Wealth Auto cements place in Montego Bay - 2016 show ends today at convention centre
Before the general public got a look at the vehicles on display inside the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St James, yesterday, a high-powered walk-through of the 2016 Wealth Auto Show was scheduled for Friday evening.
Among those slated to see the sheen of new vehicles under the lights were Karl Samuda, minister of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries, members of parliament Dr Horace Chang and Derrick Kellier, Mayor Glendon Harris and Gloria Henry, president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Garth Walker of Creative Media and Events Ltd, which organises the Wealth Auto Show, said this underscores the show's place in the western end of the island in the long term. "It is very important to cement the presence of the auto show in MoBay. This is a standard norm for Kingston events of this nature, so we have to show respect to the west and afford them the same hospitality. This definitely cements the fact that the show is here to stay in the west," he told The Gleaner.
Now in its third staging, the Wealth Auto Show was first held at the National Arena in Kingston, before being moved to Montego Bay two years ago. It is costing over $20 million to put on the show this year. Hosted by comedians Ity and Fancy Cat, gates open at 10 a.m. and the show ends at 7 p.m. The entry fee is $500, with children under 12 years old free.
The roster of new dealers and brands is Stewart's Auto Sales (Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Suzuki, Land Rover, Mitsubishi and Honda motorcycles); ATL (Volkswagen, Mini, Audi, Honda and BMW); Fidelity Motors (showing Nissan models X-Trail, Frontier and Sentra); and Toyota (Yaris, Corolla, Rav-4, Fortuner, Prado, Noah and Hilux).
A striking inclusion is used- car dealer Carland, which will have Ferrari Italia and Bentley Continental GT vehicles on display. Walker said this will give the event additional flair, while affording persons from the western side of Jamaica the opportunity of getting close to standout vehicles in the island. "Carland's involvement is from an exotic car stand-point, to showcase to the west a couple cars which are actually one of a kind in Jamaica," Walker said.
Integrating the Creative Media and Events entities in the Wealth Auto Show facilitates a viewing of the event after it is over. Walker said "A full video will be created from the show and available exclusively on BATV (Business Access TV) and social media."
Despite high expectations for the show, there are no plans to increase the regularity.
"We have considered an annual show, but based on the cost to stage the event and also the cost on the sponsors and dealers, it would have to be a collaborated effort to make it a yearly show. Nonetheless, we have a plan for the off year, which has never been done before, where cars are concerned. We will be executing that in November this year," Walker said.
Creative Media and Events' Leighton Davis promised, "This year's staging will be bigger and better as people in the west will be treated to a spectacular show of automobile brands fitted for any pocket."
Services on hand
In addition to the vehicles, a variety of automobile accessories and services will be available. Among them are lead sponsor, Jamaica National's special fate of five per cent per annum, along with partner sponsor JNGI's 25 per cent off on motor insurance. At the show's official launch in June, JNGI's General Manager, Chris Hind gave additional reason for the Wealth Auto Show's Montego Bay location.
He said while economic growth across the country is generally slow, "on the north coast, and around Montego Bay in particular, things are moving at a considerably faster clip".