Audi & VW builds US 13m showroom in JA


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There's no denying that the new ATL Autohaus complex housing the VW showroom and Audi Terminal has breathed new excitement along the Oxford Road, New Kingston landscape. And after a whopping US$13 million and just under 18 months of construction, it should.

Brian Stevenson, the company's director of development, told The Gleaner during a private tour on Wednesday that some 200 persons were hired for the construction. He is confident that the new complex will give the customer a world-class facility that sets the bar high. "The terminal and showroom are a central hub for everything to do with Audi and VW," Stevenson said.


But what will be officially opened today by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (who broke ground at the start), was first conceptualised when ATL CEO Adam Stewart went to Germany to negotiate for dealership. "He was told that he'd have to erect a building that would be on par with the German car manufacturers' dealerships anywhere in the world," Stevenson said.

Did he succeed? It was apparent when, during the German team's visit to the new complex last week, they commented, "You've captured Audi". Stevenson said the Germans reported feeling like they were in a showroom anywhere in the world, and were happy with the standard.

Stevenson told The Gleaner that local architect Rivi Gardner was not even allowed to touch his pencil during the first of a three-week tour of the German headquarters of the vehicles. He focused on design during week two and returned to Jamaica with the basic footprint that was tweaked and adjusted until it was finalised. All materials used had to be specially ordered, even the tiles on the floor had to be sourced only from German-approved suppliers. Workmanship, paint and air conditioning were the only local components.


But it's not just a pretty building. Using the latest technology, the prospective Audi buyer can now engage an electronic configurator and, on a tablet, select a car, its colour, rims, roof lighting, carpet, radio, air conditioning, and any of a number of specifications. He can then hit a button and print out the costing quotation. By just hitting another button, the order will then be sent to the German manufacturer and the order will begin a process that will end in the car's Jamaican landing four to six months later.

Other features

In-house store for branded clothing, luggage and accessories, customer waiting area, service area. A handover room where a buyer can sit in privacy for final questions/instructions, see more details, sign papers, have some refreshment and more, before leaving with his/her new car.

A diagnostic room where the vehicle is taken for pre-service examination.

Suite of modular furnished offices, clean, tidy showroom,

Showrooms with giant-size TVs linked directly to German Audi stations 24/7.

Restrooms and lunch rooms.