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Thread: Anyone successfully using the Lincoln MKT crossover?

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    Senior Member junehhan's Avatar
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    Default Anyone successfully using the Lincoln MKT crossover?

    Hey guys, I am sorry to start so many new threads lately in my quest for knowledge, but I was unable to find much information on this topic while doing a search. I am curious whether anyone has successfully used the Lincoln MKT in their livery fleets. Sure it is a goofy looking vehicle, but they appear to be a pretty decent value once you get past the exterior. It appears to come with a lot of nice features for the price. I have been looking at possibly starting my own service using a new Ford extended E350 van or slightly used Expedition EL, but this is also a possibility if I can find a slightly used one in good condition.

    How is the rear leg space? I noticed that they appear to have nice big rear doors which hopefully will make it easy for guests to get in and out, and they also have an optional refrigerated console that can function as a fridge or freezer. Since a slightly used loaded MKT should be in the price range of a slightly used loaded Expedition, I am wondering whether the tradeoff in space would be worth it for a vehicle that actually has a luxury image(hopefully). After all, Lincoln is a luxury badge while Ford is a mainstream badge.

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    Why? These things haven't been made available to use for commercial use. First model year is 2013.
    Quote Originally Posted by junehhan View Post
    Hey guys, I am sorry to start so many new threads lately in my quest for knowledge, but I was unable to find much information on this topic while doing a search. I am curious whether anyone has successfully used the Lincoln MKT in their livery fleets. Sure it is a goofy looking vehicle, but they appear to be a pretty decent value once you get past the exterior. It appears to come with a lot of nice features for the price. I have been looking at possibly starting my own service using a new Ford extended E350 van or slightly used Expedition EL, but this is also a possibility if I can find a slightly used one in good condition.How is the rear leg space? I noticed that they appear to have nice big rear doors which hopefully will make it easy for guests to get in and out, and they also have an optional refrigerated console that can function as a fridge or freezer. Since a slightly used loaded MKT should be in the price range of a slightly used loaded Expedition, I am wondering whether the tradeoff in space would be worth it for a vehicle that actually has a luxury image(hopefully). After all, Lincoln is a luxury badge while Ford is a mainstream badge.
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
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    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLVD Limo View Post
    Why? These things haven't been made available to use for commercial use. First model year is 2013.
    I've seen a few in use at ORD and downtown Chicago.

    For June: the difference b/t the van, SUV, and crossover would be # of passengers, ride quality, and height of vehicle (to get in). Alot of companies are switching to SUVs, but a lot of people still look at them as "trucks". Also, SUVs are harder to get into. The problem with the MKT is (IMO) not so much what your clients will think as I do not think really anyone would mind, but the resale. Will you be able to sell it when you are done with it?
    Rich Rottier
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    Senior Member junehhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLVD Limo View Post
    Why? These things haven't been made available to use for commercial use. First model year is 2013.
    Yes, I think I just read that Ford would be offering the MKT in commercial form calling it a Town Car? I was referring to the standard MKT that has been available for a couple of years right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cedar Mill Limousine View Post
    I've seen a few in use at ORD and downtown Chicago.

    For June: the difference b/t the van, SUV, and crossover would be # of passengers, ride quality, and height of vehicle (to get in). Alot of companies are switching to SUVs, but a lot of people still look at them as "trucks". Also, SUVs are harder to get into. The problem with the MKT is (IMO) not so much what your clients will think as I do not think really anyone would mind, but the resale. Will you be able to sell it when you are done with it?
    Yes, those are the tradeoffs that I am trying weigh in my particular market. I have a few acquaintences who work at big companies in my area and have been talking to them lately and have been getting a pretty decent idea of what is in demand right now among the transportation that they charter for their clients.

    The MKT appears to be holding value from what i've been gathering, but it is so new that i'm unsure of how it will hold up over time as I am reading all sorts of horror stories in older threads about luxury cars basically becoming a new car payment when they start to break down. From Ford's website, it appears that you have to opt for the twin turbo setup in order to get AWD which makes things complex since turbos can be costly to repair. The good news is that it gets significantly better fuel economy than the Expedition or Van. If customers don't care that the vehicle looks goofy on the outside, the MKT could be a pretty good value as it delivers on luxury and features. The integrated fridge alone makes life easier.

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    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junehhan View Post
    If customers don't care that the vehicle looks goofy on the outside, the MKT could be a pretty good value as it delivers on luxury and features. The integrated fridge alone makes life easier.
    Why not just get a Town Car? You are not gaining any extra seats with the "T".
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    Senior Member junehhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cedar Mill Limousine View Post
    Why not just get a Town Car? You are not gaining any extra seats with the "T".
    To be honest, everyone has a Town Car. It also appears that they are getting very hard to find ever since Ford stopped production on it. In Cincinnati with all of our hills, having AWD could be very useful in marketing the vehicle. The MKT would also have a higher seating position and has that 3rd row which may or may not be usable for some types of customers.

    I have been browsing local and regional operators who display their rates on their sites, and it also appears that an MKT or SUV type vehicle has the ability to command higher prices than a regular sedan. Of course both the MKT and Expedition are probably going to be more expensive to maintain than a Town Car.

    I am still in the process of running different scenarios in my head and weighing what I am reading here and hearing from my old acquaintences.

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    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junehhan View Post
    To be honest, everyone has a Town Car. It also appears that they are getting very hard to find ever since Ford stopped production on it. In Cincinnati with all of our hills, having AWD could be very useful in marketing the vehicle. The MKT would also have a higher seating position and has that 3rd row which may or may not be usable for some types of customers.

    I have been browsing local and regional operators who display their rates on their sites, and it also appears that an MKT or SUV type vehicle has the ability to command higher prices than a regular sedan. Of course both the MKT and Expedition are probably going to be more expensive to maintain than a Town Car.

    I am still in the process of running different scenarios in my head and weighing what I am reading here and hearing from my old acquaintences.
    Sorry, I thought the MKT only had a second row, I really haven't looked into them much and didn't realize they had a 3rd row.
    Rich Rottier
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    With the retail version of the MKT having 3 rows, I doubt that you will find much room for luggage with all 3 rows utilized/installed whereas you would with a Suburban, Yukon XL, Escalade ESV, Expedition EL, or Navigator L. Rich, you could probably shed some light on this type of dilemma when all 3 rows are "occupied" since you have a Tahoe in your fleet.

    As far as people using the retail version of the MKT in their fleets, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. June, I know that everyone has a Lincoln Town Car, but that is because it is the standard. It is like a restaurant offering ketchup for your fries. Yes, you could be that restaurant that offers gravy instead, but you might not attract as many customers as you had hoped. Also, having an industry standard vehicle allows you opportunities to receive farm-in work as well as "expand" your fleet through farm-out.
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    Senior Member junehhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLVD Limo View Post
    With the retail version of the MKT having 3 rows, I doubt that you will find much room for luggage with all 3 rows utilized/installed whereas you would with a Suburban, Yukon XL, Escalade ESV, Expedition EL, or Navigator L. Rich, you could probably shed some light on this type of dilemma when all 3 rows are "occupied" since you have a Tahoe in your fleet.

    As far as people using the retail version of the MKT in their fleets, that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. June, I know that everyone has a Lincoln Town Car, but that is because it is the standard. It is like a restaurant offering ketchup for your fries. Yes, you could be that restaurant that offers gravy instead, but you might not attract as many customers as you had hoped. Also, having an industry standard vehicle allows you opportunities to receive farm-in work as well as "expand" your fleet through farm-out.
    Ahh, you make a very good point that I did not think about at all about having an industry standard vehicle in the fleet!

    I have been searching dealer inventories around my region on Lincoln's website, but Lincoln Town Cars are pretty much impossible to find new. Even used, I hear that they are going to pretty crazy prices because they have been discontinued. I did look at a standard one(not the Signature L extended), but the back seat appears to be a little tight without those 6 extra inches. I guess for obvious reasons, there appear to be plenty of standard non extended Town Cars in stock from what i've seen in my search at the dealers. If I were to get a standard non extended Town Car, I assume that this might make it more difficult to sell to clients?

    You are also right that the Ford Flex/Lincoln MKT(same platform, different sheet metal) has no room for luggage without folding down the 3rd row. On the plus side, the MKT does have AWD which will allow you to operate once snow starts falling. I've owned a Crown Vic and Mercury Marauder in the past, so I know how horrible these panther platform RWD vehicles are in snow. The Expedition EL however has some luggage room even with passengers in the 3rd row for your typical corporate traveler.

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    Senior Member Wade Randolph's Avatar
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    Even though I own some L's I have never had a client ask for them specifically. I have bought them mainly for the warranty and resale.

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    What have found since adding an L to our fleet is the customers feel comfortable in an L. The see them everywhere and just are pleased with the car . Response has been so good we are looking into adding another one

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    Don't discount the non-L versions of the Town Car. Over the last few years, companies like Leader Limo in Kansas City and Best Transportation in St. Louis have won industry awards and neither one of those companies run L-sedans. The rear seat of the non-L Town Car is still provides more room than most other vehicles on the road, including some of the SUVs that are used in our industry.

    Also, keep in mind how far out the rear door sticks on an L-sedan when you open it compared to how far out the rear door on a non-L Town Car. You are able to open the rear door on a non-L Town Car a greater angle than the rear door of an L-sedan given the same amount of space. This can make it easier to get in and out of a non-L Town Car when you are on a narrow road, in a narrow driveway, surrounded by other vehicles or trees or poles or traffic signs, etc. I have heard rumblings from operators out of the New York City area that almost prefer the non-L Town Cars because the door just doesn't stick out as far and allows a greater angle to be open in some of the tight neighborhoods.

    Truth is that we are selling a SERVICE and not a vehicle. As long as you operate a fleet of clean, comfortable, well-maintained vehicles and employ professional chauffeurs that provide a terrific service, I hardly doubt the client will care all that much about what exact vehicle they are riding in. After all, this is the chauffeured transportation SERVICE and limousine SERVICE industry and just because you have a nice, new care doesn't mean a hill of beans.
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
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    Senior Member junehhan's Avatar
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    Thank you guys for chiming in on the L versus non L issue. This has given me much to think about for the time being. Perhaps I will go tomarrow and take a closer look at the regular Town Car that the local Lincoln dealer has. From their website, it looks like it doesn't have any options but that probably isn't much of an issue. I didn't even realize that there was a difference in door angle and door length between the two TC editions. I think the regular Town Car they have is a demonstrator, so maybe they will even be willing to cut a good deal on it. You guys have been just so helpful and i'm giving everyone rep points since it isn't like I can buy you a drink.

    Any of you guys plan on being at the LCT Show in Feb in Vegas?

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    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Here is how I see it. Clients will use you based on these considerations (in no particular order): trustworthiness (reputation), price, fleet.

    What you have to decide is what is going to be your main selling feature to the market you are trying to sell to. If you are going to provide a shuttle service or are you going for corporate accounts? This is the beginning of the great game (puzzle) we call "owning a business"!

    Here are some considerations:

    number of passengers
    luggage room per passenger
    height of vehicle (van/SUV vs. sedan)
    leg room

    Tim, as you know I have second-guessed buying the Tahoe over a sedan. I am not sure if we have lost any business over this decision. I try as much as I can to ask if it is ok if we substitute for a SUV or limousine if they ask for a sedan. This usually helps figure out if they do not want a stretch in the driveway or if they have a hard time climbing up into a vehicle. This is usually the only two determining factors. I have 2 clients that fly out every week, and when I asked them if they would prefer a sedan (so I know what to replace the Tahoe with), they both said they thought a sedan would ride a little better but they would stay with us anyways because they are happy with our service. This being said, I am going to replace the Tahoe with a sedan, but we are going to keep the Tahoe in the "family" for those times that we would need it. I am happy that we started out with the Tahoe for these reasons:

    any group over 3 can easily be talked into a stretch for Airport runs (the Tahoe has little luggage room with 3rd row being used)

    the Tahoe gives us versatility for larger groups: the majority of our non-AP runs go 1 hour away to Chicago or to South Bend (also an hour away and 1.5-2 hours from Chicago). This comes in handy for dates that are extremely busy and this is their only option or for 2 couples that want to spend a little less and do need a stretch

    It really comes down to what you want. There are plenty of "L" Town Cars out there for sale. Brand new are hard to find, but considering they go to 200K-300K easily, a used one shouldn't scare you off. You need to buy what will fill your need. Shuttling or basic AP service - van. Corporate/Exec work - "L" TC. Variety of work - SUV OR used TC that has a little higher mileage and used van. Depends on how you are going to market, what affiliates you may or may not use, and how fast you plan to grow.

    Good luck!
    Rich Rottier
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    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Tip: when giving "rep", put your name in the comments so we know who to "thank"!
    Rich Rottier
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