Posted on January 21, 2012 by Neal Arnold
Well we all knew it was coming. The end of the Lincoln Town Car. Yes, the long time staple of the limousine industry is going the way of the dinosaur. The last Town Car rolled off of the assembly line August 31st 2011. Allpoints Limo will have to find another car to use for airport sedan service.
To understand how this one must consider tha the Lincoln Town Car was the most successful airport transfer sedan for most of the last two decades. The reason is simple. It combined a large rear seating area with a huge trunk. The trunk was not just large but with the perfect fit size for suitcases behind the rear wheel wells you could put up to eight full size suitcases in the trunk plus several carry ons.
Customers enjoyed ample leg room and a six-inch factory extended rear seating area was available.
In addition to this the Lincoln Town Car was really just a Ford Crown Victoria with an upscale body. Any mechanical part would interchange with a $ 20,000.00 car so that parts were easy to buy at low prices. This meant that repair costs were very low. The 4.6 power plant was renown for heavy service without a complaint. At 20 plus miles per gallon, combined city and highway, many of these cars would go 350,000 miles without a new engine or transmission.
Now that the Town Car is on the way out there are many pretender’s to the throne. At the 2012 LTC limo show in Las Vegas we saw the new line up from Lincoln and many new faces trying to become the new industry standard.
Lincoln is pushing it MKT crossover as the go to vehicle for the future. It seats three easily and could fit four with three in the back seat. For the livery model they moved the rear seat back four inches and threw away the back fold down seats in favor of a larger baggage area. They even added the name “Town Car” along the door to underscore their history with the industry.
Royal Cabot Coach Builder’s had a MKZ, the hybrid Lincoln sedan, available in a six-inch stretch. While the trunk is still smallish the rear seating area had almost as much room as an old Town Car. The 38 miles to the gallon sounds like a great deal for owners but the $ 51,000.00 price tag is a little steep for the livery business.
Chrysler came with the 300 which has been around for several years but made no headway in the sedan industry due to a cramped rear seating area and a poor trunk. The rear wheel wells extend into the trunk making it narrow and the deck lid hinges extend down also using up room. A six-inch stretch version which came out this year will solve one of these two problems. The look has also improved with a more stylish smaller grill in front. At $ 30,500.00 it is the price champion. $ 41,500.00 for the stretched version.
Mercedes displayed their 550 and 350 models. Both were fine cars but the price was a bit high for the livery business. The rear seating area was alright and the trunk was serviceable. However, if your clients have a large set of golf clubs they won’t be riding in this vehicle to a golfing vacation.
Would you believe it these people were right across the carpet from mighty Mercedes and stood the comparison very well. The Equus sedan had all of the features and a $51,000.00 price tag and the Genesis sedan had all of the same room at a reasonable $38,000.00 tag.
Does Toyota say limo? Well they think so and the Avalon was there with the big boys looking for an upset. This company has even followed Lincoln, Cadillac, and Chrysler’s lead with a 150,000 mile warranty. There is even a Hybrid model which boasts about 40 mpg. The price is right but does Toyota say luxury? We will have to watch this one.
Cadillac was there with their new XTS sedan. With a fairly large trunk the bags will do better than the customer’s in the smallish rear seating area. A stretched version came out this year. This vehicle had been purchased by both Carey and AJL International in Dallas and seems to be holding its own.
Allpoints is considering all of the above and will test new vehicles by renting them and testing them with our clients.