Courtesy investing in Hyundai
DESPITE REPORTS THAT local new car sales are down by an estimated 40 per cent, one dealership is planning to expand its operations.
Courtesy Garage Limited, the agents for Nissan and Fiat, will be investing approximately $8 million in accommodating, managing and promoting the newly acquired Hyundai brand.
This was revealed by senior general manager Nicholas Mackie during a Press conference on Monday at the dealership’s Wildey, St Michael showroom.
Courtesy, a member of the Goddard Enterprises Limited group, took over the Hyundai franchise from Motor Services Limited on October 1.
Mackie said the Wildey facility would undergo a $4 million physical upgrade while the same amount would be spent on inventory, spare parts, technical capacity and improvements to the after-sales division.
Mackie added that over time 15 to 16 new staff members would be recruited.
“While our facilities and our technical expertise are pretty much already there to handle most brands, there are some investments that have to be made that are specific to Hyundai,” he said.
He said the expansion of the company “is going to take place very rapidly over the next year” and “there are other things in the pipeline that go beyond just Barbados”, although he declined to give details.
Courtesy currently manages Nissan dealerships in St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, Grenada and Jamaica.
Mackie said the company’s Charnocks, Christ Church facility would be developed for use primarily as a car rental depot.
He said Nissan’s market share in Barbados was currently around 11 per cent.
“We’re accustomed to having higher market share. We have been as high as 18 per cent. We normally average around 15, but this year has been a tough time for us because of the [Japan] tsunami crisis. We had supply problems.”
Mackie noted that the acquisition of another brand gave the company the ability to secure supply since it was unlikely two car manufacturers would have supply problems at the same time. (NB)