Monthly Archives: July 2012

Land Rover Disovery 4 Review by Jamaica Observer

Check out this local review of the Land Rover Discovery 4 by Jamaica Observer …what more could you want in a vehicle?

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Meet optometrist Dr. Heeney. As a lifelong Volkswagen fan, she decided to give her patients a little something different when testing their vision.

Can you spot the Volkswagen cars in her eye test?

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ATL Automotive Racing today officially unveiled its first locally engineered motor racing car; a 1995 Honda Civic hatchback described by Chief Engineer Raj Jadusingh as the most technically advanced of its kind ever built in Jamaica for the MP1 (Modified Production Class One) category.

A beaming motor racing driver Natasha “Chiney Dolly” Chang watched as the cover was removed from her new car inside the ATL Automotive Showroom on Hagley Park Road in Kingston, days before the much anticipated Independence of Speed race meet at Dover. It was the culmination of months of modification by a technical team appointed by lead sponsor ATL Automotive Limited. With much of the modification focusing on lightening the weight of the car, it is now in a state to produce quicker lap times.

However, Mr. Jadusingh says the MP1 is the smallest engine displacement at Dover so there is less power. As such the modification was mainly focused on the chassis, aerodynamics and brakes so the lap times will come from the handling and the ability to corner and brake very well. “Lightening makes the car accelerate faster, stop faster, turn easier and more reliable; putting less stress on the drive line components of the car. The car responds much quicker with relatively small touching of the gas pedal and movement of the steering wheel makes the car respond quicker. All control inputs of the car are amplified when it’s lighter,” he explained.

He noted that the car was stripped to the bare minimum required to make it functional. “We focused primarily on reducing the weight of the car by removing existing original material and replacing it with alternate materials like high carbon content steel, aluminum, fibre glass and carbon fibre. We have also removed as several unnecessary components like the power steering wheel,” he pointed out.

He added that the weight distribution has been shifted in terms of how much is concentrated at the front and rear. Much of the weight is now concentrate between the wheel base. The roof and back replaced with fibre glass as well as the floor replaced with aluminum and steel.

Natasha says she is looking forward to the Independence of Speed Meet this weekend and will be focusing on cutting braking distance to improve her lap time by two seconds. “I’m excited because this is my first campaign with a full time circuit car which is a change from my rally experience. I will be relying on my go karting background to help me readjust. It would be great if I improved my track time from 1:31 to 1:29 seconds in this car,” she said.

Chief Executive Officer, Adam Stewart says this is another investment underscoring the company’s commitment to the growth of the automotive and motor racing industries. He said the company believes the introduction of the Audi TT DTM to Dover driven by Doug Gore last year raised the bar by increasing the level of competitiveness and generating more interest in the sport.

Mr. Stewart pointed out that the company is sponsoring Natasha because she is a member of the ATL family in her capacity as Marketing Coordinator who happens to be a skilled motor racing driver. “With minor modifications done to the car in time for the last Dover meet, Natasha drove brilliantly to register one second place and two third places, exceeding expectations. Those are encouraging signs for a sponsor and we believe this young driver is one to watch,” he added.

“Every time a meet is held at Dover there seems to be more Hondas added to the track – it has become ‘Honda Country’. Not only has Honda just been voted Britain’s most reliable brand and America’s most trusted, but its reliability is also evident on the race track where small displacement engines are able to produce amazing horsepower and race all day long without a single failure. Honda’s technology is simply unmatched in the Japanese Automotive arena and that’s what makes us so proud to represent this brand, The Power of Dreams lives on in Jamaica and at Dover,” he said.

The Chief Engineer says work will continue on the Honda Civic following this Sunday’s meet with more structural work and other unplanned modifications based on the car’s performance.

Mr Jadusingh says the car is also eligible for the Bracket and TS1 (Thunder Sport Class One) categories. “This Car is unlike what is usually built locally. There are mainly two types of cars in Jamaica’s Motor Racing industry. The majority of local vehicle engineers simply add parts to a regular road car to transform it for track meets. There is also the purpose built race car, manufactured specifically for racing and these are usually imported. This Honda Civic is one of few being built locally with an attempt to meet purpose built race car standards,” he explained.

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Audi A8 ranks highest in large premium car segment and highest performing model overall, Audi A6 ranks highest in its segment in the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates APEAL study

The 2012 Audi A8 is the highest performing model in the study for the first time; 2012 Audi A6 receives the Most Appealing Midsize Premium Car designation

The Audi A8 received the award for the most appealing large premium car and is the overall best performing model in the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates APEAL study released today (July 25).

The study measures how gratifying ownership of a new vehicle is to consumers, who gave the Audi luxury flagship sedan high marks. In fact, the A8 received the highest score in the 2012 study. APEAL survey respondents also ranked the redesigned and progressive Audi A6 as the most appealing model in the midsize premium car segment.

Overall, Audi APEAL study scores improved by 13 points from 2011 results, indicating an immediate payoff for the Audi brand strategy to bring the most technologically advanced lineup of models to U.S. consumers in the luxury car market.

Audi moved up one position to rank 4th out of the 34 nameplates in the 2012 APEAL study. This is the 17th year of the J.D. Power and Associates US Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study SM, which examines owners’ assessments of the design, content, layout, and performance of their new vehicle in the first 90 days of ownership.

“Audi products have become the envy of the luxury automotive industry,” said Scott Keogh, President, Audi of America. “This is a result of our unwavering focus on developing premium vehicles that are intelligent in design, progressive in technology, and exceptional in performance. According to the 2012 J.D. Power and Associates APEAL Study, consumers are recognizing this as well. There can be no question that Audi has the right lineup for these times.”

The 2012 Audi A8 – the flagship of the Audi brand known for its superior design and progressive advances in engineering, technology and performance – received the APEAL award in the Large Premium Car segment. With a score of 902, the A8 was the highest-performing model in the 2012 APEAL Study. This marks the first time in the history of the study that an Audi model achieves this distinction. With its design and innovative Audi connect™ system which offers Google Earth™, Google™ Local Search, clear and efficient Google™ Voice Local Search, real-time weather, fuel prices, news and travel information as well as a Wi-Fi connection for up to eight devices, its no wonder that the A8 received such high marks by APEAL respondents. Audi is the only brand globally offering factory-installed wireless Internet, an advance now available in core models, such as the Audi A4, Audi A5 and Audi Q5.

The 2012 Audi A6 received the highest ranking in the J.D. Power and Associates APEAL study for the Midsize Premium Car segment. One of the most innovative and technologically advanced Audi models to date, the A6 boasts intelligent features such as head-up display, a MMI® touch pad that recognizes handwriting in multiple languages, a thermal imaging camera with night vision assistant as well as the Audi pre sense plus driver assistance system. The A6 also features Audi connect.

Other Audi models fared well in the J.D. Power and Associates APEAL study results: the 2012 A4/5, Q5, Q7, and TT all ranked third in their respective segments.


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Exclusive local dealer of Audi, ATL Automotive is reporting that sales of the premium brand in Jamaica increased by 135% between January and June this year, continuing on a record-breaking trend. At the end of June 2012, the dealer had already delivered 94 Audi vehicles to Jamaican customers compared to 40 during the same period last year.

Close examination of the figures from the Automobile Dealers Association (ADA) show that the increase can be largely attributed to the performance of three models. Leading the increase is the midsize sedan Audi A6 reflecting a 466% jump over last year. The current best seller in the premium midsize SUV segment, the Audi Q5 increased by 157.9%, while in the large SUV segment, sales of the Q7 rose by 100%.

General Manager and Audi Brand Manager at ATL Automotive says the vehicles are competitively priced with starting prices being $6.8M for the A6, $6.5M for the Q5 and $10.5M for the Q7. All prices include a three years’ service plan.

According to Mr Desnoes, the demand for Audi vehicles has been relatively high over the last two years. “There are far more Audi vehicles on the road now more than ever. Last year in particular, we noticed there was a high demand for Audis. We anticipated that the demand would be even higher this year and we have done the ground work to ensure that we have the volume to meet the customer’s demands and we are seeing amazing results at the half-year mark,” he explained.

According to Mr Desnoes, the company is fast approaching its 2012 sales target for Audi vehicles. “The year 2011 was the best for Audi in Jamaica as we sold 123 units. Based on average monthly sales so far, we expect to surpass last year’s total sales before September,” he pointed out.

Mr Desnoes is confident that Audi will further penetrate the market with the introduction of a compact SUV, the Audi Q3 set to arrive in Jamaica by September. “It is a compact SUV, which means it is coming at an even more affordable price point for those persons in the market for a smaller premium SUV. It is compact, sporty, versatile, efficient, powerful and has superior off road capabilities,” he noted.

Continuing, he added “the Q3 uses the same engine currently used in the Q5 which is a larger SUV with a seven speed Direct Shift Gearbox.  Described a pocket rocket, this vehicle will get you from 0-60kmh in 6.9 seconds while giving you the 37 miles per gallon and the versatility of a 4×4 performance synonymous with SUVs.”

The General Manager says the figures are encouraging going into 2013 when the company expects even more record breaking performances with the opening of the new sophisticated Audi and Volkswagen showrooms on Oxford Road in Kingston. “These state-of-the-art showrooms are unmatched by any other in the region and will wow customers. We have invested US$13M to build these showrooms. No other automotive company in Jamaica’s history has invested this much into a facility,” he noted.

The opening of the new showrooms in Kingston comes on the heels of the Montego Bay showroom which was opened in 2010, another major investment by the company in the automotive industry.


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Land Rover Celebrates One Year of Range Rover Evoque Production

As demand for the Range Rover Evoque continues around the world, employees at JLR’s Halewood manufacturing plant are celebrating one year of production.

Twelve months ago, when the first vehicle rolled off the production line, the Evoque had already generated an exceptional market response with more than 18,000 advance orders from customers worldwide. This interest continues today with demand for the Evoque driving sales of almost 80,000 units in just nine months.

With more than 110 global awards under its belt, the Evoque has gained critical acclaim from customers and media alike. Crowned Top Gear Magazine Car of the Year, World Design Car of the Year and North American Truck of the Year amongst others, the Evoque continues to receive plaudits for its concept car looks, dynamic driving performance, class leading off-road skills and excellent cost of ownership.

This early success for Evoque has had a significant positive impact on the Halewood facility. In anticipation of the launch in 2011, the workforce was increased to more than 3,000 employees. In March this year, JLR announced it would recruit a further 1,000 employees to help deliver the increased volume of both Evoque and Land Rover Freelander 2, which is also manufactured at Halewood.

In just three years the workforce has trebled and the plant now employs more than 4,000 people.

Halewood Operations Director Richard Else, said: “The Evoque is an incredibly exciting vehicle that continues to turn heads. Sales of the Evoque remain strong across all markets and here at the plant we are working hard to meet  this demand.”

The Evoque is designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK with more than 75 per cent of production exported to more than 170 global markets – generating an estimated £2 billion in annual export value for the UK.

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Audi City: The metropolis cyberstore opens its doors

– First digital Audi showroom opens in the centre of London
– Sales chief Schwarzenbauer: “Visitors can expect a previously unheard-of level of personal customer service.”
– More than 20 locations in major international cities by 2015
Ingolstadt/London, 16 July 2012 – Audi is preparing automotive retail for the future and complementing its dealer network with a new format – Audi City. The first location opens today in London close to Piccadilly Circus. The brand’s entire model line-up is presented fully digitally in a compact space. The efficient use of space facilitated by this approach allows the four rings to be present in the heart of major international cities. Over the next few years, Audi will secure more of these attractive locations, opening more than 20 stores worldwide by 2015. In future, Audi City will also play a crucial role in the marketing of new mobility services and electric-drive Audi models.
“Audi City combines the best of two worlds – digital product presentation and personal contact with the dealer,” says Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG. “This new retail format brings us even closer to our customers – geographically, of course, but first and foremost in terms of the quality of our relationship. Audi City offers new freedom for tailor-made services and an even more individual contact with the customer.” Thanks to groundbreaking media technology, the vehicle manufacturer now has the ability not only to present its growing model line-up – including all colours, equipment options and functions – in its entirety, but also to offer customers the chance to experience the sheer breadth of the range in full. Visitors can digitally select their vehicle from several hundred million possible configurations and experience it in realistic 1:1 scale on screens that almost fill the entire space. Moreover, technical details such as the drivetrain, bodyshell or LED light technology can be presented individually in order to make innovations understandable on an intuitive level.


With Audi City, the premium manufacturer is responding to customers’ changing needs. “People are placing greater emphasis than ever before on a direct and personal bond of trust with their vehicle brand – especially in respect of the increasing variety of products and available information,” explains Schwarzenbauer. “Thus, with Audi City, we are creating a one-stop-shop for experiencing our brand. It is right in the midst of our customers’ lives, yet seamlessly connected to the online range offered by the four

This is particularly assured by the Customer Relationship Manager, who will be deployed in future at Audi City locations. This individual will be the customer’s central and consistent point of contact for all needs – from the first consultation to after-sales
and ongoing services. Plus, every Audi City is also connected to an Audi dealership that provides the entire spectrum of AUDI AG services as a single-point centre of competence.

With this highly personalized customer dialogue and the provision of individual services, Audi City represents a substantial expansion of the retail experience. In support of this, AUDI AG offers employee training targeted specifically at these urban stores and also supports the dealer in their selection and further training. Furthermore, employees increasingly have a more broad-based educational background – as IT experts, for instance, who are qualified to explain the digital world of Audi City. Their central urban location makes each Audi City more than simply an additional retail outlet. Audi City will also evolve into a meeting place for fans of the brand, where they can make contact with the world of the four rings whenever they want. The stores will also be used as a dialogue forum for issues outside of core automotive business. For example, following close of daily business, they will play host to readings, round-table discussions and exhibitions on issues such as urban development and mobility or on matters relating to art, culture and design.

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Exclusive local dealer of the Volkswagen brand, ATL Automotive has announced deals of up to $255,000 off 2012 VW passenger vehicles effective immediately. This comes as the company celebrates increased sales of nearly 200% in both passenger and commercial vehicles at the half year mark this year over last year.

Leading the line-up is the award winning 2012 Motor Trend car of the Year, the VW Passat now being offered for $4.195M down from $4.45M. Current monthly payments are approximately $65,000. This mid-sized sedan has also copped a multitude of awards including Best Family Car from Kelley Blue Book and IIHS Top Safety Pick.

Credited as the most powerful SUV and the only true 4 x 4 in its class, the price of the 2012 VW Tiguan has been slashed by $200,000 to an attractive new price of $3.795M, with monthly payments of approximately $59,000.

The increasingly popular compact sedan, VW Jetta is competitively priced for young adults seeking that first new ride at $3.195M, reflecting a $200,000 reduction with approximate monthly payments of $49,500.

Volkswagen Brand Manager at ATL Automotive, Adam Harris says the demand for the brand in the local market over the last two years has been phenomenal. “Volkswagen, Europe’s largest automaker has set a target of 2018 to become the world’s leading automaker. At present, the brand holds the number three spot and we are confident that the recent acquisition of Porsche and the continued technological innovations across all its brands will propel it to that coveted number one spot,” he explained.

Mr. Harris went on to underscore ATL Automotive’s commitment to supporting Volkswagen’s thrust by continuing to register record breaking sales of the VW brand in Jamaica and by extension, the region. “We continue to position the VW brand as the best overall value for money in the marketplace. We are offering world class German engineered vehicles at affordable prices. These are vehicles with the same Dual Clutch Gear Box (DSG) used in Volkswagen’s premium high performance brands including Porsche, Lamborghini, Bugatti and Audi,” he pointed out.

Commenting on the new prices of the vehicles, Mr. Harris said the reductions are not only aimed at providing more Jamaicans with the opportunity to drive a brand new vehicle. “Volkswagen means “The People’s Car” in German and ATL Automotive has a VW vehicle for everyone in our showroom,” noted.

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Newly Styled Audi A4 2013 on Smile Jamaica TVJ for July 12

Don’t miss the newly styled Audi A4 on Smile Jamaica, TVJ tomorrow morning at 7:45. Senior Sales Consultant, Etus Collman will be in studio highlighting the brilliant features.

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