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Garage Isla Verde marks 60th anniversary in Puerto Rico

Celebrating its 60th year anniversary running operations on the island, Garage Isla Verde, the sole authorized dealership of the luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz in Puerto Rico, has had to reinvent itself amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a recent interview with News is my Business, Garage Isla Verde General Manager Francisco Pérez said amid the pandemic the dealership suffered from a lack of inventory “and we definitely had to reinvent ourselves.”

“We changed the way we were selling by achieving virtual transactions,” Pérez explained. “Before, the only way a client would acquire a unit [car] was if they could physically come down to the dealership. But that is not necessary now.”

Pérez said they have added new tools through which the cars can be “looked at virtually.”

“In fact, the whole negotiation can be done virtually,” he said.

Pérez explained that currently clients carry out their research on what they would like to purchase online and by the time they contact the dealership “we have clients that are very well informed,” regarding what vehicle they are interested in purchasing.

This virtual process begins with the client searching online for Mercedes-Benz car dealership on the island and they are redirected to the Garage Isla Verde website.

“When they then contact us via email, our customer service team begins a conversation with the client via text message or email and they answer the client’s initial questions,” he explained. “Once the client has an idea on the units they’re interested in then we can schedule an appointment so they can come and see the car.”

The client then test drives the car and “we begin negotiations.”

Garage Isla Verde sells some 1,200 new cars and 1,000 used cars “for a total of 2,200 cars,” approximately each year.

“So, this year we should be at around those numbers,” Pérez assured.

Lack of inventory smacks market
He reiterated that what has impacted the market the most in recent years was the lack of inventory amid the pandemic.

“A lot of it has to do with the distribution chain,” he noted. “In our case, our cars have a lot of technology. That technology is sustained by the microprocessors, the microchips. During the pandemic, as factories had to shut down due to a shortage of workers, the necessary number of microprocessors could not be produced.”

The dealership sells between 180 to 200 cars each month. Garage Isla Verde has some 180 employees, including the sales team, customer service staff, office staff, technicians, and managers, among others.

Garage Isla Verde President Carlos Manuel Quiñonez, meanwhile, said that some $10 million to $11 million have been invested in the dealership in remodeling, franchises, land acquisition and in the further development of the Isla Verde facility.

Looking ahead, Garage Isla Verde is committed to “its spirit of continuous improvement and innovation.”

Aware of the importance of sustainability, the dealership’s operations are eco-friendly, with paperless processes, self-sufficiency in its electricity consumption through photovoltaic systems, and the responsible use of water in its car wash area.

This commitment to sustainability is also reflected in the Mercedes-Benz model portfolio, which now integrates electric vehicles, such as the EQ line. Garage Isla Verde provides access to various electric models, including SUVs, sedans, and the AMG sports car.

“For us, being eco-friendly or ‘green’ is not a passing fad; it’s the right thing to do and a responsibility we take very seriously as a corporate citizen,” Quiñones added. “The world is changing, and we have to change with it. That’s why we’re increasingly adopting practices focused on creating a better world.”

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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