and pre-owned vehicles, ranging from sedans and SUVs, to stretches of all kinds and shuttles and limo buses. The company does business with many established limousine operators who are looking to buy or sell limousines or have a specialty custom stretch built. They often will trade out with long-time clients looking to refresh the fleet.
Murillo credits his success with the company to customer service. “It’s not a secret; it’s the customer service. It’s the way you treat the client over the phone and in person,” he says. American Limousine Sales keeps diligent records of all clients, and Murillo follows up with them frequently to maintain the relationship. “Just a friendly hello can make a difference.”
Murillo also cites the LCT trade shows as a valuable source of business, saying they are great opportunities for the company to develop and promote its brand.
Commitment To Quality
As American Limousine Sales looks ahead, Murillo says he wants to keep an eye out for new limo styles that vary from those already on the market. The company recently took a Chrysler 300 sedan and extended it 40 inches, creating an extra roomy cabin that has a custom console with bar, radio and privacy partition.
It represents a more upscale and refined experience that American Limousine hopes to further establish with its products. Murillo goes back to the curb appeal of such vehicles for inspiration. “When you see a vehicle specially accommodated for a small party of business people and it looks, runs and smells great, that’s something you look at and say, ‘One day, I’d like to be riding in something like that.’”
American Limousine Sales
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Owners: Pacific Coast Automotive Group
Services: Custom coachbuilder, chauffeured vehicle sales
Contact: (310) 762-1710