Story & photos by Patrick P. Tulfo
NEWLY minted Coventry Motors Corp. (CMC) recently invited members of the motoring beat to witness the signing ceremony with the Jaguar Land Rover Asia Pacific Importers at the Manila Golf and Country Club.
The ceremony formalized the appointment of CMC as the sole importer and distributor of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles in the country.
In his speech, Robin Colgan, managing director of Asia Pacific Importers, said, “This is a critical milestone for our growth in the Asia-Pacific region. The Philippines’s robust 6.9-percent growth in the last quarter, which has surpassed even [that of] China’s, is a clear indication that this is a market that holds remarkable promise and potential for quality premium cars that will meet the needs of a sophisticated and developed consumer base.” He proudly added, “To this end, we will be launching a series of award-winning new models that we know will resonate with the Philippine market. We are indeed very pleased to commence our formal relationship with Coventry Motors, as we strongly believe in their capability to make incredible headway in growing the Jaguar and Land Rover market share in the country.”
George Barcelon, chairman of CMC, on the other hand, said, “We are very excited to have been appointed by Jaguar Land Rover to bring their business visions to life in the Philippine market. Both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands are taking the rest of the automotive world with cutting-edge technology and fresh dynamic designs that have resulted in incredible year-on-year growth in sales. We believe that by working closely together with Jaguar Land Rover Asia Pacific, we can bring new life and innovation to the Philippine automotive industry.”
To mark the momentous event, a Jaguar sports car and the soon-to-be-released Range Rover Velar, the latest addition to the Range Rover lineup, were displayed outside the venue, The Velar is meant to slot in nicely between the Range Rover Evoque and Range Rover Sport. It offers luxury, refinement and all-terrain capability never seen in the midsize sports-utility vehicles segment.
Colgan, in a separate interview, told this scribe that aside from the Velar, they are poised to launch in the first quarter of next year the new Jaguar E-Pace compact SUV and F-Pace performance SUV, as well as the new seven-seater full-size Land Rover Discovery. He admitted that they are closely monitoring the upcoming changes in the taxation of motor vehicles, which is expected to be implemented next year. He said that their new partner has assured him on new opportunities and he expects that they will do well.
On the question regarding their erstwhile business partner, he said, “We had a very good relationship with our previous importers and we’re very grateful for the work and effort they made on our behalf. But the truth is we have a big expansion plan and we see an opportunity here in the Philippine market. And having spent a considerable time talking to several business organizations here in the country, we felt that Coventry Motors was a very strong partner to take Jaguar and Land Rover into its next phase of growth.”
Meanwhile, he assured that they will honor all the warranty of units bought from their previous partners.
CMC, which was established recently, is committed to solidifying Jaguar Land Rover’s strong brand presence in the country and to cater to the needs of its loyal customers. Coventry Motors is under the guidance of Barcelon and CMC President Gerardo F. Alejandro, who both have vast management experience in the automotive scene. They are expected to steer the company to new heights.