Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Stewart’s Auto taking over Land Rover, Jaguar dealerships

Published:Wednesday | July 22, 2015 | 12:00 AMNeville Graham

Stewart's Auto Sales Limited has snagged luxury dealerships formerly represented by ATL Automotive, a division of ATL Group, and will begin to sell the Jaguar and Land Rover brands as of September 1.

The ATL Autohaus showroom in New Kingston is selling out current stock at discounts of up to $1 million, with final delivery date of August 31.

The brands were snapped up by the ATL Group in September 2010. Prior to that, they were represented by Kingston Industrial Garage for many years.

Jaguar has a low key market in Jamaica. In the past three years, Trade Board records indicate that just 48 units covering three models were imported into Jamaica. In that same period, Land Rover and Range Rover imports, which are more popular, totalled 132 units. It's unclear whether ATL was the importer of all the vehicles, nor how many of the units have actually been sold.

The top seller in the Land Rover range was the Freelander.

ATL Autohaus Managing Director Matthew Cripps was said to be out of office and not available for comment, and Stewart's Auto did not return calls.

"Working with Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) 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," said ATL Group CEO Adam Stewart in a release announcing the change of dealership.

"While we go our separate ways with a heavy heart, we are excited about the new opportunities that lie ahead," Stewart said.

The distribution of Jaguar/Land Rover in the Caribbean and Latin American region is covered by a company called Interamericana Trading Corporation (ITC), which, according to HighbeamBusiness.com, has a network of more than 60 dealerships operating in 32 countries and represents brands such as Mercedes Benz, Suzuki, Porsche and Rolls Royce.

Stewart's Auto is the dealer for Mercedes Benz and Suzuki in Jamaica. It also represents the top selling BMW luxury brand as well as Mitsubishi.

Recently, a newspaper advertisement invited expressions of interest in a dealership franchise for Porsche, which is currently unrepresented in Jamaica. Reliable sources say that ATL Autohaus has its eyes fixed on the German brand.

Porsche is owned by Volkswagen AG, whose VW and Audi brands are already represented in Jamaica by ATL Autohaus.

ITC Managing Director Brent Murphy was reportedly travelling while spokesperson Raquel Edwards did not respond to messages for comment.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com