Two years after acquiring the popular Honda dealership and setting up shop on Bay Street, franchise holder Platinum Motors Inc. has officially moved its operations to a new home in Fontabelle, St Michael. And with “significant” investment in the new location, officials are hoping the move will help drive more traffic to The City.
Chairman of Platinum Motors Peter Harris said he was pleased with the company’s new facility, adding that it was central and should “contribute to keeping Bridgetown alive”.
“We speeded up the renovations because we wanted to be operational by Independence as well. With businesses moving out of Bridgetown, we wanted our opening to be symbolic of our commitment to our main town which is important to Barbados’ heritage,” said Harris.
“Already we are seeing investment coming back to The City, as with our move here. We are soon to have neighbours, as oil company Rubis will soon be opening a new gas station and mini mart next door. You can therefore view our opening as an Independence gift to The City,” he added.
Harris said additional staff had been hired, but that was just a start of the journey for the company since there were “many more plans on the horizon”.
Harris was speaking at the launch of the new tenth generation Honda Civic and official opening of the new home of Honda in Barbados, which houses the company’s entire operations, including the showroom, and mechanic and diagnostic centres. The approximately 21 staff members, including full-time and contract workers, moved to the location about a month ago.
General Manager Mark Hamilton said the reception from patrons so far has been exceptional, adding that the company had embarked on some significant changes, including a greater focus on customer service.
“To be frank, we recognized that the brand has not been supported at the appropriate level for some time, and we are on a mission to change this – a process that began in 2014 and continues today,” he said.
“In combination with these physical elements, we will be focusing on improved service and parts pricing, carrying adequate parts inventory and, of course, the delivery of the appropriate level of customer service.
These are all important elements if you intend to run a successful ongoing business,” said Hamilton, while pointing out that greater emphasis would also be placed on training staff. Pointing to the improved support infrastructure, equipment, physical space, customer service areas and access of the facility, Hamilton said significant investment had been made in developing the new facility.
He opted not to disclose the exact amount of that investment, however.
Unveiling the posh 2017 Honda Civic, sales manager Michael Franco described it as “the sportiest Civic ever and the new benchmark in the compact class in terms of spaciousness, fuel efficiency, safety, interior quality and performance”. He said the new vehicle, which carries an on-the-road price tag ranging from just over $90 000 to a bit more than $112,000, surpassed current offerings and was challenging other luxury-class vehicles in a number of areas, including ride quality, noise vibration and harshness and steering feel.