The ‘Oscar’ give a respite to battered limousines business

The Hollywood Oscar awards season culminate in Los Angeles, a period of “good times” for limousine companies that see little “glamor” in the business prospects of a year marked by the crisis.

Some companies in this sector in California barely surviving infected by the lack of general credit and spending cuts in the multinationals, especially the entertainment, which feed the industry.

However, January and February is their inspiration for their bottom thanks to the numerous trips that are demanded red carpet in Los Angeles for awards such as the Golden Globes, the Grammys and the Oscars.

“The 29 car of my fleet are reserved for the Oscars,” said Efe VP Operations at Prime Limousine Service, Alex Tuzman, who has spent 12 years dedicated to the transport sector, the last five full to the luxury services.
“Currently, more movement, more than in the previous months, but do not know how we do when we pass the Oscars. The crisis is very hard and started to suffer more than a year ago with the writers strike. Those months my company lost 40,000 to $ 50,000, “he said.

The rest of 2008, the company saw its trips to the airport fell, the most common of its services, from 70 per day to an average of 15, even though their prices are only 20 percent higher than that of a taxi conventional “but with the greatest customer service possible,” he said.

“There is less demand for what we do. They are lowering the costs of travel, but we must not throw ourselves off a bridge,” said Scott Solombrino, president of Dav El Chauffeured Transportation Network and business regarding limousines in the U.S. in the fair LCT Show held in January in Las Vegas.

The truth is that the luxury sector is often endure better than other swings in the economy, as their customers continue to have high purchasing power, while the services contracted by the middle class for celebrations is reduced.

The only way to overcome this economic downturn without falling by the wayside, according Tuzman was saving face, ie maintaining quality levels without damaging the customer’s pocket.

“This year especially I have been asked a dozen bottles of champagne ‘Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut’ in one of my cars for the Oscars,” he confessed Tuzman while holding one of those drinks you consume your passengers, of which reserved the name.

The cream of Hollywood

In his vehicle, he said, have traveled celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Steven Spielberg, Paris Hilton, Donald Trump, Penelope Cruz, or Los Angeles Lakers players, including Pau Gasol.

“Names that name, has traveled with us,” he said proudly.

“The key is word of mouth. Satisfied repeat customers and cars have all the comforts: bar, television, music, karaoke … which is no longer carry sunroof that was of little incidents. People out and shouting, “he said.
Even if there is an important aspect is safety Tuzman therefore equipped with tracking systems and webcams to vehicle (in the driver) to control the service at all times.

One of their drivers, Gary Sanders, said he had seen it all in his 30 years of driving experience and you do not impress celebrities.

“They are normal people, they put their pants just like we do,” he said jokingly Sanders, who said that the best tips come from anonymous clients.

“I have come to give $ 2,000 for transportation,” he recalled while explaining that the lower tip gave it a familiar face on U.S. television.

“I said buy yourself a coffee” and gave me the five dollar bill older than you can imagine. This guy goes on TV every weekend, “he exclaimed.

The driver reported that most of the celebrities prefer to avoid large limousines, except for special events, because they like to go unnoticed.

Some, like Leonardo Di Caprio, hybrid vehicles require respect for the environment.


More Information (in Spanish) –