by Amy Tocknell for Endeavor Magazine

FelderEndeavorMag

John C. Felder, President/CEO of Cayman Automotive Leasing, Marketing & Sales Ltd, talks to Endeavour about the exciting developments that are securing the company’s position as the premier auto dealer in the Caribbean.

A relative newcomer to the business world, Cayman Automotive was founded in 2005 in response to certain automotive issues, within the Caribbean, not being catered for previously. A primary concern was that the new and pre-owned vehicle sales market was identified as lacking in extended warranty protection, something that Cayman Automotive consider to be vital for customer peace of mind and continued custom. Keen to project themselves as a responsible organisation, the company is fully licensed for automotive brokering, importing vehicles that have been manufactured in the United States of America in accordance with stringent production standards.

Boasting a vast knowledge of automotive services, the company was unwilling to be confined to just one area of specialism. Such levels of ambition lead to Cayman Automotive fast becoming the largest and most reliable car-leasing organisation within the Cayman Islands. Catering predominantly to ex-patriots inhabiting the country on working visas, the service levels offered are commensurate to the level of skill demonstrated by the professionals using them. Branching out into the Bahamas, St. Thomas, Bermuda, Barbados and Turks and Caicos, Cayman Automotive are set to become the foremost automotive dealer, for both sales and hire, in the Caribbean as a whole.

Keen to demonstrate an inherent understanding of automotive developments, technological breakthroughs and also social responsibility, John Felder draws attention to the company’s groundbreaking work with electric vehicles since 2009. The first company to introduce electric vehicles into the Caribbean, Cayman Automotive seeks to offer customers impressive variety, significant fuel savings and exemplar service in equal measures. Entering into professional partnerships with reputable automotive giants including Mitsubishi, Think City, Wheego, Tazzari and Polaris was not forward thinking enough for Felder and as such, Smith Electric Vehicles have also been welcomed into the fold, providing the Caribbean with its first ever 100% electric fleet of commercial vehicles. Recognising just how diverse the range of electric transport options can be, Cayman Automotive branched out even further into rechargeable scooters and motorcycles, exclusively provided by ZEV Electric.

Having collated an impressive fleet of vehicles, it was a natural progression for Cayman Automotive to support the ever-increasing network of electric transportation within the Caribbean region. As such, they have not only opened 2 dedicated service centres, but have also been instrumental in the provision of a suitably requisite number of electric charging stations. Investing significantly in renewable energy resources, solar powered stations look set to become the standard by which all other forms of refueling are measured.

Setting high standards is a natural initial step for any company looking to attract the right class of customer but this is only achieved through the effective provision of experienced and skilled staff. Felder is prolific in his understanding that satisfied and regular customers are generated as a result of happy employees delivering an exemplar service and as such he strives to create a stress-free working environment ripe with development opportunities. Currently employing a modest bank of skilled staff members, split between the Cayman Islands and mainland USA, Cayman Automotive provide continuous customer satisfaction training, solely designed to maximise customer retention through staff education.

By actively acknowledging the efforts of all staff members, an inherent sense of satisfaction is organically passed onto customers through positive and professional interactions. This is unsurprising given that the company defines its mission statement in the following way:

 “Our goal is to exceed the customers expectation at every opportunity in order to gain customers for life.”

 A high mantle indeed but Felder explains that this is possible because,

 “Every employee is empowered to satisfy the customer when there is a need.”

It becomes clear that Cayman Automotive are not solely interested in a temporary bolstering of company profits, but seek to engage in long term relationships with customers and will take any steps necessary to do so. With dedicated employees providing a comprehensive service experience, which includes following explicit after sales protocol to ensure satisfaction, the company is well deserving of their impressive rise to the top of their industry. Naturally keen to maintain and simultaneously build upon their prominent position, the company actively seeks to remain ahead of competitors through the provision of services unique to only them, such as their impressive 24/7 roadside assistance package that no other leasing organisations offer.

Working alongside a definitive customer service charter and staff development programme, the procurement of an efficient and reliable supply chain is the final vital component necessary for any company wishing to experience continued growth and profitability. With this firmly in mind, Felder and his management team have endeavoured to build and maintain long-term relationships with trusted suppliers. Viewing all partnerships as equally important, Cayman Automotive select their suppliers with care, aware that should any imported vehicles discovered to be of a sub-par standard, it will be impractical and costly to return or repair the item.

 With solid foundations of customer care, reliable suppliers and trusted staff supporting the organisation, Cayman Automotive is able to look ahead to the future and devise new initiatives for company expansion. Exciting developments have included the installation and maintenance of the very first solar-powered charging station for electric vehicles within the Cayman Islands and the introduction of electric vehicle sales within the Bahamas and St. Thomas regions. The impact of these innovations look set to be far-reaching, and the Bahamas will be the first Caribbean island to offer consumers access to an entirely free-of-charge network of recharging stations, thanks to a hugely successful partnership with Sun Country Highway (SCH). Further widening the net of socially responsible transportation options, this combined effort demonstrates the meeting of minds between Felder and president of SCH, Kent Rathwell who are keen for the Bahamas to set an example to all remaining Caribbean islands which have not yet embraced the world of electric vehicles.

 Looking objectively at some of the impressive achievements already attributed to Cayman Automotive, the future is sure to bring yet more industry changing firsts. In just ten short years, and as a result of a significant eight year, $800,000 investment programme, Cayman Automotive has made significant inroads into a competitive market sector. Entering into a contract with Budget Rent-A-Car, made it the first rental company in the Caribbean to offer fully electric vehicles from locations such as the Reef Resort in Grand Cayman, and has directly contributed to their gaining of a reputation as fast becoming the premier sales and leasing organisation of the area.

– See more at: http://www.littlegatepublishing.com/2014/04/cayman/#sthash.0NXu67ZC.dpuf

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