The limousine as we know it, the long, stretched Cadillac or Lincoln with seating for up to nine passengers is dying a slow death. Taking the limo’s place has been normal-sized luxury sedans (BMW 7-Series/ Mercedes-Benz S-Class) and luxury SUVs (Cadillac Escalade/Lincoln Navigator). But these vehicles lack some of the comfort features, flexibility, privacy, and amenities that limos of the past offered. This has especially been the case for business titans and celebrities that want to work while they are being transported, as well as just those that cherish their privacy.
Heeding the call for a new type of chauffeur driven transport, many limousine conversion companies have shifted their attention to converting large commercial vans, their focus primarily placed on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Luxury outfitted Sprinters can usually be rented through high-end transport companies or purchased outright. In fact, the trend for the super-affluent is to commission customized versions for individual needs that run as high as a half million dollars.
Nearly two-thirds of limousine conversion companies have shifted away from sedans to large vans like the Sprinter.
Iceology Research Communities, January 2019
These customized configurations can range from fully contained offices for CEOs of major corporations to rolling spas for prominent celebrities. Some of the features being added by owners are flat screen computer monitors, advanced connectivity, customized sound systems, espresso machines, wine vaults, and even bathrooms. Their interiors can also be wrapped in exotic fabrics and include expensive art pieces. Some owners are even going so far as to modify the suspension system and acoustics of their Sprinters for a smoother and quieter ride.
The typical hot spots for these luxury Sprinters are in New York, South Florida, Los Angeles, and Silicon Valley. It’s not uncommon to see several black Sprinters traveling down the 101 on any given work day, carrying movie industry executives and celebrities from Montecito to LA and down I- 95 carrying hedge fund managers from Greenwich to Manhattan. It’s amazing how many people comment that “those black Mercedes-Benz Sprinters are cool”.
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