Faced with investigations two months after a fatal accident, the TNC plans to regroup its venture for another day and place.
LOS ANGELES — Will chauffeured clients put more of a premium on body style or cargo space? That seems to be the defining question for operators when comparing the Lincoln MKS sedan with the cross-over-utility styled Lincoln MKT Town Car, to succeed the Lincoln Town Car Executive L.
The 2013 Lincoln MKT Town Car of course will have 40% more cargo space than that of the outgoing Town Car Executive L, but slightly less legroom. The MKS maintains a sleek sedan body style, but with less legroom and far less trunk space than both the MKT and the Town Car.
Operator Chris Hundley of Limousine Connection in North Hollywood, Calif., is weighing all those pros and cons while trying out his first Lincoln MKS sedan. It’s not an official Limousine & Livery Fleet Vehicle being promoted by Ford Motor Co., so it lacks the standard fleet warranties. Yet it has intrigued at least a handful of chauffeured transportation operators, including industry heavyweight Dawson Rutter, CEO of Boston-based Commonwealth Worldwide Chauffeured Transportation.
Hundley bought his first MKS from South Bay Ford in mid-May as a replacement for one of his Town Cars that was totaled in a freak accident at a car wash on April 16. The Town Car got sandwiched between two SUVs in a row of drying vehicles when a third SUV being moved out of the automatic car wash got its accelerator stuck and shot into the rearmost parked SUV, causing a chain reaction smash-up. Hundley’s fleet Town Car looked as if it had been rear-ended at 40 mph. No one was hurt.
“[The MKS] is a Lincoln, it’s luxurious, it’s smaller. . . but the new world will be smaller,” he said. “I try not to assign [the MKS] to a chauffeur over six feet tall. I like to give it to one who is 5’6” or 5’8” so the driver’s seat is moved up.”
The MKS generates enough revenues so far to support its operational and labor costs and yield a profit, Hundley said. He charges the same rate for the MKS as a Town Car. The V-6 MKS with Ford’s trademark EcoBoost gets slightly better gas mileage than the V-8 Town Car.
Hundley calls himself a “Lincoln loyalist” and plans to eventually replace at least a portion of his Lincoln Town Car Executive Ls with the Lincoln MKT Town Car. But he is not sure how many MKTs he will get versus other brands.
“I believe in [Lincoln’s] product,” Hundley said. “[The MKT] could go either way. It remains to be seen. I’m waiting on the Cadillac XTS to see how it plays out, since it is a sedan.” Hundley, who has been in business since 1978, won’t predict how the livery vehicle market will shape up between Lincoln and Cadillac and among newer livery competitors such as Mercedes-Benz, Toyota/Lexus, and Hyundai. “I’m concerned the industry will become fragmented as far as vehicles go.”
— Martin Romjue, LCT Magazine
New bus sales are slightly down compared to last year, while used sales are slightly up.
The concept vehicle looks like a wonderful place to ride along as a passenger.
For all the stuff that comes standard on the luxury sedan, $83,800 is a comparative good deal.
Vehicle Review: Which of the luxury SUVs comes out on top?
Magnetic ride control brings improved body control on all Performance package models.
Pick of the Week: It's being sold by a company that strives to be known for having the cleanest vehicles in their area.
The J4500e reaches highway speed and reliability targets in first round of test runs.
Vehicle Review: The Cadillac SUV offers the level of refinement expected from a luxury brand.
The company has said utility vehicles and pickups will represent about 90% of its mix in North America by 2020.
Vehicle Review: The OEM understands it’s fine to modernize your heritage, but not trample it underfoot.
Vehicle Pick of the Week: Strobe lights, mirrored disco ceiling, dance pole, wrap-around leather seating, and mood lighting await.
The aircraft, which the company hopes to use for an aerial taxi service by 2023, is a mashup of a plane and a helicopter.
Vehicle Review: The interior of the luxury sedan is a blend of technology meets luxe finished in a business-like design.
The automaker will still sell to livery companies, but has already begun to drastically reduce sales to rental fleets.
The world's No. 1 online marketplace and trader for professional chauffeured and chartered vehicles, including all types of motorcoaches, buses, vans, stretch limousines, sedans, SUVs, exotics, and classics. New and used vehicles are available from sellers across the nation.
The best online networker to find quality affiliates worldwide and market your company.
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.