Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, says a key priority of the government is formulating suitable policies and implementing strategies that will ensure the continued growth and development of the automotive industry.
“The automotive trade is a critical component of our economy, with extensive interconnections across other sectors or industries. As such, we will continue to provide and facilitate as much as possible, constructivedevelopment and growth of the local automobile trade,” he said.
Mr. Hylton was addressing the opening of the Automobile Dealers Association of Jamaica’s (ADA) Motor Show 2012 on Friday (March 23), at the National Arena in Kingston.
He said the Government is cognisant of the challenges facing industry players and is committed to working with them to address those issues, pointing out that one such measure is ensuring a level playing field for both new and used car dealers.
“As a government, what we really want to achieve is a certain sense of balance and accommodation of all players in the industry. As such, we will be seeking at all times to prescribe and implement an appropriate policy mix that is fair for all players in the industry,” he said.
The Minister congratulated the ADA on staging the motor show, which he said, is an important medium for many Jamaicans to make purchasing decisions and gain valuable information on new developments in the industry.
He welcomed the organizers decision to show not only on conventional vehicles, but also on more efficient and environmentally-friendly transport technologies, such as hybrid electric-gasoline, and eco-friendly and low fossil fuel use vehicles.
“Vehicle emissions are known to negatively affect air quality and human health. For these reasons, emissions reduction ought to play a role in consumer decisions, and I believe expositions such as this one are critical in bringing greater awareness of the fuel issue to Jamaicans,” he said.
The Minister stated that the motor show could also be used as an avenue for further advancement of the industry, as it highlights global consumer trends such as the demand for information technology (IT)-compatible cars, which can eventually influence developments in the Jamaican marketplace and the creation of new business opportunities within the automotive trade.
Chairman of the ADA, Kent LaCroix, said the show, traditionally held biannually, but which has not taken place since 2007 due to economic factors, has distinguished itself as a world-class event throughout the years, with the 2012 event promising to be “truly spectacular”.
The three-day show, which ends on March 25, is showcasing the latest motor vehicles models and innovations in the industry. It is being staged in association with main sponsor, Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Limited. Other sponsors are the RJR Communications Group and Jamaica Observer.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter