The survey shows an industry that serves a broad range of customers and moves them with great fuel efficiency.
But stretch limos are starting to slip further into the past as upfitted newcomers like the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Ford Transit provide space, luxury, and comfort. As newlyweds look to provide a way to and from the day’s festivities for their entire wedding party, they also want a vehicle that stands out. Enter the trolley.
Jessica Pence, marketing director for Hometown Trolley, says the chauffeured transportation industry has proved to be one of the company’s biggest customer bases. Operators who specialize in retail work, particularly weddings, are able to win the hearts of brides searching for a vintage look. They also service wineries and breweries who provide tours.
The company recently announced its Hometown Coach division, which just made its first sale to a well-known National Park. When asked if they’ll be branching out to the luxury transportation segment, Pence says, “We’ll see where things go with the first few orders, but we certainly don’t want to limit ourselves to only one demographic. Whatever comes our way, we’ll take a stab at it.”
Pence’s grandfather, Bruce Pence, started building Trolleys in the 1970s when he met someone in Florida who wanted to build the vintage vehicles. Bruce went back to Illinois to build his first trolley, and the company has been doing it ever since. The business remains family owned and operated by the only female transit vehicle manufacturer (TVM) in the industry today, Kristina Pence-Dunow.
As a third generation family business, the company treats customers like part of the family as well. They work hard to maintain relationships with everyone who purchases from them via phone calls and site visits to do up-keep on trolleys. “This helps us get to know our customers better, and has become something people value about us; it’s often why they choose us,” Pence says.
The company is always innovating and improving its products, while also brainstorming other vehicle ideas, Pence says. They officially debuted to the industry at the 2017 International LCT Show in Las Vegas, and are a featured sponsor of the 2017 LCT-NLA Show East as well. “Being a sponsor promotes the exhibit and brings awareness of our specialized trolley to the limousine industry.”
Pence encourages attendees to stop by and check out their trolleys in person at the Show, held Nov. 5-7 at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City, N.J.
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