NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ontario — Founded in 1999 by a British car enthusiast, Niagara Classic Transportation began operating with a single 1965 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud Series III to serve the region’s thriving wedding market. About three or four years ago, the family-owned operation started its sedan division with Chrysler 300s and eventually L-series and Executive series Town Cars. More recently, the company added a 2011 Jaguar XJL to its lineup for high-end clients. “It’s a phenomenal vehicle,” said David Mole, president of Niagara Classic.
President David Mole (3rd from right) andthe Niagara Classic fleet.
“We found that the Jaguar worked as a good complement to the classic Rolls-Royces that we have,” Mole said. “Our family is very British, so we thought it would work well with that continuance.”
Houston-based Nikko’s Worldwide Chauffeured Services also incorporated an XJL into its fleet this year.
Mole considered a Mercedes, the Audi A8 and the new Rolls-Royce, but from a pricing standpoint, the XJL made more sense. It has more legroom than a Mercedes S550 and BMW 7-series. The standard warranty on the XJL is 5 years/100,000 miles and platinum maintenance coverage extends for 5 years/50,000.
Premium vehicle stats comparison of Jaguar XJL with Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Lexus vehicles.
What are the financials?
Mole bought the XJL for $110,000 CDN (a little above $111,246 US). Niagara charges a livery rate of $175/hour + taxes and has special day and half-day rates. “I have increased airport rates [for the Jaguar] as compared to our 300s and Town Cars,” Mole said.
The 2011 Jaguar XJL has a wheelbase of 124.3 inches and trunk volume of 18.4 cubic feet.
“However, I balance it out on the basis of frequency. For example, we have a number of high-end clients who I'll offer a natural upgrade to the Jag as an introduction. It works perfectly — the next time they want to impress a family member or business client they think, ‘Man, that Jag would be perfect.’”
Mole said he’s had clients book a Town Car or 300 only to have their spouses call back later “in secret” to upgrade their vehicle.
Who’s riding in it?
“The client profile is the CEO of a large firm down in Niagara at a conference,” Mole said. “The event planner wants to impress so they’ll send out the big guys. Likewise, on the retired and wealthy.” Mole also sends the XJL to clients who arrive in private jets at the Niagara District Airport.
— Michael Campos, LCT assistant editor