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Alexander Sabga General manager of Trafalgar Motors stands next to the Land Rover Discovery Sport. Photos: Sean Nero
The launch of the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport will give ANSA Automotive a competitive edge in a car market that has not been doing well, said Alexander Sabga, general manager of Trafalgar Motors.
“The Land Rover Discovery and the Jaguar XE, which we displayed tonight, both of them feature advanced technological features. For example, both vehicles feature aluminium architecture, meaning they are lighter and fuel efficient as well as they are more dynamic to drive. This is an added benefit as the entire automotive industry has seen a slight downturn in the automotive market as well as ANSA Automotive,” he told the Business Guardian on Friday 21st August, 2015.
Although he did not want to reveal the exact prices, he said a customer could buy the vehicle for under $750,000.
He added that these two vehicles are looked at as entry levels for their brands and, for the first time, a customer can come into the showroom and purchase a vehicle at a low price.
“The car is priced so that the average individual can experience everyday luxury, either a Jaguar or Land Rover. The price may shock you and if you are interested in the price, please come down to our showroom where we will make a test drive available for you and we will give you a quotation for whatever vehicle you are interested in,” he said.
The demographics they are targeting are young executives and other people in that bracket.
“The Discovery Sport has seven seats which is the first one in the segment of the market as no other car has that. It is really attractive to the young family-the guy who is now starting a family and the woman who has a couple of children—to get a car with seven seats at a reasonable price. We are hoping that at this slightly reduced price and the availability of such a vehicle, we would see a further increase in market share and moving into new segments of the market. The Jaguar XE competes with the BMW 3 Series, the Mercedes C Class and the Audi A4. Based on all reviews which are available online, the car is phenomenal. It has been getting rave reviews worldwide,” he said.
Sabga spoke to the Business Guardian at the launch of the Land Rover Discovery Sport SUV last Friday at Trafalgar Motors showroom, Charles Street, Port-of-Spain.
Two weeks ago, Norman Sabga, chairman of the ANSA McAL Group, speaking at an analysts meeting to release the half-year results for the ANSA McAL Group, said that the car market has shrunk but ANSA Automotive has managed to increase its market share within this environment.
“In terms of the automotive sector, revenues are down but our percentage of the market has grown. That is how we measure an industry, the whole market is down but we increase our share. Our beverage industries in the islands have done well. Barbados is doing better than last year,” he said.
In March, Jerome Borde, managing director of ANSA McAL’s automotive sector, said ANSA Automotive recorded a 20 per cent increase in sales for 2014 over 2013, a total of just over 3,000 vehicles.
According to the Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Report for June 2015, from January to March 2015 motor vehicle sales amounted to 4,321 compared to 4,311 for the same period in 2014.
When asked how they—ANSA Automotive and Trafalgar Motors—are faring in an economy that is not doing well, Alexander Sabga said they are doing “alright” and using every competitive edge to stay ahead of the competition.
“We are putting packages together for our customers to make buying a car more attractive. There is also financing available through ANSA Merchant Bank which also includes the first-year insurance free which is available for a limited time. But that is also an added incentive. Most customers of our vehicles especially on the really high end, even in an economic downturn, they seem to be able to weather that downturn and buy those vehicles they so need and so want,” he said.
He also advised customers to purchase new vehicles over used car vehicles.
He estimated that 18,000 new vehicles should be sold in T&T for all of 2015.
“There is a need for new vehicles in T&T. In the sense we do have a lot of second-hand vehicles that are imported from questionable backgrounds. The safety advancements, the environmental advances of the new vehicles cannot be compared with. The notion that bringing in new vehicles in T&T is eating up our foreign exchange is not really valid. We need new vehicles as people need to have safe, reliable vehicles. However, the second-hand market is as large, if not larger, than the new vehicle market,” he said.
Despite the market conditions, Sabga said ANSA Automotive will continue to survive and do well by launching new cars with competitive prices.
“These prices are now available to people who could not have come into a showroom and conceived of being a car before. They get that Land Rover and Jaguar prestige and feel at a whole new price point,” he said.
Taken from: Trinidad Guardian
Story by: Rapheal John-Lall
Photo by: Sean Nero
Date: Thursday 27th August, 2015