Breaking Up is Hard To Do

When to Tell Your Affiliate Partner to Hit the Road

Focus, People!

Three Ways to Manage Distracted Employees

Thinking Ahead

Four Steps to Reinvent, Rebrand and Revive Your Business

The Real Impact of Leadership

How to Leave a Lasting Impression

Q and A:

Martin Ross, Ross Limousine



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

PRLA Elects 2014 Board of Directors

The Philadelphia Regional Limousine Association met on Sept. 18, with Chris Burns of Fred Beans Automotive Group hosting the meeting. The hot topic of the evening was the election of the 2014 PRLA Board of Directors. The votes were tallied, and the 2014 Board will consist of Mark Barnett from Best of Times Limousine (secretary), Luxury Limousine’s Perry Camerlengo (board member), Brian Engle of Wolfington Bus Company (treasurer), Robert Euler from King Limousine (board member), Rhoades Limousine’s Steve Rhoades (vice president), Jim Salinger of Unique Limousine (president), and Global Limousine’s Anthony “Tony” Viscusi (board member).

2013 and 2014 PRLA board members [left to right]:
Mark Barnett, Michael Barreto, Anthony Viscusi,
Steve Rhoades, Jim Salinger, Perry Camerlengo,
Bob Euler, Brian Engle and Jeff Shanker.

PRLA President Jim Salinger thanked current Secretary and Treasurer Jeff Shanker from A-1 Limousine—who did not seek reelection, but will remain active as the liaison between the Limousine Association of New Jersey and the PRLA—and Board Member Michael Barreto, for his multiple years of conscientious, dedicated service to the PRLA, the membership and the entire industry.

Other pressing matters were discussed, including the new laws in Pennsylvania requiring any vehicle with a bus tag to enter all active weigh stations. This includes charter and shuttle buses, and vans tagged with bus license plates.

Another topic on the table was that of buses and New York State’s rules surrounding NY article 19-A, which requires any bus and company that drives into or through New York to register with New York State Motor Vehicle Agency.

Finally, the meeting’s attendees discussed the ongoing legal battle between the PRLA and the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA), and the ruling from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court which identifies the PPA’s rules and regulations as unconstitutional. However, there is currently no conclusion to the issue.

For more information on the PRLA, visit www.prlainc.com.

Monday, October 28, 2013

At The Wheel: We Review the Tesla Model S

Tesla’s Model S is a supercar in a luxury sedan’s clothing. If you know anything about this car, you likely know the numbers: 0-60 mph in 4.2 almost-silent seconds (making it one of the fastest sedans ever built), 416 horsepower, 250 patents plus more pending, 265-mile range on a full charge, 90 mpg-e on the highway, $0.06 per mile fueling costs.



That four-second dash to 60 mph also comes with an oppositely proportionate price tag: $89,900. Yes, the hyper-performance, top-range 85-kWh Performance Model S (P85) runs like a monster… and is priced like one, too (although much less so than most cars of similar performance).

But the Tesla Model S is indeed a car that is relevant to our industry, because you can have all the prestige, novelty, image, fuel and maintenance cost savings, and most of the aforementioned performance of this revolutionary vehicle in your fleet for just $62,400—or around the same price as a similarly equipped BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, or Audi A6.

The entry-level 60-kWh Model S—dubbed the 60—has a base price of $69,900, and all Teslas, being all-electric, zero-emissions vehicles, earn their buyers a $7,500 federal tax credit. And the 60 will still impress the hell out of you and your valued clients. It comes standard with 19-inch wheels, black textile and synthetic leather interior, 17-inch touchscreen, seven-speaker sound system with AM/FM/HD radio, mobile connector, and a J1772 charging adapter, which enables charging at Tesla and public charging stations. And for those who are always inspecting those acceleration numbers, it’ll hit 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.

The 17-inch touchscreen, which is standard on all Model S variants, is one of the most impressive points on this very impressive car. It controls everything from the climate, audio, and navigations systems to physical features of the vehicle itself, such as lighting, brake regeneration modes, ride height, steering feel, and the opening and closing of the charge port, sunroof, and front and rear trunks. Your driver and front-seat passenger can even surf the web in full, unrestricted freedom.

This system controls so many aspects of the car’s functions that there are only two buttons on the entire dash—controls for the hazard lights and glove compartment door. But perhaps the greatest thing about the car’s touchscreen-controlled digital system is that improvements for almost the entire car are like those for your smartphone: just an over-the-air software update away.

The Model S’ AC induction motor is tiny—so small that it sits between the rear wheels. This, plus placement of the lithium-ion battery packs along the floor of the vehicle, allows for a lot of important benefits. The car’s weight distribution is an astounding 47 percent front/53 percent rear—far more even-keeled than a typical vehicle, which has the mass of its behemoth gasoline engine weighing down the front. The center of gravity on a Model S is just 17.5 inches, making this car extremely safe and virtually impossible to flip. Because there are no mechanical parts that need to pass down the center of the vehicle, the floor is completely flat, providing three rear passengers with a level platform on which to place their feet, or two passengers the ability to stretch one leg over into the center of the floor. And since there is no motor up front (or behind the rear wheels), there is a small trunk under the hood—perfect for coats, bottles of water, or the driver’s personal effects—and a massive one under the rear hatchback lid. Tesla offers an optional third row of child seats which flip up out of the rear trunk’s floor, making the Model S the first hatchback in the world to offer third-row seating. But for our industry, not checking that option box means even more space for suitcases—26.3 cubic feet total (58.1 with the seats down), or about as much as a midsize SUV.

Yet another benefit of electric cars is the lack of required maintenance. Without a gasoline or diesel engine, there are no fluids, no oil to change, and almost zero engine components that can break down or require repair or replacement. Of course, an electric vehicle has its limits, too. You can’t send a Model S out for 400 miles a day and just have your driver refuel it as needed. It has to come back to your base for recharging (there are supercharging stations located throughout the U.S., as well as public charging stations, but those are of more interest to the private consumer than to those in our industry). However, the 85-kWh model has a range of 265 miles, and the 60 will go 206 miles before recharging—ranges that are more than sufficient for airport and around-town runs for your VIP clients. With a standard 240-volt wall outlet, the Model S recharges at a rate of 31 miles of range per hour of charging. Fleet operators will certainly want to invest in the High Power Wall Connector and twin chargers, which will enable their vehicles to recharge at 62 miles of range per hour. With this option, a full-range 60-kWh recharge takes just 3.35 hours, or 4.27 hours for the 85-kWh variant. All Teslas can also be charged on a standard 110-volt outlet in a pinch.
The Model S excels in the safety arena. As mentioned, the car’s center of gravity is so low that it provides an extremely stable platform on which everything rides. The electric motor’s instant torque allows for quick maneuvers in traffic and while passing. Stability and anti-lock braking systems are specifically tuned for the immediate torque and regenerative braking characteristics of the Model S’ electric powertrain. And double octagon extrusions in the front and the rear, as well as a super-strong roof structure, ensure that your driver and clients are well protected at all times. Tesla claims the Model S exceeds federal crash standards, as it has been impact-tested at 50 mph, while the mandatory standard is 35 mph.

We drove two Model S SP85+ test vehicles on two separate occasions (a 60 was not available for testing), and we were beyond impressed. The car is smooth as butter, whether strolling through a parking lot at 10 mph or instantly and seamlessly (one gear = no shifting) rocketing to 60 in a few seconds. Though the car is built for handling and performance, it is also surprisingly well-mannered, and we felt cushioned and coddled by the suspension and the leather seats when sitting in the back. Although rear legroom is certainly nothing compared to that of a Town Car, our legs were comfortably semi-stretched, and we enjoyed being able to extend them out into the flat center floor. The All Glass Panoramic Roof in both of our test vehicles was among the most spectacular appointments visible from the rear seats, and we were amazed by the near-absence of heat from the sun intruding into the vehicle on one hot and sunny day, even though we knew the roof’s glass was blocking 98 percent of visible light and 81 percent of heat. When we weren’t admiring that, we were transfixed by the beautiful 17-inch display being used by the driver to adjust vehicle settings. Needless to say, the Model S is a vehicle that impresses its passengers.

With no immediate maintenance expenses and such low fueling costs, the Model S is a car that in many ways pays for itself. Its design is gorgeous—both elegant and sporting at the same time—and any client will be impressed and amazed when they step out of an airport, hotel or their home to find this car waiting for them, whether they know about Tesla or not. If they do, they’ll be even further affected, knowing what this car can do on the road, with so little relative impact to the environment. This is an American-made car that everyone wants to see and be seen in. It’s no wonder the Tesla Model S is gaining momentum in the luxury ground transportation industry, as it allows companies to save money while going above and beyond what their clients expect. In this game, there’s no better formula than that. //LD

Written by Evan McCauley

LANJ Discusses DOT, Super Bowl and NYC Mayoral Race

Over 80 members were in attendance for the Limousine Association of New Jersey’s Sept. 18 luncheon meeting, many of them standing due to the unexpectedly large turnout.

A board meeting preceded the luncheon, and one of the main topics of discussion centered on recent actions by the U.S. DOT. Tim Rose, owner of Flyte Tyme Worldwide Transportation and president of LANJ, said that out of 16 companies recently inspected by the DOT, Flyte Tyme was the only one that passed. “The DOT is becoming stricter on their rules and regulations with limousine operators,” he said. “For example, Sprinters coming into New York City have been getting stopped outside the Lincoln Tunnel to make sure they are within their 11-passenger limit.”

Other topics included New York City’s commercial motor vehicle tax and mayoral race, and New Jersey 
jitney legislation. At the luncheon meeting itself, a number of guests and members gave presentations. Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Director Diane Papaianni addressed the meeting regarding this year’s Super Bowl at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, discussing courses of action and game day logistics. Derek Peske of CTEK, a battery systems company, explained that he is networking within our industry, as he believes there is a strong opportunity for operators to utilize battery-operated products in buses to avoid keeping engines running. And Cadillac’s Jim Connelly gave an update of Cadillac’s upcoming vehicles—specifically the 2014 XTS and the highly anticipated 2015 Escalade, which was previewed Oct. 8 in New York City.

For more information on LANJ, visit www.lanj.org. //LD

Limo Safety Law Passes in California

Legislation approved by the California State Senate, requiring limousines operating in California to have emergency exits, has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett of San Leandro drafted the bill after two limousine blazes erupted in the San Francisco Bay Area earlier this year.

Under SB 109, limousines carrying fewer than 10 passengers are now required to have two push-out windows and two rear doors, which must be situated on opposite sides of the vehicle. The bill also requires limousine operators to instruct passengers on the safety features of the vehicle before embarking on any trip, beginning in January 2016.

Senator Jerry Hill drafted another bill, SB 338, which would have expanded annual California Highway Patrol safety inspections to limousines below the current 10-passenger threshold. Under SB 338, these inspections would be performed at a cost of $75 to the limousine operator. The 1999 Lincoln Town Car stretch limo in the San Mateo Bridge fire was designed to carry seven passengers, and therefore was not required to be inspected in any way. However, Gov. Brown vetoed this second bill, saying the $75 fee was insufficient to cover the CHP’s inspection costs, and called for an otherwise-identical bill allowing for better funding.

AM General Acquires Vehicle Production Group’s Assets

AM General has reached an agreement with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) to purchase the DOE’s secured loan to The Vehicle Production Group. VPG, which closed its doors in March of this year, was the Miami-based company that originally developed and manufactured the acclaimed MV-1 (featured on our Dec. 2012 cover), the only American-built vehicle specifically designed from the ground up to meet or exceed the needs of wheelchair passengers and the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Previously, AM General acted solely as the vehicle assembler for VPG. Following this transaction, AM General will own and operate the reborn MV-1 business.

The agreement will result in a new company called Mobility Ventures, which will acquire the assets of VPG. AM General will control VPG’s MV-1 business unit, and will resume the assembly of the MV-1 vehicles at its world-class, 675,000 square-foot Commercial Assembly Plant in Mishawaka, IN, which is fully tooled for the MV-1 and ready to resume vehicle assembly. AM General has also begun planning with the more than 100 suppliers of the MV-1 to support the accelerated restart of production and sales. It is anticipated that resumption of MV-1 production and sales will stimulate the creation of hundreds of new jobs.

While this transaction is being finalized, AM General will continue to provide service, parts and technical support to the network of more than 80 MV-1 dealers and distributors throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.amgeneral.com.

Buses Required to Stop at Pennsylvania Weigh Stations

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) recently confirmed that some of their districts are installing the new “All Trucks & Buses Must Enter Weigh Station” signs on state and interstate highways. PennDOT requested that all signs be installed by the end of 2013.

Corporal Rick Koontz confirmed that buses are now expected to stop at any weigh station with the new sign. “Enforcement officers have been asked by their superiors to visually look for obvious violations, but have been instructed not to detain a bus unless obvious problems exist,” Koontz told the Pennsylvania Bus Association (PBA).

PBA Executive Director Elaine Farrell notes that any bus with a BA or BN bus tag—which are generally buses with over 16 passengers, but occasionally include vehicles with 11 to 15 passengers—are affected by this new regulation and are required to stop at weigh stations with these new signs.

If any bus driver encounters a problem at a weigh station, they should contact PBA through their bus company employer. Corporal Koontz will work with PBA in further communicating to his enforcement officers any problems that come up. The PBA can be contacted at (717) 236-9042, and more information can be found at www.pabus.org.

Planet Halo Introduces Latest Multi-Channel Video Recorder for the Fleet Industry

The PH4 is a complete unified system that offers insurmountable features packed in to one tiny device.
Planet Halo has introduced its production model PH4 vehicle recorder, a unique recording device that incorporates two high-resolution camera lenses, a GPS module, audio recorder, G-force inertial sensor, audio speaker, and mini-DVR with SD card in a 4”L x 2 ¼”H x 1”D module. The mounting bracket for the device includes input jacks for the included external cameras, a remote video monitor, USB connectivity and power connection.

The PH4, which was designed specifically for commercial fleet vehicles, captures video over the entire interior length of the passenger compartment, as well as views from the driver’s perspective toward the front of the vehicle. External cameras, mounted on the sides of the vehicle, capture video along the sides and towards the rear of the vehicle. These weatherproof, teardrop-shaped external cameras are only two inches long. A rearfacing camera can be affixed for a variety of uses, such as a back-up camera or stop-arm monitor.

The PH4 also includes sophisticated software which records and compiles video data from all four cameras— while also recording continuous GPS positioning, speed, G-force data, and programmed or triggered events— and displays them all on a user-friendly viewer. Using the PH4, management can track vehicle routes, speeds, stops and starts, and driver and passenger behavior, while viewing the actual video events as they occurred in high-definition color replay.

For more information on the model P4 vehicle recorder, visit www.planethalo.com.

WFLA Discusses Hillsborough County Minimum Fare

The West Florida Livery Association met last month at Ocean Prime Restaurant in Tampa, FL, with 36 members in attendance. WFLA President Dave Shaw gave a report from the association’s officers, noting that the WFLA will have a booth at LCT Show East in Atlantic City, NJ, asking for volunteers to man it, and advising that there will be “a great schedule of educational seminars” at the show.

The most important and contentious item on the meeting’s agenda, however, was in regards to a lawsuit filed against the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission (PTC) by the libertarian-oriented group Institute for Justice. The suit alleges that the PTC is stifling free enterprise with a rule mandating that limo and sedan drivers charge at least $50 per ride—no matter how long the ride.

Although Hillsborough is the only county in the state that has a public transportation commission, other counties also have minimum fares. Miami-Dade has a $70 minimum fare, for example, although legislators in that part of the state are trying to repeal that minimum as well.

Objectors to the PTC’s minimum fare claim that it violates the due process rights of car service customers by “unreasonably and irrationally interfering with [their consumer rights],” according to the suit. But the $50 minimum fare is also the reason Uber said it could not compete in the Tampa market last year, which marks it as a valuable asset to our industry in the Tampa area.

After much discussion from both sides of this argument at September’s WFLA meeting, “the majority agreed that a minimum rate is important to the industry now and in the future, and the WFLA will convey this to [the PTC],” said Shaw. In addition, Shaw recently told the Tampa Tribune that the rule was put in place at the request of taxi and limo companies, with the intention of putting some “separation” between the two entities.
For more information on the WFLA, visit www.westfloridaliveryassoc.org.

NLA Announces New Strategic Credit Card Processing Partnerships

The National Limousine Association membership committee, co-chaired by Ron Stein of Exclusive Sedan Service and Laura Canady of CLT Express, is once again proud of the work they did to offer a strategic partnership with two credit card processing companies. The NLA’s thorough review process of selecting a company/companies with whom to form relationships for credit card processing has come to fruition.

Century Business Solutions and Chosen Payments have been selected for the value they can bring to NLA members’ businesses, and for their willingness to offer a portion of their revenue as a rebate to the NLA directly.

In a recent letter to members, NLA Executive Director Philip Jagiela spoke more on the selection of Chosen Payments. “Over the years, Chosen Payments’ business has grown to capture a significant portion of the market share in the limo industry nationwide due to their superior rates and service,” he said. “We have been impressed with Chosen Payments and the level of quality and attention they commit to their services. Equally as important, Chosen Payments has agreed to a level of discount that should make their services even more appealing for all NLA members.”

Jagiela added that the success of these partnerships lies in NLA members using their vendors, as well as the vendors keeping members happy. “If they can save you money or increase the efficiency of your business, while rebating money back to the NLA, it is a win-win for all,” he said.

Century Business Solutions specializes in credit card processing integrations with both accounting and retail POS softwares. For more information, visit www.centurybizsolutions.com.

For more information on Chosen Payments, visit www.liverypayments.com. And for more information on the NLA, visit www.limo.org.

Go Showtime Receives Award for Eco-Friendly Fleet

Go Showtime, a member of The GO Group alliance of airport shuttle companies, has made an effort to become more environmentally responsible—switching to biodiesel fuel for 36 of its 46 minibuses, and converting another five to liquid propane. The company also uses GPS technology for fuel-efficient routing to further reduce carbon emissions, and promotes recycling in both its office and maintenance shop.

In recognition of these efforts, The Las Vegas Business Press recently honored Go Showtime with a “Green Award.”

“Adopting green practices isn’t good only for the environment,” said Lisa deMarigny, president and CEO of Go Showtime. “It is good for employee morale and confirms our commitment to the health and wellness of the Las Vegas tourism market.”

Other members of The GO Group, which is the largest airport ground transportation alliance in the world, have also switched to alternative fuels—either compressed natural gas or propane. GO Group members transport some 13 million passengers to and from 68 airports in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Europe annually. For more information, visit www.goairportshuttle.com.

Alliance Limousine Introduces New Mobile App

Los Angeles-Based Alliance Limousine recently introduced a new mobile app for iOS and Android devices. The app allows customers to create new reservations, review existing reservations and see service rates.

The app is called Alliance Limo Mobile, and it includes options for customers to search for Los Angeles limo services and other car services at LAX. Customers can create new reservations simply by entering their name, desired pickup date and time, the type of car they would like to rent and confidential payment information on the company’s secure network.

The app allows customers who travel around LAX frequently for work or family to save previous travel information and automatically request it again.

For more information, visit www.alliancelimo.net.

Reston Limousine Receives Highest Safety Rating

Reston Limousine and Travel Service, the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area’s largest limousine/shuttle service, scored the highest possible rating in an arduous, three-day Department of Defense (DOD) independent audit of all aspects of its safety performance. With this achievement, Reston Limousine is qualified to transport military personnel and provide transportation services for federal, state, city and county agencies.

“We are pleased to be awarded these designations, especially in light of recent public attention to several tragic limousine and bus accidents across the country,” said Kristina Bouweiri, president and CEO of Reston Limousine.

“The rigorous audit inspections were an extremely thorough test of our safety fitness,” said Reston Limousine’s safety and training manager Keith Johnson. He noted that while the outside audit is “very intense in regard to qualifications for all commercial vehicle drivers, it also measures other aspects of a transportation company, such as record-keeping, safety management programs, operational procedures and vehicle maintenance standards.”

Bouweiri added that while safety performance has always been a core value for the company, the recent designations by DOD and DOT are independent evidence that Reston Limousine “adheres to the highest possible safety standards.”

Founded in 1990, Reston Limousine has 260 employees and a 160-vehicle fleet, including buses, vans, limousines, and sedans. Reston Limousine serves the D.C. metropolitan area from headquarters in the Dulles Airport corridor and a satellite location in Capitol Heights, MD. In addition to its government shuttle transportation services, Reston Limousine is well known locally for innovative Virginia wine tours, D.C. brewery tours, wedding, social, and VIP transportation.

For more info on Reston Limousine, visit www.restonlimo.com.

American Comfort Limousines Supports Lighthouse of Collier’s Annual Summer Children’s Camp

When it comes to charitable efforts from luxury ground transportation companies, American Comfort Limousines is a standout. This summer, for the third year in a row, the Naples, FL company donated 80 hourly rides and transfers, at a value of over $9,000, to Lighthouse of Collier’s Annual Summer Children’s Camp.

Participants and volunteers at Lighthouse of Collier’s Annual Summer Children’s Camp



Lighthouse of Collier is an organization that helps over 20,000 vision-impaired and blind individuals in Southwest Florida. The foundation was established in 2009, and is the only organization of its kind in its region, with free programs that help blind and vision-impaired people become more independent in their everyday lives—“things that people with normal vision take for granted,” said Jon Ziemba, president of American Comfort Limousines.

The programs focus on life skills to help participants lead more self-sufficient lives, such as cooking, grooming, socializing, navigating, identifying money, using technology (such as computers with voice interfaces that “talk” to the user), and feeling safe in their daily environments.

During Lighthouse of Collier’s Annual Summer Children’s Camp— which ran from July 8 to Aug. 3 and experienced a 50 percent increase in campers over 2012—children enjoyed a range of activities and functions organized and presented by Lighthouse of Collier’s all-volunteer staff. They learned about music from around the world, played drums and tambourines, took lessons on gardening and planted their own cactus gardens. They overcame their fear of water, learned how to paddle board, and were taught about nature, with the opportunity to pet an alligator and a snake.

“One of the neatest things, though, was that they were able to play tennis using what is called a sound tennis ball,” said Ziemba. “The tennis balls are oversized and contain a device that beeps, so that blind and vision impaired children can hear the ball, hit it, and play a game of tennis.”

In addition to the support they give Lighthouse of Collier year-round, American Comfort Limousines provided daily transportation for six campers from their homes to camp, and back home again at the end of the day’s activities. The company also donated rides to over 20 campers and volunteers for five different field trips that took place during the Summer Camp.

American Comfort Limousines is a family-owned and -operated business, which was founded by John Ziemba, his father Ron, and his brother Craig in 2007. The company has grown from two to eleven vehicles since opening. “We all do a little bit of everything to run the business,” says Ziemba, “such as answering phones 24 hours every day, taking reservations and answering emails, doing the accounting, doing some basic vehicle maintenance, detailing the vehicles, and sometimes jumping in a vehicle to be the chauffeur for one of our clients.” American Comfort Limousines operates an all-black fleet of sedans, SUVs, passenger vans, stretch limousines and buses, and is the number-one rated company in the state of Florida on www.TransportationReviews.com, with a perfect score of 100 percent. For more information, visit www.americancomfortlimo.com.

As the only Center for Blindness and Vision Loss in Collier County, Lighthouse of Collier has claimed the responsibility of helping the area’s blind and vision-impaired children and adults become independent. The mission of the Lighthouse of Collier is to promote the development, implementation and ongoing evaluation of programs and services which foster independence and enhance the quality of life for the blind, the visually impaired, and their caregivers. For more information, visit www.lighthouseofcollier.org.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class: The “Most Intelligent Car on the Road”

The all-new 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class has raised the bar yet again within the automotive industry, featuring new levels of craftsmanship, refinement, and overall luxury.


Some of the new standard equipment includes 20 more horsepower, rearview camera, Panorama Sunroof, All-LED lighting (entire vehicle, inside/out), Keyless Start, and Magic Vision Control. With its beautiful interior craftsmanship that features heated armrests and hot stone seating massage, ionized air purification via the Air Balance Package, first-class rear-seat luxury, and a Burmester sound system, its character and overall presence is unmatched. It also includes an intelligent suspension system called Magic Body Control, which sees the road ahead and adjusts the suspension accordingly.

“Every time we introduce a new generation, we have the opportunity to deliver more power, greater efficiency and unmatched safety, backed with an improved value proposition,” said Steve Cannon, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA. “Not only is the new S-Class the most intelligent car on the road, it’s also a smart choice.”

Mercedes-Benz focuses on real-world safety with the goal of accident-free driving, and the S-Class offers a portfolio of more than 30 standard and optional active and passive safety technologies called Intelligent Drive.

For example, the Driver Assistance Package offers the following content:

  • Distronic Plus with Steering Assist: Radar-based cruise control system with semi-autonomous steering inputs that can work from 0-124 mph depending on road conditions. 
  • Pre-Safe Brake: Autonomously brakes the vehicle up to 31 mph with or without driver input, and can partially mitigate accidents up to 45 mph. 
  • Pre-Safe Plus: Rear-facing radar that senses possible rear collisions and prepares the vehicle for a possible secondary incident into an active intersection. 
  • BAS Plus with Cross Traffic Assist: Reads cross-traffic encounters with stereoscopic cameras and adds appropriate brake assistance to prevent an incident in an active intersection. 
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Protection: One-sided braking. 

Other Intelligent Drive safety features include Attention Assist and Night View Assist Plus with human and animal detection. For more information, visit www.mbusa.com.

WTS International Congratulates Feinberg on Executive Role at USDOT

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced that Sarah Feinberg will be joining the U.S. Department of Transportation as his chief of staff. WTS International, the association whose mission is to build the future of transportation through the global advancement of women, has historically had great support from the USDOT for its programs.

Sarah Feinberg's Resume:

•Previously served in President
Obama’s administration as a
special assistant to the
president and senior adviser
to White House Chief of Staff
(now Chicago Mayor) Rahm
Emanuel, serving as his
liaison to the Obama economic
team, the national security
team, and the press and
communications departments.
• Managed Facebook's Washington,
D.C.-based outreach and
communications, as well as
the company's political and
crisis communications.
“WTS International would like to congratulate Ms. Feinberg on her new post at the DOT,” said Marcia Ferranto, WTS president and CEO. “Secretary Foxx’s selection of a woman for an executive role illustrates his commitment to an administration led by a gender-diverse team. WTS looks forward to continuing our work to attract, retain, and advance women in transportation with Secretary Foxx’s team.”

According to Secretary Foxx’s announcement, Feinberg served in the Obama Administration as a special assistant to the president and senior advisor to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, serving as his liaison to the Obama economic team, the national security team, and the press and communications departments. Most recently, Feinberg managed Facebook’s Washington-based outreach and communications, as well as the company’s political and crisis communications. Prior to that, she served as Director of Communications and Business Strategy at Bloomberg LP, where she managed Bloomberg’s Washington-based communications.

WTS International and WTS Foundation, headquartered in Washington, D.C., seek to attract, retain, and advance women in transportation. WTS Foundation has provided more than $1,000,000 in scholarships to deserving women throughout the transportation industry, supporting the next generation of transportation professionals and advancing the principles of WTS.

For more information, visit www.WTSinternational.org.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Top Ten Logos in the Ground Transportation Industry

Having been involved in design and advertising for over 15 years, I know a good logo when I see one. Okay, I'm lying--I've been looking at and judging logos since I was old enough to tie my shoes. As a youngster, I even designed logos for fake football teams (go Wyoming Wildmen!). Logos are what I have always loved most about design.

Quite simply, logos succinctly encapsulate everything about a sports team (or, in this case, a limo company). Logos in business are equally important. A good logo shows that a company cares about the way they present themselves to the public. In my daily duties as the Creative Director of Limo Digest, I have become familiar with hundreds of ground transportation companies' logos. Here are my top 10 favorites. I am sure you may disagree with me, but save that for your own blog.

10. LSW Chauffeured Transportation
LSW Chauffeured Transportation
To show you how unbiased I am in this blog, I designed the original LSW logo that #10 replaced! LSW introduced a new logo a little over a year ago and they hit a home run with the typography and logo choice. Simple yet refined, they made great use of combining the LSW into an original and structured foundation. I also absolutely LOVE the green and dark blue color choices that LSW chose. The best way to describe this logo is: BIG but unobtrusive. Quietly confident. And that's a good thing in the ground transportation industry.

9. Allstar International

There's just something about this logo that sticks out to me, and I really can't articulate it. Needless to say, it just made my list. Maybe it has to do with how it all fits together so well. Nothing seems forced. Also, the "star " makes me think of the Dallas Cowboys, and the corporate colors fit the scheme perfectly. I actually hate that I love this one, to be honest. But only because I hate the Cowboys. It works and it works well.

8.  Montreal Limousine
Montreal Limousines
Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of visiting Montreal would understand how well this logo articulates the look and feel of this Canadian city located in the province of Quebec. The understated motion and abbreviated "MTL" combined with the skyline of the city, as well as the blue and gray color scheme, communicate corporate travel without omitting the word "limousine." Undertones of the French architecture and language are hinted at as well, all coming together into an icon that embodies trustworthiness and ease of travel.

7. Kings Worldwide Transportation
Kings Worldwide Transportation
A great logo clarifies and accentuates the meaning behind the icon you chose to represent your company. The Kings Worldwide Transportation logo exemplifies history and class, which resonates perfectly with the name and industry. If I may return to the football motif I began with in my intro: When it comes to demonstrating power, choosing red as your primary color is a touchdown in the logo department. This logo works for me because it parallels the company’s personality and vision. Globes are a staple in the ground transportation industry and when used improperly, can get stale. However, in the logo above, it is used in such a way that it "crowns" the powerful font choice. I also love how the "swoosh" mirrors the globe to effectively communicate movement.

6. Angel Limousine
When looking at a page full of company logos, the Angel Worldwide Transportation logo leaps off the page and commands attention. Not only is it the choice of colors, but the choice of fonts that convey a sense of comfort and reliability. It's very clean and cool - would look great on a hat or a tee shirt. This is an example of an icon above the name standing alone with great effectiveness. The wings are symmetrical and the subtle yet implied globe is a nice detail. I would use the word "heavenly," but I'm trying to be original here!

5. CLI Worldwide Transportation

Here is a logo that just looks dependable. I love the bold use of purple in the logo and the way the globe is enclosed by the larger C. It just demands respect without coming off as pretentious. The use of both serif and sans serif fonts makes the logo look elegant and steady. To be honest, this is a logo that I wanted to dislike because it follows a formula. But it's just too good at following that formula to ignore. Sometimes doing what is expected isn't the wrong choice. You just have to be good enough at it to get noticed. CLI's logo does just that.

4. Overland Chauffeured Services

If this was the NFL (last football reference, I promise... actually, second to last), Overland would be the the Chicago Bears. Overtly simple yet stylish, the logo reads clearly and stands out in a crowd - just by being itself. And isn't that what we all want in life? The big "O" defines classic and historic, but gives the viewer just enough motion to hint at progressive. I also love the subtle open "A" in "Overland" and how it mirrors the "V". It's a seamless combination of motion and stability. If it's not broke, don't try and fix it.

3. Logic Limo
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Logic Limo. I'm beginning to show my bias towards green, but I love when a company takes a risk. And this is a risk that pays off. Simply put, it stands out not only in its composition but in its choice of fonts and colors. You can't stop staring at it and its originality makes the brand stay in your head long after you've turned away. Way to break the rules, guys. Sometimes that works, too.

2. Grand Avenue
Not only is this a personal favorite, but an overwhelming favorite of everyone in the Limo Digest staff. Like a Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend, it's the perfect combination of classic elements resulting in an exceptionally modern logo. The typography and effective yet simple color scheme of greens and grays balance out the progressive feel of the top half of the logo. The best feature is that the icon above the name of the company can stand alone with equal brand  identity. There is no other logo quite like it in this industry. One of the other elements that I love about the logo is its inclusion of the company tag line: Be Driven. That simple phrase can be carried over into any aspect of business and personal success. The whole formula adds up to a winning combination that exemplifies strength,  and consistency of service with an eye on the future of ground transportation.

1. Zetian Limousine
Did you know that Wu Zetian was a Chinese sovereign in the Zhou dynasty? Neither did I until I Googled it. To my surprise, however, that's not why they named their company Zetian. It was decided on after combining the owner's wife's nickname (Zet) and his first name (Brian). I only did all this sleuthing and gumshoeing to find the origin of the company name because I just loved the logo so much. Not only did I love the logo, but again this was one everyone picked as a favorite. The reason: it looks luxurious without trying to be luxurious. Maybe it's the silver and black combined with a rich purple backdrop. Sometimes great art cannot be defined... it simply has to be experienced. This is the case with the winning logo. It just came out on top.

The following logos didn't make the cut, but I felt were worthy of mentioning as really good in their own right.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Tristar Worldwide
Simple yet forward thinking. Classic and strong. Tristar keeps it minimal but balances out the basic with subtle overtones and quality attention-to-detail. It's a logo that has a ton of functionality and is adaptable in every medium. That is the benefit of a versatile logo, and that was clearly a priority in this logo design.

Paradise Worldwide Transportation
How do you utilize a palm tree in a logo without looking like a budget cruise? Like this. If you're able to capture the feeling of a luxury resort destination in black and white, then you clearly know what you;re doing. I'm a sucker for gothic fonts - and the use of it here effectively balances out beachy leisure with corporate professionalism.

There you have it. The ten best logos in the industry and then some. A perfectly executed logo in the ground transportation industry can give your ground transportation company a huge head start. Make the most of this important branding decision to make sure your company's core values are communicated effectively.

What logo or logos do you like? Were there logos you think I missed and would like to mention? I welcome your input!


Written by
Art Director
john@limodigest.com

Featured Ad

The Latest

Association Calendar