The Royale Hybrid L MKZ that First Class Executive Global purchased from the 2012 International LCT Show exhibit floor.
PHOENIX — Barry and Mary Beall, the husband-wife duo who run Phoenix, Ariz.’s First Class Executive Global, arrived at the 2012 International LCT Show in Las Vegas without intentions to buy anything. After the Show, they drove home in a Royale Hybrid L MKZ sedan, a Lincoln MKZ stretched six inches by Royale to provide more rear legroom than a Town Car. Their fleet is now at eight vehicles.
“I’m not even a Lincoln guy,” Barry Beall told LCT. “I never was a huge fan of the Town Car. We run all Cadillacs. We have Escalades, DTS sedans, and a stretch DTS limousine. But the MKZ blew me away when I drove it home. It’s great so far, I have no complaints at all. The comfort level is there and it’s extremely quiet.”
Beall said he and Mary had been considering a hybrid vehicle for about a year because several affiliates and clients had asked if they had one.
The MKZ Hybrid L that Royale brought to the Show already had been intended for sale to another operator but the deal fell through. Steve Edelmann, Royale's director of sales, had spoken with Beall prior to the show, so he let him know the MKZ was still available. By the end of the Show, the Bealls agreed to take the hybrid sedan for $50,000.
Phoenix operator Barry Beall has never been a Town Car fan and instead runs Cadillac DTS sedans, but he absolutely loves his new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid L sedan.
Since putting it into service, clients have been favorable to the hybrid sedan, Beall says. They love how quiet it is, the rear-seat door-mounted cup holders, and the extended legroom. He says he gets a combined fuel economy of around 36 mpg and is seeing big fuel savings, especially since most of his trips average about 50 miles round trip. He runs the vehicle at the same rate as his DTS sedans.
The only criticisms of the new vehicle are that it has no power plug in the back seat, no air conditioning vent in the rear, and low headroom in the backseat. Trunk space hasn’t become a big issue yet.
“I talked to Steve [Edelmann] and Royale already fixed the power plug problem,” Beall says. “And we’ve had a couple of clients above 6’3” who’ve complained that the headroom is low. But all the cars that are out there right now, with the exception of maybe the MKT [Town Car]. . . they all have issues with low rear headroom.”
First Class Executive Global already has let their major affiliates know about the new vehicle and is getting ready to promote it through their website. The company also has joined Green Ride Global, a green consulting and carbon emissions measuring firm, which helps connect limousine companies with eco-conscious clients.
Related: Auto Study Shows Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Provides Best Green Value
— Michael Campos, LCT associate editor