Motor show 2003 delivers more than just cars

BY SHARON LEACH
All Woman writer

Monday, December 01, 2003

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The Automobile Dealers' Association of Jamaica's premier event of the year, Motor Show 2003, lived up to the promise of its theme "Bold, Stylish and Spectacular", as over 70 dream vehicles of the brightest colours preened for the attention of prospective buyers and curious onlookers.


There were oh-so sleek, sporty Mercedes, a mouthwatering chocolate BMW 5 series sports car for the stylish. And for the family-oriented, more practical offerings in the form of economy sedans and SUVs which were all as scrumptious to look at. There were the much-hyped vehicles du jour, the awesome Escalades and Avalanches, whose sheer overwhelming size and form could make brave hearts weak.



The other star attractions of the show held at the National arena recently were the prices the vehicles fetched. With the lowest price tag showing $650,000.00 (for GM Challenger's fire engine-red 1000cc Chevy Celta), these babies certainly are not cheap. After being totally flabbergasted by the hefty $5.7-million dollar price tag on the electric-blue sport 350Z Nissan that was one of the biggest scene-stealers of the show, we retreated-- jelly-kneed-- to the safety of the booths upstairs to be pleasantly surprised at the more practical nature of those offerings.



Motor Show 2003 boasted some 60 attendant booths displaying motor products and related services, and All Woman found a treasure trove of wonderful information there for our female motorists.



Bert's Auto for example boasted an interesting and cheaper alternative of what certainly is all the rage in tyre accessories: the spinning rims. Only these parts suppliers are selling the 'spinning hubcaps', shall we say the poor man's version of the 'spinners', which are currently being featured in the hottest music videos. With a price tag of $3000 for the set of four (14") as against anywhere in excess of $60,000 for the spinning rims of the larger vehicles like the Escalade, it's quite a steal and a small price to pay for driving in style.



Another interesting find was Daytona Sales' new free flow filters, attractively designed like brightly coloured little Art Deco lanterns which, says Sylvester Trought, of Daytona, are the "newest innovation in filters created for increased air flow and hence better mileage for any automobile, whether carburetted or fuel-injected systems". These filters can easily replace the original filters the cars come fitted with by a simple disconnection, and for a moderate cost of between $895 and $1395 will not only make your car run better but also keep it 'styling' as well.



Automotive Art, the sister company of Stewart's, also, had a product of interest: a new line of automobile tint that rejects 99 per cent of the sun's UV rays. Neil Robinson, the company's branch manager, points out that tinting in Jamaica often ignores the critical UV factor and improperly use tints. This explains the burning on the skin that motorists experience even with the tint present, Robinson said. This new line of tint from his company runs from between $3500 to $7000 (plus GCT) for all windows except windscreen. For the windscreen, which should not to be coated with heavy tint, there is a special heat-protective tint, which does not alter the look of the windscreen, available for a cost of between $400-$600.



The next stop was Mitchell's, who caught the attention of every passer-by with their Audio Vox brand of DVD monitors, players and radios mounted for display. Planning a trip to the country? Well, to keep fidgety kids quiet you just may want to have such a system installed in your vehicle. But be warned, top quality seldom comes cheap. The cost of the DVD monitor (complete with dash and headrest mount) is $28,000 plus tax. And at a cost of $5000 and up Mitchell's will install this system for you to be on your way 'maxxing' and relaxing on those long journeys free from that nagging question, 'Are we there yet?'



National Safety Limited had some practical items every woman should have in her car. There were fire extinguishers sizes 1 lb and 2 1/2 lb ranging in price between $1650-$1950 plus tax. Also available were First Aid kits from $700 and up.



Another interesting find was the King Alarms booth, which boasted innovative ideas in car safety with custom-tailored packages available. This company offers state-of-the-art tracking systems (King Tracker systems I and II) and panic buttons for motor vehicles, whether privately-owned cars or for fleets of company vehicles. While being regaled about the workings of the island-wide vehicle tracking system by security consultant Tony Gentles we watched on the computer, an actual car being tracked along a corporate area route. Talk about cutting-edge technology! For a moderate installation cost of between $15000 and $20000 and a subsequent monthly fee of between $1200 and $1500, this could be a wise security investment especially during the festive season when car thefts often escalate.



Finally, we have to mention the booth at ZipSell.com, Jamaica's first total Internet automobile classifieds market. For the busy woman on the go it offers online buying and selling of motor vehicles (minus the hassle of going from dealer to dealer and being harassed by over-eager salesmen with their eyes on commission cheques), while offering other services like financing, insurance, servicing and auto parts sourcing. Check it out when you have some time.



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