Vehicles

Limo Operator Gets Good Test Run Of Chrysler 300 Sedan

Posted on March 21, 2012
The Chrysler 300 Limited sedan has so far passed the road and client test at Corporate Transportation Solutions in Sacramento, Calif. Operator Chris Quinn reports there is enough room for two business travelers and their luggage.

The Chrysler 300 Limited sedan has so far passed the road and client test at Corporate Transportation Solutions in Sacramento, Calif. Operator Chris Quinn reports there is enough room for two business travelers and their luggage.

The Chrysler 300 Limited sedan has so far passed the road and client test at Corporate Transportation Solutions in Sacramento, Calif. Operator Chris Quinn reports there is enough room for two business travelers and their luggage.
The Chrysler 300 Limited sedan has so far passed the road and client test at Corporate Transportation Solutions in Sacramento, Calif. Operator Chris Quinn reports there is enough room for two business travelers and their luggage.

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Operator Chris Quinn, like many industry peers, must face certain realities: Higher gas prices and overhead costs versus the need to maintain profitable luxury transportation.

Since March 8, the 2012 Chrysler 300 Limited sedan, the newest entry into the chauffeured vehicle market, has pointed to a way forward for Quinn’s Sacramento-based Corporate Transportation Solutions (CTS). Quinn, a 2009 LCT Operator of the Year, has been using the test vehicle in his fleet and will do so for another three weeks. He told LCT this week he’s heavily leaning toward buying six 300 Limited sedans and getting them on the road by June in his 20-30 luxury vehicle fleet, based in Sacramento and near San Francisco.

“I think the 300 will do it,” Quinn said. “I drove it, I’ll drive it again, and everything so far has been very well received. I’m not if in a month I’ll find something else out; it’s hard to tell with a brand new car. But it feels very solid, and the way it’s appointed inside seems to be tastefully done and of a good quality. The seats are very comfortable.”

The Chrysler 300 Limited sedan is upgraded and restyled compared to the previous 300 model that was sold to the limousine industry until 2010.
The Chrysler 300 Limited sedan is upgraded and restyled compared to the previous 300 model that was sold to the limousine industry until 2010.

 

The 300 Limited — priced at about $32,000 with advertised fuel economy of 31 mpg — so far has been used by CTS for airport transfers, downtown Sacramento trips, and FBO aviation runs. The longest run was a two-and-a-half hour road trip ride to Healdsburg in Sonoma County. Clients riding in the 300 have included doctors, pharmaceutical representatives, and executives from the financial services sector, Quinn said.

The only critical client comment so far was an observation by a single rider that the left rear seat seemed to lack enough legroom behind a tall chauffeur, Quinn said. “From the passenger’s perspective, he looked at the other side and thought it was a little tight.” The chauffeur on the run was about 6-ft. 3-in tall.

But Quinn pointed out that chauffeured sedan runs typically only carry one or two passengers, for which the 300 has plenty of room plus their luggage. A three-passenger count for a sedan only happens when a third person unexpectedly jumps in at the last minute. CTS charges the same rate for the 300 as for its Lincoln Town Cars: $57 per hour base plus about 37% charges, fees, and add-ins.

The 300 has averaged a combined city/highway mileage in the high 20s mpg, Quinn said. “I’m looking at fuel receipts from the chauffeurs and seeing a third less fuel costs.” A lower vehicle cost and higher mileage can compensate operators for higher fuel prices, which Quinn believes could stay in the $4 to $6 range for an extended period.

The Chrysler 300 Limited sedan has drawn compliments for its comfort and handling from corporate clients of CTS in Sacramento, Calif. (All photos courtesy of CTS owner Chris Quinn).
The Chrysler 300 Limited sedan has drawn compliments for its comfort and handling from corporate clients of CTS in Sacramento, Calif. (All photos courtesy of CTS owner Chris Quinn).

 

“As costs have gone up, we haven’t been able to raise prices,” Quinn said. “Everyone in the industry needs to figure out that the fuel issue is not going away. There are no answers to where we will recover the costs. The costs of tires and maintenance are all going up. We’re kind of limited as to what we can do. We can’t really surcharge people to death. The only thing I can think of is to get a new vehicle.”

Another benefit that Quinn anticipates is the resale value of the 300 sedan. Quinn sees three possibilities: The dealership trade-in market, sales to other operators/affiliates, and the used car/retail market.

“About 8-10 people during our photo shoot walked up and were looking at it while photos were being taken,” Quinn said. “They were very intrigued by the car. ‘This really looks well done’ have been [among] the comments. [Chrysler] has made the car a bit more tasteful and softened the lines since the last 300.”

LCT related article: Chrysler 300 Luxury Sedan Returns To Limo Market

LCT related article: Chrysler 300 Gets Vote Plurality In Web Poll

— Martin Romjue, LCT editor

Related Topics: California operators, Chris Quinn, Chrysler, Chrysler 300, new vehicles, sedans, vehicle purchasing

Comments ( 4 )
  •  | about 6 years ago

    No problem. If you do end up getting a 300, or any other fleet vehicle to replace to Town Car L, please email me at [email protected] because we would love to hear about your decision. -- Michael Campos, LCT associate editor

  • See all comments
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