Auto

The Big Reveal

ATL Autobahn gets new home

By Brian Bonitto
Associate Editor —
Auto & Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, December 08, 2017



TOMORROW evening, game-changer ATL Automotive will officially open the doors to its state-of-the-art BMW and MINI dealership. Dubbed ATL Autobahn, it is nestled on a five-acre plot on Lady Musgrave Road in St Andrew.

Yesterday, however, a handful of specially selected guests and media representives were given a sneak peek of the 33,000 sq ft facility ahead of its big reveal.

The Jamaica Observer's Auto magazine caught up with Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International and the ATL group of companies, who was not present at the event, but was willing to share his vision for the US$15-million investment.

“Whatever industry we're in, the premise remains the same — to be the absolute best! We believe in Jamaica and its future and we believe that continuing to invest in our facilities and our team, the standard continues to rise. Jamaica and its people deserve it,” he said.

The facility boasts a 10-car BMW showroom plus a hand-over bay, a four-car MINI display area which also includes a hand-over bay, and Jamaica's first-ever M lounge for discerning clients. The back-of-house area has an eight-ramp service area, wheel alignment bay, and viewing window for customers. It also will house a regional training room for BMW/MINI employees across the Caribbean.

“Apart from being the first-ever MINI showroom in Jamaica, the facility has been created with a raft of incredible features all designed with a specific purpose in mind, whether that be to enhance the experience, drive efficiency or create a comfortable working environment for the 60 highly trained automotive professionals that will work there,” said Stewart.

The structure is outfitted with solar panelling which will supply 75 per cent of the facility's daily electric use; its window tint removes 90 per cent of the UV rays while maintaining a light and airy feel.

Taking 11 months to construct, ATL Autobahn is part of a US$50-million investment on the prime-location property which will also boast a hotel. That project has a December 2018 completion date.

“Aside from the monetary investment, this facility has been carefully designed with customer experience at the centre of every single decision, and we believe it will become the benchmark for customer service not just for the automotive industry in Jamaica but any industry throughout the entire region. The attention to detail, experience flow, and the perfect use of space is like nothing people will have seen before. When you own or are considering owning a BMW or MINI, we strongly believe one should expect a level of service that surpasses all else. The brand dictates it and the customer deserves it. Now, it is our time to deliver it,” said Stewart.

In 2015, ATL Automotive acquired regional dealership rights to BMW and MINI. The brands were previously being managed by Stewart Motor Limited.

Under the acquisition terms, ATL Autobahn serves as a central hub to include the distribution of cars, parts and service support in Jamaica. It also assumes the role of regional master dealer for eight other countries — Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas, Cayman, Curacao, Barbados, Aruba, St Lucia, and Suriname.

The dealership currently operates from a location on Orchard Road in St Andrew.

At the media reveal, Mike Ellenthorpe, managing director of ATL Automotive, said the investment was part of the company's commitment to assist in boosting Jamaica's economy.

“We are extremely excited as a group and as a team and, as you can see in the showroom, it's a helluva investment; it's a helluva statement. And what we want to be is part of the regeneration of Kingston. We want to be part of its further future investments into Jamaica. We give many of the local diamonds (in the rough) opportunities to join our company and to promote training and development with all of our brands,” Ellenthorpe told the gathering.

“It's not just a pretty building... we're here to provide customer excellence every time, every day. For me, customer service is absolutely paramount,” he continued.

Sloane Jackson, head of business for BMW and MINI, then took the group on a tour of the facility.

Four years ago, ATL Automotive opened its Volkswagen modular showroom and an Audi terminal in the city's financial district of New Kingston. With a tab of US$13.5 million, the showrooms were the largest single investment in Jamaica's automotive history.

In addition to BMW and MINI, ATL Automotive is the authorised dealer for Honda, Audi, Volkswagen, Porsche and KIA.

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