Despite strong competition and a challenging economic environment, car dealer Courtesy Garage Limited is reporting a successful 2013.
Senior general manager Nicholas MacKie gave the update during the company’s annual award ceremony at Harrison’s Cave today, adding that the company was expecting an equally good 2014.
He said Courtesy Garage recorded a 34 per cent increase in sales for this year, up from about $42 billion dollars for the previous year.
“And we have been able to achieve 23 per cent market share which is basically a doubling of our market share in the last year,” said Mackie.
“We have had some good growth in 2013 and the outlook is positive although the automotive industry is having some challenges. As a company we are in a good position and we are growing,” he told reporters.
Mackie attributed the company’s success to a strong focus on customer service, “a long term strategy of keeping operating cost down, retiring debt and acquiring new brands and expansion”.
He said the automotive industry remained “very competitive and it is shrinking and it is expected to have some weakening again next year. So that should make it even more interesting”.
The businessman said, however, while he was not an expert in economics, he was of the view that the local economy would improve over time.
He said a decrease in the duties paid on imported vehicles would make a significant difference to the industry.
“We would all like to pay lower taxes,” he said.
Mackie quickly pointed out, however, “the reality of the situation right now is that government is faced with a situation of trying to [plug] its deficit. We have had to deal with increased taxation but I think that we will be able to get through that”.
He said Courtesy Garage Limited, a member of the Goddards Enterprises Limited, would be expanding in the coming years. He said the company was approached “almost every month” by someone who wanted to sell a business or wanted the group to expand in a new area.
While he did not give details, Mackie said there were plans for expansion that would take place in both existing markets and new ones.
Courtesy Garage Limited operates in a number of countries throughout the region. It is a dealer in new and used cars and offers a number of related services including rental.
Mackie said the company had not had to layoff anyone this year. Courtesy Garage currently employs approximately 120 staff in Barbados.
During the award ceremony a number of staff were recognized for their longevity in service. Others received a number of special prizes. (MM)