High hopes for Motor Show 2014
The Automobile Dealers Association (ADA) Motor Show 2015 was officially opened at the National Arena, Arthur Wint Drive, on Friday evening, with high hopes being expressed for the business of new car sales and service. The show continued yesterday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., the same running time as today's final of three days.
"We have so many things to be proud of," ADA chairman Kent LaCroix told the gathering of mainly new car dealers and sponsors' representatives at the show's official launch, which took place ahead of the show being opened to the public at
LaCroix said the previous show - held in March 2012 - "was a huge success and, for this year, we are expecting no less."
Describing the ADA Motor Show as "a remarkable event", LaCroix said that despite "trying economic times, interest in the new car industry is alive and well." And, LaCroix promised the gathering, "You will be flabbergasted by the array of vehicles we have in there."
Guest speaker Earl Jarrett, general manager of Jamaica National Building Society,
took a look at the development of motor cars, starting with
his days at the steering wheel
of VW Bug. "As a young
adult I used to be called
(British race car driver)
Stirling Moss," Jarrett said. Many years later, however, he heads the Jamaica Automobile Association and is deeply
involved in the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).
From this perspective which prioritises safety, Jarrett looked back at a different time in Jamaica's car importation policy when, among other shortfalls, "many persons had very bad experiences in the short and long term." However now, Jarrett said, there is a huge difference in terms of choice and after sales service, which is comparable to anywhere in the world.
And although the internal combustion engine has come in for much criticism for exhaust pollution, Jarrett pointed out (to some laughter from the audience) that the horses and other animals which preceded it produced "biological waste" in places like Kingston, New York and London, contributing to the spread of diseases.
Jarrett said the automobile connects cities and families, but then moved on to the safety issues involved in that movement, pointing to Jamaica's inordinately high road crash death rate. Still, there is hope in the new Road Traffic Act and the possibility of road safety continuing to be included among the Sustainabale Development Goals (an effort that Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce were involved in).
If the latter goes forward, it would eventually lead to the release of funds which could be used to build safer roads and modernise examination depots, among other upgrades.
The Gleaner's Online Sales manager, Rainford Wint, expressed the media entity's pleasure in partnering with the ADA, saying that "The Gleaner offers print, radio and online", with "timely, relevant and credible information."
"ADA members know they are getting value for their advertising dollar," Wint said.
And Norma Brown-Bell of the RJR Communications Group said that company "is a very happy partner" in an ongoing relationship, as most members of the ADA already utilise RJR's goods and services.
The speeches over the ribbon was cut to officially open the ADA Motor Show 2014.