Operations

Seattle Operator Leads Company With Integrity

Lexi Tucker
Posted on September 19, 2018

Edward Kim, president of Pacific Northwest Limousine

Edward Kim, president of Pacific Northwest Limousine

SEATTLE, Wash. — Edward Kim, president of Pacific Northwest Limousine, has succeeded in his market not just because he works hard, runs clean vehicles, and provides excellent service. He knows chauffeurs are the face of the company and deserve to be treated as such.

Treat Your People Right

Kim credits his success to respecting and rewarding his staff. “You have to interact with them as if they were your mother, father, sister, or brother. They will always pay you back in hard work, even when it’s an incredibly busy season. If it’s an emergency, they will be happy to help.” He tries to share his profits as much as possible, often doling out an end of the year bonus for those who go without complaints or accidents. Christmas parties and semi-monthly meetings allow the team to bond as group, and it’s “like a family reunion,” Kim says.

He prefers to hire chauffeurs through recommendations and word of mouth rather than random applicants.  Looking for friendly people who have experience in hospitality usually returns good results. One of his chauffeurs was a director of housekeeping at the Four Seasons, and the skills he learned there have transferred over well.

Small Fleet, Big Companies

The company only does corporate work, and has clientele from large companies such as Expedia, Microsoft, Amazon, and Philips. The fleet is comprised of eight vehicles: Three Cadillac Escalades, two Lincoln Continentals, two Cadillac XTS’ (extended), and one Ford Transit. As group and event transportation increases in the Seattle area, he hopes to include Mercedes-Benz Sprinters and even a bus in the next few years. “I’d like to wait for the new design to come out before we purchase the Sprinter,” he explains.

A portion of Kim's fleet.

A portion of Kim's fleet.

Making It In America

Kim came to the U.S. from Uzbekistan in 2001with a degree in computer science. When he moved to Seattle, he tried to apply to Microsoft, but it was very difficult because he didn’t speak English. To support himself, he drove shuttles for two years. It was during this time he saw people driving black cars. After searching the Internet on the topic, he discovered the world of luxury ground transportation.

He started with one vehicle in 2004, and read up on the business to help improve his service levels. He knew he wanted to run the company in a legitimate, law abiding manner, and that his reputation would be what made or broke him. In 2007, he attended his first International LCT Show in Las Vegas, took a few classes, and had his mind opened to the possibilities that lie ahead in terms of improving his company. He signed his first contract with Boston Coach in 2008 with four cars and five employees. He has since grown to eight vehicles and 12 employees.

“If you have a goal and work hard, that needs to be supplemented with industry education. Just be yourself, and be honest with your clients and employees,” he says. “Be especially truthful with your affiliates. Everyone has experience with the things that can go wrong in this industry, and they’ll be able to tell if you’re making up excuses.”

Related Topics: Asian operators, customer service, eNews Exclusive, Seattle operators, small business, small-fleet operators, Washington operators

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Arshed Al Badri

     | about 2 years ago

    Great article Lexi we Good job Kim wishing you more success.

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