What is the role of PPPs and concessions in the development of infrastructure megaprojects in Costa Rica?
GASTÓN ORÓSTEGUI With the current reality in Costa Rica and Latin America, it is essential to continue with PPP projects. In Costa Rica, the concessions law has been in operation for a long time, and with that the opportunities to generate projects are quite extensive. At present, there are five PPP projects, including an airport project which has already consolidated.
What positioning do the Purdy brands have in the market?
JORGE RAMIREZ Toyota is the number-one brand in Costa Rica, which we have maintained for many years because customers truly value what we offer. In the case of Hino, in 2017 we sold 220 trucks for an extremely important customer, as the heavy truck market is dominated by companies importing seven- to eight-year old trucks from the US. Our plan is to create a market for locally purchased trucks and push innovative engines to support lower CO2 emissions.
Where do you see good niches for the participation of investors?
GO Everyone knows that Costa Rica has a major infrastructure deficit. The current government has been taking on the challenge, but we need to do more, not only related to the development of roads, which is urgent, but also developing airports and other infrastructure. Such projects also resolve issues regarding social connotation, social housing, and schools, for example.
What is Purdy doing to lead the market?
JR We recently launched the Agya and Rush models under the slogan “My first Toyota" to attract the entry-level niche market in Costa Rica. We have been working with our financial branch to provide a special financing process for these new customers. We adapt to the conditions of the customers we target.
What is your advice regarding how to carry out operations in Costa Rica?
GO As the benefits of the agreement are transmitted to the user, concessions have a higher acceptance rate. For example, in a concession for a highway, the investor interacts with the management of the highway on a daily basis, which is contrary to a port or projects with indirect management. Over time, investors understand the concessionaire's way of management and the development at the real estate or industrial level, strengthening the trust between the sponsor and society. The daily interaction enables investors to understand the advantages a concession has for them, not only in terms of time but also economic savings and other factors.
How are you developing your related businesses?
JR We are shifting toward a customer-centric, 360-degree business, including an insurance broker. We have our own accident workshop, which makes a great difference. This is a different approach to the market as we offer services for Toyota, Hino, and Lexus. In case of Hino, some of our service people also work in the plant. We have also introduced electronic devices that measure things such as fuel consumption and average speed. We can set a speed limit for a journey, so that every time the limit is exceeded, a warning light will turn on. Notably, we produce different reports in real time so that customers can make decisions in real time.
What are your CSR initiatives?
GO The company has several CSR activities. There is one in conjunction with the Real Madrid foundation and the Universidad Latina. The company also supports a socio-sporting school, along with several other schools under the concession contract for road safety programs. Our focus is on improving the accident rate at a national level. In the same sense, we have an initiative to train the drivers of the future. Globalvia works closely with local communities to design initiatives, for example, we are sponsors of a surfing tournament called Ola Grande. The tournament is also about cleaning beaches and assisting low-income people from the coastal communities. The company also developed an animal rescue program where the users are involved in achieving welfare of both domestic and wild animals.
JR We currently have a new strategy called Sustainable Mobility, which is a truly smart initiative by our social responsibility department. It focuses on five different areas that will benefit Costa Rican society. Purdy has a great deal of information that it can give to customers to make them better drivers. For example, we have Eco Drive seminars where we teach how to drive in order to consume 20-30% less fuel. Another effort involves working with the Ministry of Education to help people studying mechanics in the public education systems, since at times they are slightly behind in new technologies.