The “black car” business in the United States has nearly exclusively relied on one vehicle for years – the Lincoln Town Car. If you want transportation to and from a major airport in the United States, or around a metropolitan area, the Town Car is likely what you’ll be riding in.
Operators like the car for its bulletproof reliability, and passengers for its carnivorous rear passenger compartment. It is a perfect car for this application. As such, there has been a lot of goodwill for the Town Car for use in this fashion. Its remarkable how the Panther platform found niches – Crown Victoria as a police car, Town Car as executive transport. In the retail market though, the Town Car fall out of favor as it was left to continue without any updates.
With a little investment things could have been different, but now Lincoln finds itself pushing a special-edition livery MKT Town Car instead. It remains to be seen whether operators will take to this vehicle, but Cadillac is hoping to jump into the market with a special version of the XTS.
The XTS was just revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show as Cadillac’s stand-in flagship model. We heard some noises about the vehicle being aimed at the black car market, and this news confirms it. In Las Vegas at the International LCT show Cadillac will be showing off the XTS W20 Livery Sedan Package. It will be aimed directly at this market, and will include extended-wheelbase iterations. With the demise of this market, Cadillac is hoping the XTS will find a niche.
The question is, will it be a good thing for Cadillac if it is successful in this market? Many times vehicles that find homes in fleets suffer in the retail market. We’re sure that is a fate Cadillac would like to avoid. We think if the XTS is deployed in a limited fashion at high-end locations, it could be a good thing. If it becomes ubiquitous like the Town Car, retail sales will suffer.