Orders Up For Luxury Fleets

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DETROIT, Sept. 17 (UPI) — U.S. businesses owners that cater to wealthy customers said new orders are coming in and some of those orders are larger than ever.

Dunkin Aviation of Battle Creek, Mich., and Lincoln, Neb., a specialist in plane maintenance and a rebuilder of plane interiors, said business got to the point in 2009 where staff was doing busy work, The Detroit News reported Saturday.

For a while customers placed orders for necessities, such as new carpeting when the old one was wearing out. But orders for interior cabin overhauls worth $1 million are increasing, said company spokeswoman Lori Johnson.

Revenue has jumped 17.6 percent for the first eight months of the year from 2009 to 2011, she said.

Michigan boat builder Sunsation Boats went through similar ups and downs. The company built 70 boats in 2006. After that “almost no sales a year,” said Chief Financial Officer Joe Schaldenbrand.

In 2010, the company received orders for seven boats — and these are customers, Schaldenbrand said, who don’t go to the bank for a loan to build a boat that costs between $150,000 and $750,000. “Basically, they just write me checks,” he said.

The company expects orders this year to build 20 boats that are more upscale than before the downturn, the newspaper said.

Similarly, Voodoo Choppers of Rochester, Mich., expects orders for up to six custom-built motorcycles this year, two to three times what it built during the recession.

The motorcycles the shop puts out cost up to $100,000. “This is a luxury item. No one needs a custom motorcycle sitting in their garage,” said Voodoo Chopper owner Eric Gorges.

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