Craftsmen Limousine Inc. 1989-1990 - Springfield, Missouri - 1990-1992 Nixa, Missouri - 1992-1994 - Springfield Missouri - 1994-present - Ozark, Missouri
Craftsmen Limousine was started from ground zero on January 1, 1989 by Robert J. and Robert M. (Marc) Haswell; Father and Son. Their concept is to provide a business where people who want it their way don't have to take model A, B, or C. They build all the parts, that make up a limousine, by hand. Everything is fit to the application. They are custom builders, on customer supplied base units. They 'stretch' normal cars to limousines, where you get some standard equipment combined with a number of free-to-choose options, like exterior color change, a fifth door or a Super Nintendo Mounted in the Cabinet.
One of the few firms stretching the new 2005 Chrysler 300 and Cadillac Escalade. 1991 Rolls-Royce Silver Spur II stretched to a Limousine in 1998 by Craftsmen Limousine in Springfield MO.
Craftsmen Limo; The ultimate in exquisite pleasures. Indulge yourself and your clientele in a custom stretch limousine with a list of standard features as long as the SUVs we convert. Luxury begins with dual alternators; dual AC Compressors and overhead AC vents; and much more. Your vehicle will be converted with a non-transferable lifetime warranty for the repair and trouble-shooting of the electrical control systems and against stretch sagging, breaking or bending. The people at Craftsmen Limousine are committed to manufacturing quality conversions and to keeping every customer on the road to success. We offer the service of converting your vehicle into a stretch limo. We also sell mid-sized Buses (under our trademark name LIMBUSINE™).
They built their first Lexus stretch in 1990, stretching it 93" in the middle. They've also made a 120" 1957 Chevy stretch and have worked on stretch Jaguars, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillacs, Chevrolets, and Lincolns. Some of their earlier Lincoln limos featured dual rear axles.
Luxury Limos Stretched From New And Used Suv, Custom Built Limousines And Buses Built To Your Specs.
Our favorite limousine builder is Craftsmen Limousine. They strive to build the finest user friendly and safest limousines that money can buy. Owners Bob and Marc Haswell will take your Lincoln Towncar base model and transform it into one of the finest automobiles in the country. Cars can be ordered stretched into lengths that will accommodate passengers of 6 up to 18 in the rear of the vehicle.
Full Caption: Craftsmen Limousine, Inc., and
JMRL Sales & Service, Inc., d/b/a Craftsmen Limousine v. Ford Motor Company
and American Custom Coachworks (Eighth Circuit, Nos. 03-1441/1544).
This case involves limousine manufacturing. Limousines
are not made by automobile manufacturers, such as Ford, but by independent
firms that buy vehicles and convert them into limousines. After a series of
publicized limousine accidents in the late 1980’s, the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) expanded federal efforts to impose
uniform safety standards on limousine producers. One firm, Craftsmen
Limousine, had their limousines recalled after the firm did not file
required engineering analyses with NHTSA.
Craftsmen failed to demonstrate any coercive or fraudulent conduct on the part of any defendant. As the Eighth Circuit stated, Ford simply established a voluntary safety protocol, and exercised its power within the marketplace to encourage the protocol’s adoption. Craftsmen ultimately has no right to advertise in a particular publication or appear at a given trade show. Even if Ford and other limousine manufacturers threatened a group boycott if Craftsmen was not excluded, such conduct was neither unreasonable nor anticompetitive. Ford was trying to promote its vision of a safer limousine, hardly an anti-consumer premise. If Craftsmen believed its product was safe and met consumer needs, it should have made greater efforts to promote its limousines outside traditional industry forums, rather than subjecting itself and the defendants to more than five years of litigation. There were no grounds, in CVT’s view, to support the jury’s verdict, and a retrial should vindicate the defendants on all counts.
Larry Plachno - Craftsmen Limousine: A Success Story in Mid-Size Buses - National Bus Trader - April, 2003
One of the more interesting success stories in the bus business today centers around Craftsmen Limousine of Ozark, Missouri. Founders Bob and Marc Haswell, a father and son team apparently have an ability to guess where the market is going and get there ahead of it. Their unique mid-size, body-on-chassis buses are not only selling well, but customers are pounding on their doors to place repeat orders. One big reason for their success is that even with a questionable economy, these buses are making money for their owners. Here is the interesting background on this successful company and how it got where it is today. The story behind Craftsmen Limousine starts with Robert J. Haswell. Bob’s father died in an industrial accident when he was a youngster, and he was raised by his mother who was a school teacher. They moved to Springfield, Missouri, in 1946 when she was hired by the public school system there. Bob married his high school sweetheart, Janet Sell, in 1955, and they subsequently had three children: Pam, Saundra, and Robert M. (Marc) who later joined him in business. Bob and Janet are about to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their first date. In the 12 years after graduating from high school, Bob held a variety of jobs including working for Kraft Foods, Fuller Brush Co. and an assistant manager for Crown Finance Corp. He then sold life insurance for American National Insurance and managed the casualty insurance division for C.O. Sperry. In 1967, Bob started his own insurance business handling excess and surplus insurance as well as writing hard-to-place lines of insurance for other brokers. In 1970, he got into manufactured housing by erecting mobile homes and briefly building them. He also got involved with developing lots and a subdivision. Going back into insurance in 1976, Bob started a malpractice insurance company for doctors. For a dozen years starting in 1977, Bob answered a call to the ministry and served as the pastor of churches that he and his wife had founded. Meanwhile, Bob’s son Marc had completed high school and attended Evangel College for two years. He established the USA Today delivery route for Branson, Missouri and then was employed by Executive Coach Builders in Springfield. Here he developed some expertise and experience in several areas including limousines and became interested in going off on his own.
As a result, Bob and Marc started what became Craftsmen Limousine in 1989. Bob and Marc were soon faced with the limo depression of 1990-1992. They turned this to their advantage by being able to hire experienced help who had been let go by other companies downsizing. By late 1989, they were already stretching limos and looking for production space. October of 1990 found the company moving to a larger facilities in Nixa, Missouri, which they soon outgrew. Less than two years later, in February of 1992, the company moved into part of the complex of the bankrupt Corporate Coach Works plant in Springfield, Missouri. This also proved inadequate, and the move to the current facility in Ozark, Missouri, took place in August of 1994.
Over the years, Craftsmen Limousine
developed a reputation for innovation and
new features. They were the first to offer TVs
mounted in the front post, mirrored ceilings,
side reflective fiber optics, dual axle limousines
with quad air bag, rear springs and the
highly effective slave rear braking system.
Dual alternators for supplying electricity
were offered in 1996.
Stretching limousines is still the largest
company activity. In the late 1990s, the company
was still stretching town cars into a
length of 180 inches. Some were equipped
with dual rear axles. In 1999, management
predicted that the future of the stretched limousine
business was in SUV vehicles rather
than town cars and switched production
exclusively to SUV stretchouts. Today’s
products include the stretched Lincoln Navigator,
Cadillac Escalade, Ford Excursion
Expansion into buses came as a result of
pressure from existing limousine customers
who wanted more seats and more passenger
amenities. To meet this need, Craftsmen
purchased a 27-foot bus shell from Goshen
Coach in 1997 and installed a limousine interior
which seated 23 passengers with a
restroom. While this proved successful, the
limo operators wanted a larger bus with
more features. Unable to find a workable
mid-size bus on the market, Craftsmen Limousine
decided to find a suitable chassis and
Requests from customers for a more
sophisticated bus prompted Craftsmen Limousine
to work with Freightliner in 2001 to
obtain a rear engine raised center rail chassis
which would allow underfloor luggage
I am sure one of the reasons for the success of Craftsmen Limousine is their high degree of vertical integration. After moving into their current facility in 1994, the building was expanded to provide room for several in-house departments. Now covering a little more than 26,000 square feet, the facility includes a carpenter shop, upholstery shop, electrical shop, painting and finishing areas, and even a steel shop with sheet metal tools. Most of the parts going on and into the limousines and buses are built in-house. I noted that some of the fiberglass and cabinetry is outsourced, but most everything else including parts of the metal frame structure are built right in the same plant. The current facility is large enough to work on 10 SUV stretched limousines along with five buses.
Bob and Marc Haswell did not want just
another “throw away” bus. As a result, both
bus models offered have several features
which make them stronger, more durable,
and more like the big buses than the typical
mid-sized bus. Both models are 101.5
inches wide and use 22.5 bus wheels and
tires. They are heavily undercoated to prevent
rust. The frame structure is designed
with some flexibility to insure a long life and
is puck mounted to the chassis to reduce
vibration. Big bus insulation is used with
solid inserts into the frame structure. A one-piece
fiberglass roof is used with matching
end caps to eliminate roof leaks. Space-age
bubble insulation is used in the roof.
The standard floor in a Craftsmen Limousine
bus is designed so that the owner can
wet vac it in the event that customers spill
their favorite beverage. Above the floor is a
layer of foam for both thermal and sound
insulation. This is covered by one-eighth
inch thick waterproof rubber followed by a
commercial grade carpet. Sidewalls are
made from Alukabond which consists of
two pieces of aluminum glued on each side
of a honeycomb core which is then glued to
the exterior steel frame.
A Bode electric plug door is standard
equipment as is a Thetford electric flush toilet.
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