The Business Year

Omar Rojas

General Manager, Autobritánica

Donald J Pimentel Reid

General Manager, Reid

Good governance, a stable currency, and moderate overall growth have combined to make the luxury Dominican automobile sector a safe bet in 2017.

How would you evaluate the performance of the automobile sector in the Dominican Republic in 2017?

Omar Rojas We will have a good 2017 with growth. Our new models will be important in terms of sales numbers. We are utilizing our CRM and tweaking some things that will help attract customers. In terms of economic stability, the coming year looks stable and positive. This is essential for our business, and the automotive business has a great deal to do with stability and the exchange rate. Fortunately in the last few years interest rates have been stable, so we believe there are no big surprises for 2017 in terms of any external factors that might affect the business. We expect the country to grow in the next couple of years, which directly correlates with the growth of our business.

Donald J Pimentel Reid This year looks promising compared to the last three or four. Even though it is an election year, the government has been able to control the main variables that affect our industry: the exchange rate and interest rate. When we are able to maintain stability throughout the entire year then obviously our clients and consumers feel more comfortable making the important decision to purchase a vehicle. After buying a home, this is the second-most important decision one can make. Part of our growth and stability is due to the actions our government has taken to maintain stability in this country—even though there has been turmoil in the rest of Latin America. It is real growth, although we should not depend entirely on growth financed by international loans.

What have been your main growth factors?

OR Service; companies have to focus on service. Of course, innovations are important, but this type of business has to focus on services. We are also focusing on social media this year. CRM handling will be the future of the automobile business. The more companies understand their customers and data base, the better ways they will find to adhere to customers’ needs. This will also enable us to let them know about special offers in the service shops and in sales. We want to take the vehicle to the person, not the other way around. In the next couple of years, the company that manages customers’ needs the best will succeed. Everything will be online and data-driven, and customers will probably conduct their search and purchase a car from their laptops at home. We have five models and the fastest-growing one is the Range Rover Sport. It was launched at the end of 2014 and is one of the best-selling models together with the Discovery. We had a launch in 2015 of the Discovery Sport, which is a brand new member of the Land Rover family. It is a 4×4 SUV vehicle and we expect in the next month a new Range Rover Evoke convertible and a Discovery. These are the two vehicles expected for the next year. The Discovery will lead growth because it is a large SUV and has a bigger market.

DJPR Our company is divided into many products, which can be divided into three or four areas. We do everything related to the automotive, construction, and industrial sector, in addition to services. Part of our group has a small financial institution that we use to finance new or used vehicles. We have seen growth in different sectors between 10% and 18%. The vehicle sector in 2017 should hit around 25,000 to 26,000 new vehicles. It will be much better than last year, with closer to 3,000 units, or more than 8%, growth.



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