What’s in a name?
Years ago, most companies in our industry had the words limo or limousine in their name; Chicago Limousine Service, New York Limo, San Francisco Limousine, etc. That was the nature of our business, and we obviously wanted to identify with the most popular feature of the product we offered. There is no denying that travelers loved the limousine, and we wanted potential customers to know we had them.
Times have changed. Most limo services in Chicago have either reduced the number of limousines in their fleet, or have gotten rid of them altogether due to cost, maintenance issues, or just the law of supply and demand. So what does a limousine company do without limousines?
For the last several years, many companies have needed to rename and rebrand in order to stay relevant to their clientele. The corporate world began forcing the issue by requiring that service providers use sedans and SUV’s almost exclusively, especially for their executive travelers. Some of this was driven by financial concerns (sedans are simply cheaper), and then there was the issue of perception (laying off workers while traveling in limousines was counterintuitive).
O’Hare-Midway Limousine Service continues to offer limos for their clientele, although we are among those that chose to scale down. From a peak of over 100 limousines, we will be down to around 10 by the end of 2013. This gives us the ability to supply limousines for those “special occasions” while keeping the majority of our fleet economical and “corporate-friendly”. To continue to accommodate the large vehicle client (luggage, families, extra room), we have added a sizable number of full-size Lincoln navigator SUV’s to replace the stretch limos.
Over time, when you see an old body style Lincoln Town Car stretch limousine, the vehicle will be an extremely old one. After all, the last of these dinosaurs rolled out of a coach builder facility over two years ago, so two years from now, the “newest” of these models will be four years old, and most will be older. Companies running these vehicles will probably want to make a point of advertising that they are limousine companies, but the rest of us are migrating away to more representative monikers, focusing on the worldwide transportation aspect of our businesses.
O’Hare-Midway Limousine Service will always be our name, but get used to hearing OML Worldwide as we move further away from being a true limousine company. Different name…same great service.