Operators See The Green After LCT East

Posted on November 4, 2009 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

MOHEGAN SUN RESORT & CASINO, CT — The talk of the LCT Eastern Conference was the new Royale Hybrid L, a six-inch stretched Ford Fusion. Many operators who were previously not on board with the green initiative took the plunge into this new vehicle.

We spoke to operators who bought the new Royale Hybrid L to hear their thoughts on how integrating these into their fleets will drive business.

Craig McCutcheon, Rosedale Liver, Toronto, Canada

“We purchased the vehicles because we believe that they are a suitable solution. We have tried other vehicles and the customers have understood the green efforts. We have not been thrilled with the others vehicle as a chauffeured ground solution. We were using a Lexus 400H.

“The Royale Hybrid L has not yet been approved by our licensing authority here in Canada. The first step for us is to seek approval. Should they approve it, we will communicate the new solution to our customers through newspapers, mailings, and E-blasts. Create-A-Card is going to assist us with this. Also, we will be working with Green Ride Global to assist in the communication.

“Should the city not approve the vehicle, the press may be even easier! We went this route because Rosedale Livery has committed to a 20% reduction in our GHG emissions over the next five years. This spans from office through to fleet. We have benchmarked the present and are continuing to measure our success in reducing moving forward.

“I believe the customers will be satisfied with the new vehicle and I fully intend on purchasing more in the future. At a time when we have been hesitant to purchase new vehicles, we could not pass the opportunity to have the first ones in Canada. The Royale Hybrid L is the first vehicle which will meet the requirements of our business at a price that is comparable to the pricing of our services. There are other hybrid options available but they are significantly more expensive then our current fleet vehicles.”

Alex Pope, LSA Worldwide, Washington DC

“Prior to purchasing the Hybrid L from Royale, we only had worked with flex fuel and diesel vehicles. We did have a program in our office to recycle. It included switching out our light bulbs to more efficient bulbs. Basically, we were running our operation more efficiently with less waste. We also participate in LEAP which assists us with reporting our carbon footprint and sets measurement benchmarks for us to strive toward.

“I have been seeing more and more requests for sustainable vehicles in RFP’s. Our clients and our affiliates are calling asking us if we have “green” vehicles. When I saw the Royale vehicle at an association meeting that was held at my office, I realized that with this vehicle I didn’t have to sacrifice space and the comfort with a sustainable vehicle. Those factors sold me on the vehicle.

“I recently participated in an event held by the Washington Business Journal and the Board of Trade. It was their second annual Green Expo Awards. Their were 450 decision makers in the audience. We had the car in the ballroom and it was very well received. There are four other events such as this one that I plan to participate in to promote the vehicle.

“I see us purchasing up to five more of these in the future, depending on the demand. I am not worried about the cost because with the savings in fuel it will be a very good investment.”

Dennis Adams, Celebrity Limousine, Malvern, Pennsylvania

“We purchased two of the Royale Hybrid Ls. I don’t know if this will be the alternative to the Lincoln Town Car, but I do believe that the replacement for the Town Car will be a hybrid. This will get my clients to begin moving in this direction. They will start getting used to it and it will show them that I am thinking about it. The vehicle will get 41 miles to the gallon versus the Lincoln Town Car which gets 18. It gets a $4,700 in gas savings alone which will reduce the operating cost of the vehicle.

“From a marketing standpoint, I am working with Create-A-Card to make placards for the back pocket that shows how Celebrity is going green. It tells clients to ride in our new Ford Fusion L and give us your thoughts. This will start weaning our clients into new hybrid vehicles.

“Commonwealth made a huge splash into these vehicles. We partner with them here in Philadelphia. By having the same vehicles, we can offer a seamless transition. It shows the customer that our industry is committed to the green initiative. You need to start someplace. This may not be the exact car but it is a good starting place. It has a nice corporate look. It follows along with our overall marketing initiative which tells customers that Celebrity has the newest, cleanest cars and all of the latest things. The chauffeurs are also into it and they will also talk it up to our clients.

We also have a Mariner Hybrid SUV but it is a little small for an SUV. That was our first foray into going green. We recently got a full sized Escalade Hybrid. I know that my customers will cycle through them and at some point have the opportunity to be a passenger in one of them. The vehicle cuts down our gas conception. It’s great in our overall marketing. This shows that Celebrity is reacting to change and that we are a responsible partner for our customers. Many of our customers need to show how they are reducing their carbon footprint and they must involve their vendors. When I am responding to RFPs, this will be of value. I am evaluating the programs that are out there for reporting our carbon footprint.”

Source: Linda Jagiela

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