Sat | Jan 19, 2019

Tropical Battery going stronger for longer

Published:Monday | May 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/ Gleaner Writer
Daniel Melville ((left), sales and marketing manager at Tropical Battery Limited, gets an update on Government’s efforts to diversify the energy source mix from Dr Andrew Wheatley (right), minister of energy, science and technology, during Wednesday’s trade show hosted by the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association at the Spanish Court Worthington, New Kingston. Sharing in the discussion are (from second left) Constance Hartley, battery specialist; Tanya Roberts, sales representative, and Radcliffe Murray, general manager.

In 1950 when Tropical Battery Company Limited began operations, it was as a manufacturer of lead acid storage batteries. Today, the sales of automotive batteries remains its core business. However, this has been complemented by the distribution of several other local and world-renowned automotive consumer products.

"We are moving to all different types of batteries," Daniel Melville, sales and marketing manager, told The Gleaner during a visit to their booth at the trade expo hosted by the Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association last Wednesday. "We're making sure that we have from the alkaline for the household to the extreme auto application, which would be our Optima batteries."

Melville, whose family acquired the business is 1967, has been building on the strong Tropical Battery reputation, taking the brand well beyond the automotive batteries for which it is primarily known. In addition to all sizes in the alkaline range of batteries for use in household appliances and other devices, the company has made significant investments in widening the range of automotive products which bear its name.

He explained: "The next thing that we are moving towards is the oils. We've gone to one of the top suppliers of motor oils in the world and were able to get our brand at much lower cost, because we are not paying for their marketing. Each of the oils are to the latest API (American Petroleum Institute) specification in the market, because we wouldn't put our brand on anything that wasn't quality.

"The better the oil, it keeps the engine running all the more efficiently, so you have less heat and stress on the engine, which is better for our batteries. Then there is the top-quality coolant with the anti-corrosion property. Some people think you can just put water in your radiator, but water will rust your radiator and that makes the engine run hotter, which compromises the life of the battery."

Strengthening and expanding on their traditional core competencies in battery sales and services has resulted in significantly raising customer awareness about the inter-related aspects of their automobile operations, which has been paying dividends for the company as well, Melville disclosed.