While the holiday season that just passed means different things to different people, in the limo business, and specifically in the Chicago limo market, it can mean chaos and confusion. Not confusion on our part as service providers, but confusion on the part of some of our clients that haven’t yet come to terms with a changing ground transportation industry.
There are a few periods each year when our clientele require large vehicles like stretch limousines. The Christmas / New Years Holiday is one of those periods. Twenty years ago, when OML had a fleet of 100+ stretch limos, this wasn’t a big deal; everyone got a giant car. But with the cost of stretch limousines going up each year, it is now to the point where a good quality new stretch will run close to $100K to purchase. This, and the fact that stretch limousines have become a pariah to the corporate traveler, have made it difficult for stretch operators to make money. The obvious result…not as many stretches…many more sedans. But the seasonal demand surge still exists for large vehicles. So, how do we accommodate those requesting large vehicles a few times a year, while running an efficient business the other 345 days a year?
The solution: Full-size Lincoln Navigator SUV’s can handle up to 6 people comfortably and have plenty of room for luggage. This helps move those traveling families during rush periods. Additionally, SUV’s are more acceptable to corporate travelers, so they are an excellent “dual purpose” vehicles.
Eventually, travelers will become accustomed to the change in vehicle choices. Until then, it would seem that the stress of holiday travel will continue to be on the providers…as well as travelers.
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