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2003 LCT Show: Renewed Vitality

Posted on April 1, 2003

View a photo gallery from the 2003 LCT Show.

The limousine industry seemed ready to emerge from the economic doldrums of the past two years, if the buzz from the recent LCT Show is any indication.

Operators, coachbuilders, and other suppliers attending the show were encouragingly upbeat about their near- and long-term economic prospects, a laudable accomplishment in the face of a faltering U.S. economy, a weak business travel environment, and talk of war in Iraq.

Nearly 2,700 delegates, many escaping a major snowstorm in the Northeast, gathered at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas for this 19th annual LCT Show.

Highlights included several keynotes presentations and 20 educational sessions. From tips on operating a limousine business, to a state-of-the-industry overview, to an update on industry technology, to several professional development workshops, the presentations kept delegates focused on the nuts and bolts of improving their businesses.

And it was clear that operators were hungry for information. Some of the seminars featured standing-room-only attendance and delegates routinely peppered presenters with probing questions.

The NLA played a major role at the conference, presenting educational sessions that were largely well received.

On the exhibit floor, meanwhile, more than 75 manufacturers and other suppliers offered operators an impressive array of products and services.

Observers noted the presence of an unusually wide variety of vehicles, ranging from SUVs, corporate sedans, stretch SUVs, exotics, lavish special occasion limousines, minibuses, and buses. There was ev3en an armored Lincoln riddled with bullet holes.

And lining the carpets of the exhibit area were 16 technology-related exhibitors, ranging from business management software to internet-based products to the latest electronic amenities for vehicles.

Many exhibitors reported evidence of pent-up demand from operators. Several coach builders said they sold some of the vehicles they had brought to the show, and other suppliers said that some operators were purchasing equipment and services worth thousands of dollars.

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