Vehicles

Operator Shows How To Profit From Motorcoaches

Martin Romjue
Posted on June 5, 2019
LCT editor Martin Romjue with Virginia operator Dan Goff aboard a Prevost "studio" motorcoach on March 27, 2019 during the International LCT Show in Las Vegas. (LCT image)

LCT editor Martin Romjue with Virginia operator Dan Goff aboard a Prevost "studio" motorcoach on March 27, 2019 during the International LCT Show in Las Vegas. (LCT image)

[This is the second episode in a recurring series of educational videos by LCT editors Martin Romjue, Lexi Tucker, and Jim Luff].  

If you ever need a primer on motorcoach market and business potential, operator Dan Goff can take you there.

Goff, the co-owner and general manager of A. Goff Transportation in Charlottesville, got into the motorcoach sector long before it became a slice of the overall luxury ground transportation industry. His insights in a recent video can motivate operators to make the most of the industry’s fastest growing and most profitable service.

Building Wealth

Nearing two decades in ground transportation, Goff started in the chauffeured limousine business in 2000, bought his first minibuses in 2001, and his first motorcoaches a year later. In 2006, he opened a dealership, SuperMax Motors, that is a licensed Prevost reseller and sells used coaches from all major OEM brands.

“The motorcoach business is about wealth, not just profit, and that extra step involves buying your buildings, building your shop, and buying motorcoaches where the equity doesn't drop like a rock,” Goff says.

The big challenge for operators transitioning from limousine to motorcoach service is looking at key performance indicators (KPIs) in terms of wealth, Goff says. “It's really about building wealth. ‘Where am I going to be at the end of the year? Where am I going to be in four years?’ And the motorcoach business is very helpful because of the resale value on the units.”

New Vs. Used

Whether to buy a new or used bus depends on an operator’s specific market and the contracts the operator lines up, he says.

“So many people, when I do these seminars, come up afterwards and say, ‘How much business should I be farming out in order to buy a bus?’ And the answer is zero, because you get a whole new world of customers. So today, our biggest customers on the bus side are prison inmates, military contractors, universities, tugboat operators, etc. So a whole new world opens up. And the truth is the average limousine operator who's come to these shows, who's been in your seminars, who's followed the white papers, who's done the right things is really in a better position to deliver better customer service, more likely to be on time early, chauffeurs, or bus captains as we call them, are more likely to look appropriate and deliver appropriate customer service. So it's really easy pickings in the bus business.”

Family Motorcoach Lines

Goff sees long-term potential for motorcoaches in the luxury ground transportation sector.

“Most motorcoach businesses in the old motorcoach world are generational, third generation, often in business since the 1920s,” he says. “And I'm really delighted to see a lot of the customers we have, both farm-in customers and customers of SuperMax Motors, becoming multi-generational. I'm seeing their kids out here at the (ILCT) Show now, and I'm knowing those businesses will be there for those kids because the equipment and customer base underpinning those businesses will be there that long.”

For the full version of the video, CLICK HERE.

Related LCT cover story: Dan Goff Reveals How Much Money He Makes

Related LCT feature: How To Stand Out When Selling Motorcoach Service

Related Topics: 2019 LCT video education series, buses, business growth, charter and tour, charter and tour operators, Dan Goff, dealerships, group transportation, ILCT 2019, LCT editor, Martin Romjue, motorcoach operators, motorcoaches, Prevost, profits, revenue growth, used vehicles, video, Virginia operators

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