Tim Rose brings his expertise to next year’s highly anticipated event.
But it’s also about running a company that is ethical, internally and externally, and has a social conscience extending its commitment to serve the community beyond clients.
Locations: Vincennes (Paris) + Cannes (French Riviera), France
Owner: Patrick PIerron
Employees: Varies based on season and events
Fleet size: 17 vehicles
Contact: +33 153-669-515; [email protected]
When Patrick Pierron launched his Paris, France-based company in 1997, he crafted a company that defined his goals and how he wanted to run his business. Almost 20 years later, Pierron has built a successful mid-size company with offices in Paris and Cannes on the French Riviera, and has established solid global partner relationships with companies that strive to meet his high standards for customer service and business ethics.
“Today, even more so because of TNCs, it’s important to clients they know they are working with reliable and honest companies,” Pierron says. “With reports of TNC drivers on drugs or coming out of jail — and all kinds of stories — corporate travelers want trustworthy and experienced companies and chauffeurs, and that is what makes us different.”
Terrorism & TNCs
Regarding the state of the limousine industry in France following recent terrorist attacks, Pierron explains the tourism business has been affected somewhat. “But corporate people still have to travel to conduct business face to face,” he says. He has noticed a drop in business at Riviera hotels and restaurants that cater to tourists and also some people from New York, for example, fly in and out the same day.
The other thorny issue in France (and throughout Europe) is TNCs. In France, UberPop, the company’s low-end service, pulled out in 2015 following an almost $1 million fine by the government for operating illegally coupled with a severe backlash from the taxi industry. But Pierron says there are many “unregistered, unlicensed imitations” on the streets.
Still, Pierron, like his high-end counterparts in the U.S. and worldwide, have upped their game to elevate private transportation service to earn the loyalty of their clients. “Yes, there is competition, especially when you farm in and out work globally like we do. You have to work with reliable partners around the world that have international experience and are loyal and represent our clients, not promote their companies, because our reputation is very important to our clients,” he stresses.
Pierron’s reputation has been built over the years by creating an intricate network of partners and companies, which are screened and tested.
With a degree in economics, and after going through recessions over the years, he advises young operators: “Understand from the beginning not to confuse gross sales with profits, save money for the hard times, don’t overspend, and keep expenses down. We all went through the recession of 2008-09, and to survive, you have to have savings in times of need to keep going.”
His chauffeurs are well trained and licensed professionals who are multilingual, as are his frontline staff who interact with global clients, have knowledge of the city and events, and can “carry on a conversation with anyone if needed,” he adds.
With its international operational center in France, the company covers the entire country, as well as all other European nations through its intricate network of partners and companies, which it has vetted for its global affiliate network.
With a fleet of 17 vehicles, Pierron explains he rotates his vehicles from Paris to Cannes, depending on business activity. When clients request larger vehicles or motorcoaches, he works with his A-list partners to serve his clients. The fleet is made up of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, Citroen and Volvo sedans, Range Rovers, and super lux vehicles, such as Maybach and Bentley.
With a background in social advocacy, Pierron is passionate about helping those less fortunate, allocating a share of company earnings to various charitable causes.
“We’ve been involved in emergency food distribution to various countries in times of crisis. For example, a friend of mine in India alerted me a village burned down and 900 people needed to be fed for a week to get back on their feet, so we sent money immediately to help the village,” he says.
In addition, Pierron has not only helped feed those in a crisis situation, but also helped fund a school for girls in India, an orphanage in Sri Lanka, and a meals for widows program in India.
According to Wikipedia, the term chauffeur comes from the French term for stoker because the earliest automobiles, like their railroad and sea vessel counterparts, were steam-powered and required the driver to stoke the engine.
Early gasoline-powered motor cars, before the advent of electric ignition, were ignited by ‘hot tubes’ in the cylinder head which had to be pre-heated before the engine would start. Hence the term chauffeur, which in this context, means something like “heater-upper.” The chauffeur would prime the hot tubes at the start of a journey, after which the natural compression cycle of the engine would keep them at the correct temperature. The chauffeur also maintained the car, including routine maintenance and cleaning, and had to be a skilled mechanic to deal with breakdowns.
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