Paradigm Shift in the Limousine Industry!
Everything in life runs in cycles. Stock market corrections, business cycles, life cycles, etc. The limousine industry is no different and there has been a large paradigm shift over the last fews years in conjunction with the recession.
The last shift in the limousine industry started at the end of 1999 and migrated through the early 2000's as the limousine industry shifted towards the use of sedans and SUVs as corporate clients no longer wanted to indulge in using limousines for business. This was evident in 1999 as American Limousine in Chicago was the largest single city limousine operator in the country with close to 200 limousines in their fleet. Not sedans and SUVs. They sold to Carey in 1999. The owner, George Jacobs started a new company in 2006 and now the majority of his fleet is made up of sedans, limousines, and buses.
This shift in vehicle utilization by limousine and transportation companies across the country has been dictated by the clients we serve. Who can blame them? How would you feel if a client, partner, or potential vendor showed up to a meeting in a limousine tomorrow?
The corporate traveler today is much more educated than they were 10-15 years ago. Factor in the recession, smaller travel budgets, and the ease of the internet to find affordable travel options and you have the need for the limousine industry to adapt to the clients request.
Today there is another shift taking place as the limousine industry is still using sedans and SUVs as the primary vehicle types for corporate transportation, but what you are starting to see is the addition of buses. Many limousine companies started adding buses to their fleets in late 2009 and even more in 2010 to take advantage of the growing motor coach industry and in anticipation of the meetings and events industry rebounding.
We have done the same. Grand Avenue launched our motor coach division over the Summer with 3 luxury MCI J4500 motor coaches along with 2 minibuses and a limo bus. This week we are adding a 41 pax motor coach and 5 additional full size 56 pax motor coaches to our fleet to keep up with demand.
In August LCT Magazine published the 2011 Top 100 Largest Companies edition of their magazine. It is no surprise that less than 6% of the average fleet sizes of the Top 100 were limousines. Grand Avenue was ranked #52 prior to adding our most recent motor coaches.
The use of limousines is not quite dead, but it is close as they are being replaced with buses and motor coaches.