Limousine Charter & Tour

December 2016

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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32 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR DECEMBER 2016 WWW.LCTMAG.COM says. "They have profitable operations, new fleets, the latest safety technology, and a higher standard of customer service. They can provide the whole experience through which the industry is able to differentiate itself." New Market As a result, the Acton/SoCal Penske network has grown from three to 12 full-time sales, support, and finance employees. Among them, Jim Mayfield is working on accommodating the next an- ticipated market demand for ADA vehicles, reflecting the increased requirements from governments for transporta- tion of disabled passengers. Acton SoCal Penske is actively exploring the development of specific luxury-level ADA con- version vehicles, which would include vans and minivans. "Five years ago, we didn't have the ability to thoughtfully recommend anything except what we each had," Hoyt says. "Now that we have a full line up we can match proper equip- ment to every livery operator with greater precision." — "Uber and Lyft seem to be fo- cusing on the cab segment." "We see the TNCs chang- ing rapidly," Hartz adds. "They're having trouble get- ting into the corporate space, which clearly prefers the se- curity of using established limousine companies." As the leading vehicle sales engine in the industry, Acton's principals can get an accurate view of the health of the in- dustry versus TNCs. "Traditional operators are in a great spot now," Hartz No TNC Troubles Acton/SoCal Penske sells only used vehicles to TNC opera- tors, who tend to prefer small- er, compact new cars, such as the Chevrolet Cruze. "Uber drivers do not buy luxury vehicles from us," Hartz says. TNC drivers see how much they have to spend on insurance, gas, and a car payment, and it spurs many of them to either purchase or rent lower cost vehicles to gain access to the 'rideshar- ing' transportation world. erations preferring more than one primary make and model, Hartz says. "Unlike 2010 and 2011, there are now signifi- cant choices for operators to experiment with. That's what Acton/SoCal Penske is de- signed to accommodate. The portfolio meets the different needs of customers." As an example, sales of the CT6 sedan, which has about three more inches of rear seat legroom than the XTS livery sedan, got off to a slow start this year, but should be picking up now that Cadillac has added a rebate program and a livery warranty of 3yrs/150,000 miles, Maddock says. One benefit of offering multiple vehicle brands is a range of prices suitable to different fleet budgets. Un- like the era of the one-size- fits-all Executive-L Town Car, many livery sedans now have different pack- age levels and powertrains. On the high end, based on content, the livery CT6 can transact between $56,400 and $51,000, while the Lin- coln Continental sell for $46,750 to $48,750. In the middle range, the XTS livery sedan costs from $40,000 to $42,000 and the MKT Town Car, $38,000 to $39,000. In the lower price ranges, based on equipment, the Lincoln MKS now costs an operator $32,500 to $33,500 and the Chrysler 300 livery sedan has a package that sells for $29,995. Fleet vehicle sales growth in the industry stems from multiple factors, Hartz says: A gradual end to the Great Re- cession and a sustained rise in economic performance, cycling out of older limousine fleet vehicles, the variety of livery product lines, and the overall improved financial condition of the industry. De- spite more company sales and mergers in the last few years, the market sees larger compa- nies buying more vehicles, he says. "The demand for (client) rides is still going up." COVER STORY: VEHICLES "I think the ability to present 'the supermarket of livery cars' has given us a very nice posture where we have all the brands at our disposal and we have professional people who can talk about all vehicles on a coherent, consistent basis." — COLEMAN HOYT Bill Cunningham, Bob Moody, Coleman Hoyt, and Matt Carey at the Acton Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership in Acton, Mass. The dealership rounds out the Acton/SoCal Penkse sales partnership that brings Detroit "Big 3" luxury vehicles to owners of all limo fleet sizes. PHOTO: JOHN KENNARD

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