In the Chicago limo market, the rate of change is sometimes difficult to keep pace with on the “supplier” side. Limousine providers are forced to make decisions more quickly than they used to, and in many cases, “gut feeling” is more likely to influence these decisions than market research or “trending”. For our clients, it can be a case of…”What’s next?” After all, it wasn’t that long ago that the limousine industry was dominated by Lincoln Town Cars (both as sedans and stretch limos). Today, it is a mishmash of everything under the automotive sun, from family sedans to luxury vehicles as expensive as a house. Sizes of vehicles, costs, selection, capacity, trunk space, pretty much any aspect and configuration of vehicles can confusion and worse; hesitation.
Unfortunately, the traveling public will need to adapt. The Lincoln Town Car is no longer in production, which means Town Car limousines are going bye-bye soon. The current run of sedans (mainly Cadillac, Lincoln, and Chrysler) are smaller, although many are as comfortable – if not more so – than the old Town Cars. Trunk space is a consideration, with shallow designs making it difficult for chauffeurs and clients to load larger pieces luggage. Hybrid options run from the Tesla (all electric) down to Toyota, but none of these vehicles have much of a track record to boast. Vans and buses will also become factors, especially for large families or groups traveling together. Fewer and fewer limousines are being produced every year, and several coachbuilders are focusing on modifying large vans to replace the aging limousine fleet.
Taking all of these issues together, it is obvious the limousine industry will continue to be in a state of steady change for the foreseeable future; sometimes due to clients needs and expectations, and sometimes in spite of them. But as the traveling public gradually accepts these changes, and settles into a more predictable pattern, it is possible that THEY will help calm the waters.