Grupo Martí, a family company based in the Dominican Republic, is looking to steer the Volvo brand of luxury vehicles back to the privileged position it had among Puerto Rico consumers several decades ago with significant investments and long-terms plans.
During an interview with this media outlet, Christian Cabral, vice president of Grupo Marti responsible for overseeing the group’s vehicle portfolio in the region, said the company plans to invest between $5 million and $10 million over the next three to five years in Puerto Rico to boost the brand.
“We’re confident in Puerto Rico’s economic recovery, which is why we’re investing in Volvo and have an appetite to grow the portfolio here. While it is true that the island’s economy has been decelerating, it’s a normal cycle in the economy,” he said.
For Grupo Martí, which took over the Volvo brand in the Dominican Republic in 2011, the goal is to reach a 15 percent share of Puerto Rico’s luxury vehicle market in coming years. In the neighboring island nation, the company drove the brand’s market share from less than 1 percent in 2011 to a projected 15 percent by the end of this year, he said.
For the relaunch, Grupo Martí will roll out at least four models: the XC 90, the XC 60, the S 90 and the S 60. For the time being, it will handle product marketing and distribution with its own 20-person staff at a single dealership in San Juan.
“For us, it’s important to see Volvo return to what it once was in Puerto Rico: a visionary brand that everybody aspired to own, back in the 70s and 80s,” he said, adding that the company has already sold 10 units during a soft-opening of the dealership over the past three weeks.
Grupo Martí’s incursion into Puerto Rico is the first of several planned in the Caribbean and Central and Latin America, Cabral said.
“Our goal is to continue growing in the region and that includes the opening of Volvo in Puerto Rico. Our next step is opening limited operations in Cuba in 2017, followed by other markets in Central and Latin America.”