photos by Dino Ray V. Directo III
Months of speculations were put to rest late last week with the recent contract signing event between Asia Pacific Importers and Coventry Motors Corporation, the new exclusive distributors of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands.
A contract signing ceremony was held at the Makati Golf Club with key officials from both companies in attendance. “This is a critical milestone for our growth in the Asia Pacific region,” says Robin Colgan, Managing Director, Asia Pacific Importers. “The Philippines’ robust growth of 6.9% in the last quarter – which has surpassed that of even China – is a clear indication that this is a market that holds remarkable promise and potential for quality premium cars that will meet the needs of a sophisticated and developed consumer base. To this end, we will be launching a series of award winning new models that we know will resonate with the Philippine market. We are indeed very pleased to commence our formal relationship with Coventry Motors as we strongly believe in their capability to make incredible headway in growing the Jaguar and Land Rover brands and market share in the Philippines,” Colgan adds. The transfer of distributorship was fast in domestic industry standards, after the previous distributor shut down its doors last May after years of representing the brand in the country.
The new team which will push the business interest of the brand locally is headed by industry veterans George T. Barcelon and Gerardo F. Alejandro, chairman and president respectively of Coventry Motors. “We are very excited to have been appointed by Jaguar Land Rover to bring their business visions to life in the Philippine market,” states Barcelon. “Both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands are taking the rest of the automotive world by storm with cutting edge technology and fresh, dynamic designs that have resulted in incredible year-on-year growth in sales. We believe that by working closely together with Jaguar Land Rover Asia Pacific, we can bring new life and innovation to the Philippine automotive industry,” he adds.
A highlight of the event was the unveiling of the new Range Rover Velar, which brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the Range Rover family. “This variant will resonate with the Philippine market, as it is designed to fill the white space between the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport. The Velar offers levels of luxury, refinement and all-terrain capability never before seen in the mid-size SUV segment,” explains Alejandro. “Plans are also in the pipeline to open its first dealership by the first quarter of 2018.
The re-entry of Jaguar Land Rover in the country comes at a time when luxury car makers are digging in for the implementation of the comprehensive excise tax next year. Despite the impending adjustments in retail prices of luxury vehicles, Coventry Motors remains optimistic about the future of the brand in the local market. “It will obviously have an impact on the price of the vehicles, but we will make sure we have availability prior to the tax changes coming into effect. We feel that there is a demand here despite the tax increase issue. You have to have unique products and a great support team in the country to address this and I am confident Coventry has a system in place already,” states Colgan.
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