The Business Year

Andrés Avelino Abreu

President of the Board, Avelino Abreu, SAS

Today, we represent well-known brands such as Volkswagen (we are its exclusive representative in the Dominican Republic), Audi, Seat, SsangYong, Subaru, Hino, Motul, and Kumho, among others. Free trade agreements (FTAs) play an important role in our business. The Dominican Republic has an FTA with the EU; however, we pay two taxes that amount to 35%. Regarding the US, while we only import certain products, we also have an FTA. Finally, we must mention Asian markets, because we import Hino trucks from Japan. We achieved record sales in the country with 35,000 vehicles sold in 2007. However, I think it is difficult to reach such a level again due to current economic trends not only at the national level, but also internationally. Post-sales services comprise one of the most interesting segments of our industry and are a key to success; we always say that the company sells the first vehicle, but post-sales services sell the second one.

Osiris Marchena

General Manager, Jaguar Dominicana

Formerly, Jaguar was perceived as an aristocratic vehicle, but nowadays it presents a more accessible face to the general public. The target client has changed accordingly, and today’s potential customers are keen on the quality, unique design, and construction of a Jaguar. Such changes have to be understood within the context of national development and the improvement of the road infrastructure. For example, 4×4 models are largely sold in the Dominican Republic due to the country’s geographic characteristics, and we have managed to grab part of the market share in that segment. TATA acquired Jaguar Land Rover some time ago, subsequently unveiling a £5 billion investment plan in R&D, manufacturing, and plants. Overall, the XF model, in all its variants, has proven to be the most popular vehicle of Jaguar’s portfolio here; we have seen a sustainable rise in the demand of both 2.0 and 3.0 engine vehicles.

Nelson A. Peña

President, Nelson A. Peña

When the company started in the early 1960s, it only had two brands in its portfolio: Daihatsu and Skoda. We stayed with Daihatsu and became market leaders with the brand, especially in the truck segment, in which we used to sell around 3,500 units annually, granting us a 98% market share of that particular segment. However, the truck segment was left behind in Daihatsu’s global strategy and became outdated. Difficulties accessing credit lines denied the sector further growth. Banks are reluctant to lend to the middle or lower classes, and we have struggled to provide solutions for people who require taxis and buses for their professional activities. In the short to medium term, we plan to carry out economic and financial restructuring within the company, due to the losses we suffered from the elimination of our main product, Daihatsu trucks, plus our investments in marketing our Chinese brands here.

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