Jetcon enters new car segment with Chinese brand BAIC
USED car dealer Jetcon Corporation is entering the new car sales market, according to its third-quarter financial results. The acknowledgement follows a period of sluggish sales of used cars, leading to a net loss of $7.1 million for the quarter ending on September 30, 2023.
In an interview with Jetcon’s Chairman John Jackson and Managing Director Andrew Jackson, both confirmed that the company is exploring the Beijing X55 model, from Chinese vehicle manufacturer Beijing Automotive Industry Corporation (BAIC), as its flagship for new car sales.
“In the car world the Chinese are taking over and many Chinese brands are available,” Andrew expressed to the Jamaica Observer with optimism.
While specific sales figures for the current year were not disclosed John mentioned that the sales of these new cars have commenced and are showing positive performance.
“The first shipment has been sold out and there’s been a good reception. Another shipment is on the way, and substantial commitments have already been made,” he reported.
The decision to pivot towards new cars is further justified by a shift in lending preferences from banks in favour of those purchasing new vehicles.
“There’s a bias towards that, and we’ve been feeling it for the past year,” Andrew noted.
Comparing this quarter to the same period last year, when the company recorded net profits of $12 million, Jetcon is experiencing a roughly 50 per cent reduction in sales. This marks the second-consecutive loss reported for the financial year, prompting Jetcon to lobby the Government for interest rate reductions.
Simultaneously, Jetcon is proactively diversifying its product portfolio to align with evolving consumer preferences. The company is exploring opportunities in solar equipment and electric vehicles (EVs) so as to enhance resilience to economic shocks.
“Companies can get into various things from time to time, unless you specifically want to restrict yourself to a particular thing. The reality is that one has to respond to market demands,” John stated in justifying the shift.
Despite reporting a loss of $3.50 million in the second quarter due to liquidating 10 predominantly electric vehicles (EVs) experiencing depreciation, John emphasised that EVs remain part of their strategic direction.
“Relatively speaking, we brought in a large shipment of EV vehicles and therefore that in itself is a factor. We might have been overly optimistic that those EV vehicles as many of them are not the most attractive vehicles on earth in terms of physical appearance,” he told the Sunday Finance.
He also acknowledged challenges such as infrastructure concerns and perceptions of high costs, but emphasised the potential for amortising these costs over a short period, especially for high-mileage users. Recognising the current market’s hesitation towards electric vehicles, John highlighted Jetcon’s forward-looking approach, anticipating the inevitable shift towards EVs in the future.
“It’s going to happen in the future,but it’s going to take some time. The early take-off was very positive but we might have been a little bit too aggressive with that side of the business. Going forward, what I’d like to see is a company that, yes, used cars are going to be part of the thrust, new vehicles are going to be a part of it, and the solar thing – who knows what actually comes later on?” said John.