ATL Auto, CR-V on top
BY BRIAN BONITTO from the Jamaican Observer
IN the fiercely competitive automotive world, being number one is everything. And the Adam Stewart-led ATL Automotive has a lot to celebrate. At the close of 2018, the auto juggernaut not only dominated the local market share, but its Honda CR-V also topped sales of the mid-size SUV class.
According to figures from new-car group Automobile Dealers’ Association, of the total, 7,836 vehicles sold last year, ATL Automotive secured 31.9 per cent of the total market share to finish ahead of Toyota Jamaica (29.4 per cent) and Stewart’s Automotive Group of Companies (22.2 per cent).
Sam McKenzie, ATL Automotive group operations director, said the company’s current standing was not one of chance.
“It is our first time, as a group, that we are number one and we held this position every month for 2018,” McKenzie told the Jamaica Observer’s weekly Auto magazine.
For years, Toyota Jamaica reigned supreme at the top with their wide range of personal and commercial offerings.
McKenzie attributes his group eclipsing Toyota’s dominance to Adam Stewart’s leadership as well as the diverse range of vehicles under the ATL Automotive umbrella.
In addition to Honda, ATL Automotive is the authorised dealer for Kia, Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, Mini, and BMW.
“Our strong diversified portfolio separates us from our competition,” said McKenzie. “We have a car for everyone in Jamaica. As our deputy chairman Adam Stewart said: ‘The creation of ATL Automotive was based on two things: a profound love of cars and the strong belief that Jamaica deserves better.’ So that’s what we’re doing: giving our valued customers the best options.”
In addition to being CEO of ATL Group of Companies, Stewart is deputy chairman of award-winning international hotel chain Sandals.
McKenzie, who spent years in banking and finance, assumed the reins of group operations director in 2017. Prior to that, he held the posts of group operations manager and head of business for Honda at ATL Automotive’s Hagley Park Road complex.
In 2018, his group sold 673 Honda CR-V units to corner the mid-size SUV market. The CR-V eclipsed the Toyota RAV 4 and Suzuki Vitara.
“The reliability of Honda and CR-V is perceived by all to be the best in class with style, space, and fuel efficiency. It’s the best runaround SUV in its class. Plus, it’s represented by the best auto company in Jamaica, ATL Automotive,” he said.
The Honda CR-V is a crossover SUV manufactured by Honda since 1995 and introduced in the North American market in 1997. The CR-V is Honda’s mid-range utility vehicle, slotting between the smaller HR-V and the larger Odyssey. Honda states CR-V stands for Comfortable Runabout Vehicle.
Its current generation was launched in the local market in 2017. The Honda CR-V has been redesigned with more space and more features for added convenience, like power sliding seats and automatic power-tailgate. It boasts more safety features, like a multi-angle rear-view camera as well as a stylish exterior with LED headlights and stunning panoramic sunroof to take in all the views.
Vasil Lee, head of business for Honda, had nothing but praises for the mid-size SUV.
“It’s very reliable, in terms of space and functionality. In its class, you get value for money and its 1.5-litre turbo-charged engine is more fuel-efficient than its predecessor,” he said. “It’s the best in its class in resale and is one of the most sought-after vehicles, especially in the used-car market,” Lee said