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Chauffeured Transportation's Largest Fleets

Posted on July 1, 2003 by LCT Staff - Also by this author

The top 75 questionnaires are in and the results are tallied; if the number of vehicles in your fleet has declined since last year, you’re not alone. So have the fleets of 56% of the operators that made this year’s Top 75 ranking. A third reported a gain in fleet size, and 8% remained the same size as in 2002.

The largest fleet size registered by a single operation this year was 397 vehicles, down from 2002’s 524 vehicles. The cutoff to make the Top 75 list was 47 vehicles, up two cars from 2002.

The Top 75 fleets lost a total of 638 vehicles, or 8% of their combined vehicles. That average out to each operation losing about 10 cars, which comes as no surprise to Tom Mazza, executive director of the National Limousine Association.

Twenty percent of the business travel market has disappeared since 9/11 and is still gone. That means 20% less airplanes and 20% fewer cars needed to do airport work,” Mazza said. “It all stems from that.”

One type of vehicle that did make a greater presence in fleets from last year -- despite high gas prices -- is SUVs.

Two thirds of the largest 75 fleets reported notable increases in the number of SUVs was not featured in last year’s survey; some operations might not have reported SUVs under the “others” category.

“This generation of special-occasion buyers those in the 18 to 24 year old category are looking more for an SUV than they are for a traditional vehicle,” Mazza said. “So operators that are looking to buy a new vehicle are looking at SUVs.”

Methodology

Questionnaires were sent to several hundred chauffeured transportation operators in April. Nearly 200 completed forms were returned and LCT editors contacted a number of operators who failed to respond to the initial questionnaire.

The rankings are based on total fleet size for each operation and include limousines, sedans, SUVs, vans/shuttles, motorcoaches and other luxury transportation vehicles.

The ranking represent fleets in a single metropolitan area. This means the large national firms- Carry, Dav El, BostonCoach, CLS Worldwide and Music Express – have several entries in the Top 75.

Operators were required to authorize LCT editors to contact their insurance companies to verify fleet sizes; the information supplied by many operators was verified with their agents.

Four companies that reportedly had fleets large enough to include them in this year’s Top 75 either declined to participate after repeated efforts asking them to do so: Mears Transportation Group, Orlando; Carey Kansas City (formerly Coach USA); Ambassador Limousine, Las Vegas, and Executive Limousines of Long Island, Coram, N.Y., were not included in this year’s ranking.

Yet, despite declining fleet sizes, there were apparently very few mergers or buyouts among the Top 75 city operations. One exception is California Wine Tours, which acquired Evans Airport Service earlier this year and made the Top 75 for the first time at #21.

Not surprisingly, the metropolitan area with the greatest number of large fleets was Greater New York City. Twenty-four of the fleets on the Top 75 list are based here.

The metropolitan areas with the next greatest number of Top 75 fleets were South Florida, with six. Los Angles and Chicago with five each, Boston with four and Washington, D.C., with three.

Las Vegas was home to three of the largest fleets: #1 Bell Trans; #6 CLS’s Las Vegas facility; and #40 On Demand Sedan & Limousine. Ambassador Limousine, another Las Vegas operation. Would probably have made the list but officials there failed to return the survey despite numbers reminders.

There is no direct evidence that any company that made the 2002 Top 75 list went out of business in the past year.

    Number of Vehicles   
2003 ranking CompanyLocation      Total   Fleet Size  limousines 
  sedans 
  SUVs 
  Vans 
  Shuttle Buses 
  Motor coaches 
OtherWebsiteprincipals
1 Bell Trans Las Vegas, NV 397 240 33 2 11 108 0 3 limo bus www.bell-trans.com Brest Bell, pres.; Breck Opeka, GM
2 Carey New York Long Island City, NY 365 11 338 3 11 2 0 3 www.careyint.com Ed Martinez, regional VP
3 Empire International Norwood NJ 348 14 309 4 13 3 0 4 Benz, 1BMW www.empireint.com David Seelinger, pres/CEO
4 Carey Chicago Chicago, IL 248 143 89 3 3 10 0 0 www.careyint.com Sal Milazzo, regional VP
5 A-1 Limousine Princeton, NJ 226 40 156 0 16 2 9 3 mini bus www.a1limo.com Jeffrey and Michael Starr
6 CLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services, Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV 215 113 51 5 10 34 2 3 www.clsimo.com Charlie Horky, owner; Randy King, GM
7 Boston Coach, New Jersey Elisabeth, NJ 194 2 192 0 0 0 0 0 www.bostoncoach.com Russ Cooke, pres,; Lou Carlucci, mgr.
8 Dav El New York Long Island City, NY 190 74 97 9 8 2 0 0 www.davel.com Scott Solombrino, pres./CEO
9 Metro Cars Taylor, MI 189 4 116 2 13 49 4 1 limo coach www.metrocars.com/net  
10 A-1 Airport Limousine Service Bloomingdale, IL 179 53 126 0 0 0 0 0 www.a1limousine.com Rita Meredith, pres.; Jim Miller, GM
11 Bostoncoach Everett, MA 176 0 136 0 14 21 5 0 www.bostoncoach.com Russ Cooke, pres.; Rick Cavalier, mgr.
12 Air Brook Limousine Rochelle Park, NJ 172 4 122 0 25 0 10 11 www.airbrook.com Donald Petroski, pres.; James Dziekonski, exec. VP
13 King Limousine & Transportation Service King of Prussia, PA 158 23 91 4 15 25 0 0 www.kinglimousine.com Robert G. Euler, pres.; Mike Kulaga, GM
14 CLS Worldwide Chauffeured Service, Los Angeles Sherman Oaks, CA 151 35 57 8 18 11 2 20 Mercedes www.clslimo.com Charlie Horky, owner; Joey Henriques, GM
15 Flyte Tyme Limousine Mahwah, NJ 150 7 120 5 14 4 0 0 www.flytetymelimo.com Timothy Rose, pres.; Allen Seratin, CEO
16 CLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services, New York Brooklyn, NY 147 32 60 10 14 7 2 22 Mercedes www.clslimo.com Charlie Horkey, owner, Leon Reitzenstein, VP/GM
17 Diva Limousine Hollywood, CA 135 41 68 12 12 2 0 0 www.clivalimo.com Bijan Zoughi, pres/CEO; Israel Juarez, GM
18 Carey Boston Braintree, MA 125 7 104 0 8 4 2 0 www.careyint.com Phil Gilpin, regional VP; Joe Winstanley, GM
19 Execucar Phoenix, AZ 125 0 120 0 5 0 0 0 www.execucar.com Mike O’Conner, VP; Jeff Conly, managing director.
20 Tri County Transportation FT. Lauderdale, FL 125 0 95 0 30 0 0 0 www.floridalimo.com Lorraine Celestino Wilde
21 California Wine Tours NAPA, CA 124 23 27 3 10 36 25 0 www.californiawinetours.com Michael Marino, pres,; Richard Marino, VP
22 Leros Point To Point Thornwood, NY 122 3 108 0 11 0 0 0 www.leroslimo.com Lonnie Lehrer, pres.; John Nyikos, COO
23 Dav El Boston Chelsea, MA 120 44 51 8 14 3 0 0 www.davel.com Scott Solombrino, pres/CEO
24 Black Tie Transporation Pleasanton, CA 119 28 53 1 14 22 0 1 School bus www.blacktietrans.com William Wheeler, pres/CEO
25 Transtyle Scottsdale, AZ 114 7 100 5 2 0 0 0 www.transtyle.com Fred Sadeghi, pres.
26 Atlantic Limousine Atlantic City, NJ 110 91 6 1 11 1 0 0 www.atlanticlimo.com Carl Geiger
27 Royal Coachman Limited Orange, NJ 109 7 84 0 16 2 0 0 www.royalcoachman.com Robert Epstein, pres/owner; Jon Epstein, VP/owned
28 West Suburban Traveler’s Limousine Winfield, IL 107 29 78 0 0 0 0 0 www.westsublimo.com Barbara Simkus, bus. mgr.
29 Music Express Burbank, CA 102 22 62 5 5 4 4 0 www.music limo.com Rita Berkman, pres.; Cheryl Berkman, CEO
30 Farrell’s Limousine Service New York, NY 102 15 79 4 4 0 0 0   Mike Farrell
31 London Towncars Long Island City, NY 101 9 82 2 5 3 0 0 www.londontowncars.com Stephen W. Spencer, pres,; Stephen L. Spencer, VR
32 Carey South Florida, Miami/Palm Beach N. Miami, FL 99 8 52 2 10 27 0 0 www.careyint.com Mike Sobol, regional VP
33 Hy’s Livery Service West Haven, CT 99 45 31 0 3 0 0 20 hearses www.hyslivery.com Robert Levine, pres/owner
34 Arrow Limousine Service Red Bank, NJ 96 12 72 4 8 0 0 0 www.arrowlimo.com Roger Somers, pres,; Edward Somers, VP
35 Dav El Los Angeles Hawthorne, CA 93 32 46 6 6 3 0 0 www.davel.com Scott Solombrino, pres./CEO
36 Reston Limousine Service Sterling, VA 93 7 9 2 25 49 0 1 truck www.restonlimo.com Kristina Bouweiri, VP/CEO
37 The Driver Provider Phoenix, AZ 91 6 51 3 16 14 0 1 turtle van www.driverprovider.com Jason R. Kaplan, pres.
38 Rody’s Limousine Service Cos Cob, CT 88 8 73 4 3 0 0 0 www.rudyslimousine.com Dany Spezzano, pres,; Roy Spezzano, CEO
39 A Harrington Limousine Service/Wilner’s Livery Edison, NJ 87 25 18 2 0 2 0 40 hearses www.harringtonlimo.com David Wilner, owner; Jonathan Wilner, VP
40 Connecticut Limo Milford, CT 85 3 3 0 36 0 33 10 www.ct. limo.com Andy Anastasio, owner/mgr.
41 Music Express East Elmwood Park, NJ 85 12 57 7 9 0 0 0 www.musiclimo.com Rita Berkman, pres,; Cheryl Berkman, CEO
42 On Demand Sedan & Limousine Las Vegas, NV 85 27 40 2 4 12 0 0 www.odslimo.com Brad (B.J.) Balaban, pres.
43 Tran-Star Executive Transportation Services North Babylon, NY 85 10 68 2 5 0 0 0 www.tranexec.com Michael Rice, pres,; Linda Paul, exec. VP
44 International Limousine Service Washington, DC 84 7 24 1 12 39 0 1 service vehicle www.internationallimo.com Eugene Kane, pres/CEO; Richard Kane, exec. VP/CO
45 MTC Limousine & Corporate Coach Bedford Hills, NY 81 3 54 6 6 4 8 0 www.MTClimousine.com Trevor Franklin, CEO
46 O’Hare-Midway Limousine Services Deerfield, IL 80 65 15 0 0 0 0 0 www.ohare-midway.com George Parker, pres.; Greg Eggen, VP/GM
47 Classic Transportation Bohemia, NY 78 10 8 0 36 2 21 1trolley www.classictrans.com William Schoolman, pres.
48 Dav El New Jersey Linde, NJ 78 14 43 3 16 2 0 0 www.davel.com Scott Solombrino, pres/CEO
49 Aventura Limousine & Transportation Service N. Miami, FL 77 12 32 5 13 10 5 0 www.aventuralimo.com Neil Goodman, pres,; Ron Sorci, CEO
50 Excel Worldwide Transportation New Rochelle, NY 75 10 55 4 4 0 0 2 stretch SUVs www.excel-transportation.com Richard J. Guberti, pres.
51 Tropiano Transportation Service Dresher, PA 75 4 25 0 32 14 0 0   Nick Tropiano, pres,; Wayne Herbott, GM


We asked some of the Top 75 chauffeured transportation operators what was the most important advice they could offer smaller operators.

Kristin Bouweiri, Reston Limousine Service, Sterling, Va.

Be careful about increasing the size of your fleet because you don’t want to get into a situation where you have so many vehicles that you can’t keep them busy. It’s better to farm work out than to buy more vehicles if you get really busy.

Brent Bell, Bell Trans, Las Vegas

Be flexible, I don’t think you can make it in this business just trying to serve one particular market or one particular need or niche. You’ve got to be flexible with not only the customer you’re going after but the type of vehicle that you’re offering and time frame or parameters that you offer you service

Cheryl Berkman, Music Express, Los Angeles

Be a hands-on owner. Be there for the client and for the employees. That’s most important

Neil Goodman, Aventura Limousine & Transportation Service, North Miami, Fla.

Exposure. Get out there and attend chamber of commerce meetings, affiliate meetings and associate meetings. Radio advertising is a good way to start, just like mass mailings. Get you picture taken with as many different associations as you can. Make friends with the photographer.

Robert G. Euler, King Limousine & Transportation Service King of Prussia, Pa

Take care of your customers and take care of your employees.

Timothy Rose, Flyte Tyme Limousine, Mahawah, N.J.

Unfortunately, in the eyes of your clients, you’re only as good as your last performance. Strive for consistency in your service levels.

Trevor Franklin, MTC Limousine, Bredford Hills, N.Y

I’d like to eliminate the low-ball operator who has no grasp of what his expenses are, or what his profit is and just comes in and grabs market share through low prices. How can somebody do it for 40% less than everybody else? You know that’s impossible. They’re a negative force in the industry

Ed Martinez, Carey New York, New York

The dishonest operators, the hustlers who make the playing field not level. Business people play by the rules. So, I’d do something about people who don’t play by the rules.

Michael Marino, California Wine Tours, Napa, Calif

I would impose tighter regulations and guidelines for chauffeurs’ licensing. Right now, at least in California, you only need a commercial license to drive people for hire. Doesn’t it make sense, since people are paying for a chauffeur, that the regulation for the medical requirement and the commercial license should extend to even a [sedan]?

Michael Fogarty, Boston Coach, Everett, Mass

Economic conditions have created tremendous price pressure and many customers are shopping strictly on price. This phenomenon is bad for both operators and customers. Customers are finding out the hard way that [making a commodity of] ground transportation is resulting in lower service and less choices for the consumer.

Barbara Pastelak, Gem Limousine Service, Woodbridge, NJ.

I would change the way people think about our industry. I would want people to think we were legitimate and more professional; perhaps a stronger overall image and reputation for the industry.

Gary Bauer, Bauer’s Limousine Service, San Francisco

Gas guzzler is a major problem, something that we’re all dealing with right now. It’s very expensive for the large and small operators. Some only make $200,000 a year in revenue and they are paying anywhere from $1,300 to $2,000 per vehicle, so they can’t turn their fleet over as often as they should.

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