Wealth Auto Show makes west home - 2016 staging July 2-3 at MoBay Convention Centre
The first Wealth Auto Show of new cars was held in 2011 at the National Arena, Arthur Wint Drive, St Andrew. The second, staged in 2014, was held in Montego Bay, St James, and so will this year's staging in six weeks time. The show will be open to the public at 10 a.m. on both days, Saturday, July 2, and Sunday, July 3.
Location seems to have been settled as, in a release to the media, Leighton Davis, managing director of Creative Media and Events, which owns Wealth Magazine, said, "We chose Montego Bay because most events are held in Kingston and we believe that Jamaicans from the north and western side deserve a world-class auto show."
Speaking to Automotives, Davis' business partner, Garth Walker, reiterated their company's commitment to a quality auto show in that region. He added that there is a strong automobile culture in that side of the island - which may have contributed to more sales being generated at the 2014 Wealth Auto Show, although there were actually more people at the first one in Kingston.
With Jamaica National (JN) Auto Loan, the show's exclusive sponsor, offering a five per cent loan rate (with conditions) and the company's insurance arm, Jamaica National General Insurance (JNGI), also on hand, Davis is optimistic about units being moved on the day. Confirmed dealers are ATL, Stewart's, Vehicles and Supplies, Key Motors, Fidelity, and Kia, and there are strong indications of additional dealers.
To stimulate the market, Davis is hoping that the participating dealers will support the JN effort with bargain prices.
There is another factor in making MoBay the home of the 2016 Wealth Auto Show. Davis pointed out that there is no competition with the Automobile Dealers Association's (ADA) biennial show - which long predates the Wealth Auto Show - staged at the National Arena. It was last held in 2014.
"The ADA show is in Kingston, and we have taken the show strategically to Montego Bay. We are giving them their space in Kingston, while we own our space in Montego Bay," he said. In addition, Walker said, "We are part of the auto industry. In the year that we have a show and the ADA does not, we are expanding the reach of the brands. We are supporting the ADA in that sense."
He raised the possibility of the show being staged annually, which will be decided in conjunction with the dealers when the 2016 staging is analysed. However, even if the schedule stays at every two years, Walker said he still has something up his sleeve for the off years to satisfy the new car dealers.
"We are trying to plan better so that, in the future, the dealers can budget," Walker said. As for the organisers, Walker said that staging the Wealth Auto Show is "quite costly", although he would not put a definite figure on the outlay.
The added tax on fuel combined with a weakening Jamaican dollar against major hard currencies came into play after the 2016 Wealth Auto Show was planned. Still, Walker does not believe it will affect sales. He noted that the 2016 and 2017 vehicles which will be on display are more fuel efficient than previous models with the same engine size. "Even though you may be spending more on petrol, you are seeing more mileage per litre," Walker said.
"I don't think it will affect the overall quality of the show."