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Miss Universe Jamaica Kaci Fennell thrilled with new car

Published:Friday | February 27, 2015 | 12:00 AMBarbara Ellington
Serchpaul Hinds, enjoying his role as chauffeur to Miss Universe Jamaica Kaci Fennell, opens the door for her to enter the luxurious, leather- upholstered Hyundai Genesis at The Gleaner on Wednesday.
With keys in hand, Kaci Fennell gets ready to rev up the engine of her fuel-efficient Hyundai i10.
Queen Kaci waves goodbye as she departs The Gleaner's parking lot in her Hyundai i10.
Miss Jamaica Universe Kaci Fennell smiles for The Gleaner's cameras.
Key Motors' Desmond Panton

The Key Motors family, led by Desmond Panton, has much to smile about, having backed a winner in reigning Miss Universe Jamaica Kaci Fennell, the Miss Universe 2015 fourth runner-up.

For Panton, the risk to sponsor the local pageant paid off.

"The organisers approached me and I decided to take the risk," Panton told The Gleaner in a recent interview at his St Andrew home.

Ironically, his sponsorship was for the contest itself, not one individual, and it included a new car for the winner. As part of the deal, Fennell, unlike other contest winners, gets to keep her 2014 Hyundai i10 - a brand with which the gorgeous queen is all too familiar, as both her father and grandmother have driven Hyundai vehicles for years.

At the presentation, Panton quipped with certainty that in the future, Fennell's grandchildren will also be driving Hyundai cars.

The affable queen is ecstatic about her red-hot i10, especially since it's her first car and did not cost her a cent.

"It's fantastic! I didn't have to buy a car and I no longer have to borrow my mom's car. Instead, I can help out the family with transport now and then," Fennell said joyfully in an interview at The Gleaner Company's offices on Wednesday.

She's equally happy with the mileage. On her first rural run, after filling up in Kingston and heading to Falmouth, Trelawny, she had barely used a quarter tank of petrol.

"After returning to Kingston and seeing the needle still close to three-quarter tank, I thought something was wrong, but after speaking to a male family member, he told me it was all good. Plus the car is very comfortable and spacious inside and the trunk space is huge for a car of its size," she added.

Additionally, the hands-free device allows her to speak through the radio and still keep both hands and eyes on the road.




Other extras from Key Motors include ground transportation in Jamaica for the year - to and from all official visits - in the leather-upholstered Hyundai Genesis luxury model, and an official congratulatory cocktail party when the busy queen's schedule allows.

Panton is proud to represent the Hyundai brand in Jamaica, particularly at a time when the Sonata, Elantra, Accent, and SUVs like the Tucson - the latter now being among the most popular on the roads - are enjoying an exciting comeback. The redesigned brands include innovative features that are not available in many Japanese brands.

"Sponsoring a contest such as Miss Universe is among the ultimate marketing tools as long as a company gets what it desires, and we made the right choice," said Panton, whose company also presented Olympian Yohan Blake with a Veloster.

He has no regrets representing the brand as he looks back at how far it has come and its future prospects.