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DaBryan’s prototype MKT at its factory. Further refinements are in the works.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. and LIMA, Ohio — DaBryan Coach Builders wraps up a year of major changes and journeys: Emerging from a crippling recession, moving its production to a new plant, and gearing up for the new limousine base models from Lincoln and Cadillac.
For the first time since late 2008, the manufacturer reports a steady rise in revenues. Although the privately held company does not disclose exact production, profit, and revenue figures, so far this year DaBryan has seen a 10-15% revenue increase from its recession bottom hit last year, said Edward MacDonald, vice president of sales and marketing. When the company’s fortunes plummeted in late 2008, along with those of all of its competitors, production and sales revenue fell about 75% during the recessionary years of 2009 and 2010, MacDonald said in a recent interview with LCT.
DaBryan now belongs to the surviving pantheon of elite stretch limousine manufacturers in the U.S., an exclusive group that includes Krystal, Royale, ECB (Executive Coach Builders), Tiffany, Imperial and Empire.
DaBryan, like all coachbuilders, will be changing its model lines this year and next to incorporate the 2013 Lincoln MKT “Town Car,” the Lincoln livery vehicle which replaces the outgoing Lincoln Town Car Executive L, and a successor model to the Cadillac DTS, to be unveiled by early 2012.
“The DaBryan tradition has been very conservative and definitely upscale, using fine materials and outstanding customer service,” MacDonald said. “A lot of that we will continue forward. But we are breaking out with some newer and exciting designs and catering to the market that is looking for a more exciting, exotic look. We will certainly maintain our conservative lines but definitely make use of new materials and new technologies. There is a lot of exciting stuff on the table.”
DaBryan provided a hint of its plans as the first coachbuilder in the U.S. to offer a prototype MKT-model stretch limousine of the future, which was unveiled Feb. 14 alongside the MKT Town Car prototype at the 2011 International LCT Show in Las Vegas.
The Lincoln MKT stretch limousine will have two additional inches of headroom, compared to the Lincoln Town Car stretch.
Based on the latest information from Lincoln, DaBryan as of this writing expects to get its first pre-production MKT chassis from Ford Motor Co. in the first quarter of 2012. Its first new stretch limousine models could be finished and photo ready about eight to 10 weeks later. Depending on how more detailed timelines play out, DaBryan could be opening its order bank for stretch limousines in early 2012, with the first deliveries to operators in succeeding quarters.
“At the moment, we are at Lincoln’s mercy,” MacDonald said of production and sales timing. “We’ve got designs in mind and suppliers are ready.”