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Wider 'Range' of luxury rides for Stewart's

Published:Sunday | July 26, 2015 | 7:00 AMKawain Fearon
Christina Lechler Hudson (centre) with Duncan Stewart (left) and Jackie Stewart Lechler.
Adam Stewart, ATL CEO
The famed Jaguar insignia.
A Land Rover Discovery4.
Bob Marley’s Land Rover restored and in pristine condition.
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Luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) are driving down to the Stewart's Auto Sales lot after local control of the brands was given up by ATL Automotives.

The dealership right for the brands was recently acquired by Stewart's Auto Sales. This will see the expansion of Stewart's luxury brand portfolio, which includes BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

According to brand manager at Stewart's Christina Lechler Hudson, "Jaguar and Land Rover complement our existing brand portfolio, further extending Stewart's lead in the premium luxury segment."

The company is still in the planning phase of the acquisition, however, and Lechler Hudson said sales and servicing of the brands would be temporarily done at 49 1/2 South Camp Road from September 1. The permanent new home for JLR in Jamaica will be announced later this year.

Although the dealership is changing hands, persons with Land Rover and Jaguar vehicles under warranty are still covered, Lechler Hudson said. "Customers who purchased Jaguar and/or Land Rover vehicles from ATL that are in need of warranty repairs after September 1, 2015, may have warranty repairs effected by Stewart's Auto Sales Ltd provided that all terms of the manufacturer's warranty policy are met."

Adam Stewart, ATL CEO, in a release announcing its breaking of ties with the JLR brands, said "Working with Jaguar and Land Rover has been an enjoyable and exciting journey but, ultimately, we've made this decision based on what is right for our company and to enable us to focus on our other brands, and where we believe the future of the automotive industry in Jamaica lies."

ATL, which has represented the JLR brands locally through Interamericana Trading Company - the regional JLR dealers - for the last five years, will be looking to forge a direct relationship with car manufacturers in a bid to cut out the middle man.

"While ITC is a great, well-run company, they have to make a margin. I made a strategic decision where I said that we only want to deal factory-direct - I find it more efficient. All the other brands that we sell we deal factory-direct. I don't have a middle agent, which ultimately adds to costs and makes parts very expensive," said the ATL Group CEO.

kawain.fearon@gleanerjm.com