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Notwithstanding Barbados’ challenging economic environment, there are still success stories among local businesses. Pioneer Motors Inc., a growing family-owned Japanese used car dealership, is one such inspiring example.
Led by husband and wife team, Lionel and Nicole Best, the company unveiled their newly constructed location on Hindsbury Road in a business blessing ceremony recently, which was attended by Member of Parliament for the area, and Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Richard Sealy.
Minister Sealy offer his congratulations to the young couple, complementing them on their tenacity to grow the company from a small lot on the ABC Highway to two locations, one on Pilgrim Road in Christ Church and the new 2,700 sq. ft. L&N Complex.
“Challenges do not evaporate with the onset of success but you are definitely on the right path with your strong faith in God and I look forward to your continued success,” Sealy said.
Managing Director, Lionel Best, in his address, shared how the idea for the business came after his own frustration with sourcing a high quality used car locally.
“When I finally got my car, persons began to ask me to assist them with finding a similar vehicle with similar features in the same price range. It was then I realized that I could start a business around this.”
Mrs. Nicole Best, who also holds the post of Sales and Administration Manager within the company, was quick to admit that theirs was not an easy road and encouraged other entrepreneurs not to give up in the face of adversity.
“My husband would tell you he was the last of eight children and they ate what they grew on a one-acre plot and sold the rest to support the family. I too had my share of humble beginnings. In my very first job, I worked cutting threads at a garment factory for $104 a week.
“I want to encourage anyone who is going through a similar challenge to see it for what it is – a phase. It is a process and, as long as you don’t give up, it doesn’t have to be the final chapter in your life.”
The Bests also recounted their first encounter with banks in Barbados, which were not fruitful initially.
“When we approached one banking institution in particular, they said blatantly they were not interested in the used car business. At that time we were located in Black Rock and we invited them to come and see our product. They were so impressed that they came on board shortly afterwards.” Lionel recalled.
Their mutual success quickly led to that bank seeking partnerships with other used car dealers and soon other lending institutions were entering the market with special deals. Despite the increased competition, Pioneer Motors continues to enjoy high customer loyalty.
“Many of our customers often remark that our vehicles are in excellent condition and our after sales and customer service are second to none.”
He asserted, however, that more than their strong commitment to customer service excellence or their unwavering commitment to only import vehicles ‘fully loaded with quality’, they had God to thank for their growing success.
“The success we are enjoying today is our reward for being faithful in our belief through all the ups and downs and we thank God for all he continues to do in our lives”.
To climax the ceremony, Bishop Clayton F. Best of The Church of God of Prophecy, blessed the business and the new site. This was followed by the presentation of appreciation awards to staff and partners for the pivotal roles they have played in the company’s continued success. (PR)