Leaders Get Good Vibes On Limo Business Outlook

Tom Halligan
Posted on February 7, 2014

Optimism abounds for the industry as we head into 2014, according to a quick — and very unscientific —  poll of National Limousine Association state and regional executives. Of course, there are plenty of issues the industry will continue to confront, such as competitive private transportation rideshare apps, and the never-ending battle against burdensome taxes, fees and regulations. But cheer up; the word on the street is that 2014 will be a better year for business.

“I believe the state of the industry has turned to a positive outlook. Business is increasing and companies are expanding their fleets. Business travel is up over the last two years and the retail market is still about the same as last year. Challenges include higher insurance rates in Florida and operating costs while trying not to increase rates [in] the current market. But 2014 looks better than last year.” Dave Shaw, operations manager, Olympus Limo; President, West Florida Livery Association; Secretary, Florida Limousine Association; NLA board director

“Prospects for the Minority Limousine Operators (MLOA) of America in 2014 look bright. Our economy continues to improve slowly but surely each and every month. That improvement will allow small minority businesses to grow and open the door for potential new MLOA members. We’re looking forward to a strong 2014! Maurice Brewster, President and CEO, Mosaic Global Transportation; Founder and Chairman, Minority Limousine Operators of America.

“From an overall business standpoint, 2014 looks encouraging for our limousine and bus companies in Kentucky. While overall revenue for individual companies has never completely recovered from 2008 through 2010 decreases, our member companies have adjusted their businesses in such a manner that they are once again profitable. We will continue to wage our battles against a sales tax this year. Although Uber is not present in Kentucky, we have some deregulatory issues that have arisen as a result of their presence in other areas. Carey Fieldhouse, owner, R&R Limousine; President, Kentucky Limousine Association

“The anticipation is there will be an uptick in business and expectation that 2014 will be better than 2013. We still face Uber and other new entities. We don’t want to put any company out of business but we want to make sure these new entities play by the same rules and that there is a level playing field. I expect some things will level out this year. Our biggest nightmare the last couple of years is the New York state sales tax, but we have a new mayor who supports our industry. I suspect things will be much better and that’s big for us.” Barry Lefkowitz, executive director, Limousine Associations of New Jersey

“December was the best month I ever had in nine years in the business. A lot of my regular customers are using us more, plus we had more holiday parties and concerts that contributed to a 100% increase over December last year. I expect the convention business in Orlando to pick up in the spring. Orlando had a record 16 million visitors last year and the city is growing and recently topped two million residents. I’m hoping business continues to grow in 2014.” Cliff Wright, President and CEO, Royal Coach and Limousine; President, Greater Orlando Limousine Association

“I see 2014 shaping up to be a great year for the National Limousine Association (NLA). The industry has bounced back from the recession and appears poised to take advantage of the better domestic economy, the updated vehicle lines that have been featured at our two shows, and the new business coming in from increased global business travel. Because of the NLA board and Legislative Committee’s focus on legislative and regulatory issues, our members are more informed on Washington, DC issues, FMCSA regulations, Obamacare, and general DOT and DOL activities. And thanks to the leadership of NLA’s PAC Chair Dawson Rutter, we have the largest industry Political Action Committee to help our friends in Washington. We’ll continue our outreach with another Capitol Hill Day event June 9-11. We will host two trade shows (LCT East, Atlantic City and the International LCT show, Las Vegas). We will continue to provide our members with education on better marketing, improved safety measures, social media utilization, and regulatory activity. We also will be actively seeking more members for the NLA and driving home the value proposition of being an NLA member. We want our tent to be bigger and we will redouble our efforts to help the industry both grow and thrive.” Gary Buffo, Founder and President, Pure Luxury Transportation; President, National Limousine Association

Related Topics: Barry Lefkowitz, California operators, Carey Fieldhouse, Dave Shaw, Florida operators, Gary Buffo, Greater Orlando Limousine Association, Kentucky Limousine Association, Kentucky operators, LANJ, Maurice Brewster, Minority Limousine Operators of America, National Limousine Association, New Jersey operators, San Francisco operators, Southern U.S. Operators

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