Industry Spotlight - Michael Figaro
Published by The Chauffeur Magazine, UK. February 2006
We called him 'The first American', which in itself is quite a statement, however, Michael Figaro based in New York has been introducing limousines in great numbers into the UK for more than a decade.
If you are involved in the limousine industry, you have probably spoken or dealt with Michael somewhere along the line. As well as Michael being a familiar face at all limousine shows and gatherings around the world, he also has a very interesting background.
When Michael started out to develop the industry in 1986, he was almost working for free, as he was investing large amounts of money into introducing limousines into the UK where it was a tiny industry. In 1986 Michael started his first limo hire firm in New York and purchased several Krystal limousines.
At this time, Krystal was still relatively small, which allowed him to build up a very special relationship with the company. In 1996 he was then hired by Krystal to open the first factory owned dealership in the country.
Michael commented; "Even to this day, I have a great passion in the UK market and still invested lots of time and money. The UK is not just a pay cheque for me, I have a sense of accomplishment and a true love for the industry.
Most dealers in the USA have never even met there UK clients unless they actually came to the States. I am in England every 45 to 60 days seeing my clients, networking them all together not just my larger ones but all of them." He added.
Back in the mid-nineties, there were very few limousines in the UK, Michael was commissioned by an American recording artist to send over three limos just to be used for her UK tour, as hiring them here would have been far too difficult.
Since 2002, Michael has owned Contemporary Coachworks based in New Jersey which has since become one the largest used limo dealerships in the world. 2004 saw the company merge with Jay Glick, who worked for American Custom Coach and Tiffany.
The future is looking even brighter for the company with the addition of a ten spot car park in the Port of Elizabeth which helps them speed up the export process. It has soon outgrown the premises and will soon be leasing two additional car parks.
A five acre site is now being developed which is due to be completed and opened in November 2006. The new site will make the full service dealership one of the largest around.
Today, when all the major limousine manufactures are known in this country, Michael can always been seen in and around the Royal Ascot car park talking to the many drivers and owners he has built relationships with over the past ten years.
Published by The Chauffeur magazine, UK. February 2006Published by The Chauffeur magazine The Chauffeur Magazine, UK. February 2006