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Cadillac is hoping to use an unconventional marketing strategy to lure buyers to its upcoming XTS sedan, with plans to market it to limo services as a livery vehicle or “black car”.
While the livery car market is a small niche segment, it naturally attracts a fair number of high-end clients who use the vehicles as executive transport. In New York City, livery cars are ubiquitous among the affluent set, who ride in the back of Town Cars and Suburbans rather than their own vehicle.
Cadillac is hoping to get the XTS into the hands of livery car operators, since the Lincoln Town Car, the king of the livery car segment, has ended, and Lincoln’s replacement, based on the MKT, has been a sales flop. The XTS models sold to livery operators will be identical to the consumer version in terms of content, though livery drivers will be able to have the wheelbase stretched by approved coachbuilders.
From there, Cadillac is hoping that buyers of import brands will come away impressed with the Cadillac, and this will ostensibly translate into conquest sales for the brand.
[Source: Automotive News]
The Lincoln Town Car is legendary for its ubiquity as a “black car”, a private limo for the well-to-do in New York City and other swanky locales. But with the Panther Platform vehicles (like the Town Car, Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis) set to be killed off very shortly, Lincoln has been scrambling for an alternative.
The new MKT Town Car is a very different machine than the Town Car its replacing. The big sedan was a rear-drive, body-on-frame vehicle that was beloved for its robust nature, cheap repair costs and the ability to go for untold miles without needing anything more than routine maintenance. On the other hand, the MKT is based on a front-drive chassis (though all-wheel-drive is available) and uses a modern V6 engine.
Operators will likely be skeptical that the MKT can handle the rigors of endless commuter duty through the pot-hole ridden pavement of Manhattan, so Lincoln has beefed up the chassis, brakes and other components to handle this task – and to provide a re-enforcements should clients wish to stretch the MKT by 10 feet, a capability built in to the Town Car from the factory. Wi-fi capability, a SYNC system and special rear seat pockets are maps and newspapers are further concessions made for the livery car market.
The rear seats have been moved back by 1.5 inches to allow for more leg room with reclining rear seats and controls for the front passenger chair, should back seat riders desire more leg room. With 39.6 cubic feet of cargo space, the MKT also boasts more room for material objects than the Town Car, even if the old-money cachet of the outgoing vehicle isn’t quite the same.
Hit the jump for the official press release
Gallery: Lincoln MKT Town Car