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VIDEO: A great show

BY BRIAN BONITTO Associate Editor — Auto and Entertainment bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com
Friday, March 30, 2012


DAYS after the shutters came down on a successful Scotiabank-sponsored Automotive Dealers Association (ADA) Motor Show at the National Arena on Sunday, chairman Kent LaCroix is considering the possibility of staging a second show this year in Montego Bay.

LaCroix said such a show would give persons in western Jamaica an equal opportunity to see newest and latest models offered by local dealers.

"I think a Montego Bay show would be great for both consumers and dealers," he told Auto. "However, this would be dependent on a couple of factors, such as a large enough venue and the costs associated with staging the event in the second city."

LaCroix, who has served at the ADA's helm for eight consecutive terms, was quick to point out that nothing had yet been confirmed.

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Sunday saw the conclusion of a three-day automotive show, which was last staged in 2007. The members of the 18-member ADA showcased over 80 new vehicles and motorcycles inside and on the grounds of the National Arena in St Andrew.

"We [the association] were very pleased with the show. It was an excellent performance by the dealers, financial institutions and all the participants involved," LaCroix told Auto. "I think we had about 10,000 persons over the three days, but the final figures are not yet in."

Despite the rains and low turnout on Friday's opening day, the motor show was opened with much excitement and enthusiasm.

Anthony Hylton, minister of industry, investment and commerce, said he was pleased to see the auto show on again after its cancellation since 2009.

"This has been traditionally the premiere event where we come to see what's new and available in the market," Hylton told Auto. "This year seems to make up for lost time, as there's a wide variety of new vehicles on show."

The minister said he was particularly impressed with the improved technology of the vehicle offerings.

"I'm delighted to see the innovation, the technology and the new, fuel-efficient vehicles which are now available that should have the additional impact of reducing fuel usage and emissions," he said. "With the financing arrangement in place, we [the government] believe it will stimulate and drive the market."

Wayne Powell, Scotiabank's executive vice president — retail banking, commended the ADA for staging the event, which he said could serve as economic stimulus.

"Dreams and ambitions should never be constrained by economic indicators. And Scotiabank is here and will be here in the future to help persons live their dreams and discover what is possible," he said.

For the duration of the event, Scotiabank offered the lowest loan rate of 9.5 per cent per annum.

Adam Stewart, deputy chairman of ATL Automotive Ltd, applauded the ADA for organising the show.

"Mr Kent LaCroix has worked hard on this event, which will be good overall for the entire industry," Stewart told Auto. The deputy chairman -- whose company is the authorised dealer for Land Rover, Range Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Volkwagen and Honda — also had a word for prospective purchasers.

"In my company, I believe the best way to know my products is to touch, feel and drive them. So, before you make a decision, you should understand the product and get to know the details of the vehicle you wish to buy," he said.

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