The Lincoln MKS is smaller than the Lincoln MKT and the outgoing Lincoln Town Car Executive L. Operators must be careful not to load it up with too many people or too much luggage.
BOSTON — Dawson Rutter trusted his three decades of livery instincts and took a risk last fall when he added six smaller Lincoln MKS sedans into his 216-vehicle fleet that runs in Boston and New York.
Rutter, the CEO of Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation, reported recently the MKS has yet to receive any critical comments or pushback from clients. The MKS is sent to clients unannounced who usually ride in a Lincoln Town Car Executive L, the longtime limousine industry workhorse vehicle that concludes production in August with the 2011 model year.
Although the MKS is not part of Ford's official Limousine & Livery Fleet Vehicle program, its sedan styling evokes the look and feel of the outgoing Town Car. For some operators, the MKS at least provides a solid, similar, and reliable transition vehicle until Ford begins producing the 2013 Lincoln MKT Town Car for the industry in early 2012.
“The MKS is simply a Town Car that’s not stretched,” said Rutter, a longtime Lincoln vehicle purchaser and NLA board director. “It has about the same interior capacity as the original Town Car that was the norm before the L-series.”
[The Lincoln Town Car Executive L is stretched an extra six inches for added legroom compared to the retail version of the Town Car. The new MKT Town Car will have more legroom and far more cargo/trunk space than the MKS].
Like many large limousine operators, Rutter is loading up on the last 2011 model year Executive Ls until he figures out which vehicles and in what quantities are appropriate as eventual replacements. Commonwealth is about to take delivery of 40 Executive Ls and has another 40 on order. “If the MKT proves to be popular for customers, we will add them,” Rutter said.
So far, the six MKS sedans are assigned to client runs as frequently as Commonwealth’s Town Cars at the same rates. When broken out as separate revenue/profit units, the MKS sedans bring in enough sales revenue to pay for operating costs and contribute to the company’s bottom line profit, Rutter said.
When dispatching an MKS, the Commonwealth staff makes sure no more than two clients will be seated in the vehicle, and they ask clients how much luggage they have since the smaller MKS trunk has limited capacity.
Rutter said he bought the MKS sedans for about $38,000 each putting it at a price range similar to that of the Town Car Executive L. The MKS is “marginally more profitable” than a Town Car Executive L since it gets slightly better gas mileage and its amortized payments are a little lower, Rutter said.
One of Commonwealth’s West Coast affiliates, Limousine Connection in Los Angeles, recently added an MKS as well. Operator Chris Hundley talked to LCT E-News last week about this Lincoln MKS sedan.
— Martin Romjue, LCT editor