Customer Joy Lemessy gets assistance from Honda sales representative Davidson Grant as she looks at a Honda City CNG at their showroom on Richmond Street, Port-of-Spain, during the reopening of car dealerships yesterday.



Buying a car from the showroom is back.

But you’re probably going to have to make an appointment to do so.

President of the Automotive Dealers Association of T&T Ryan Latchu yesterday confirmed that despite the clearance for the car dealers to operate, they would continue operations at 50 per cent capacity.

“We have actually implemented some strict safety protocols that, you know, in alignment with the guidelines by the Ministry of Health together with rostered staff, to be operating at 50 per cent capacity at this time and appointment-based schedules for customers,” Latchu explained.

He added that they willalso be “utilising our contactless solutions and this will happen for the foreseeable future until this whole pandemic in Trinidad really subsides.”

On Saturday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley confirmed that car dealerships would be allowed to reopen yesterday, as he noted the relatively small number of people required to transact a car sale.

These measures will ensure the numbers involved indeed remain no more than a handful, Ltchu said.

The ADATT president said his members were generally pleased to reopen yesterday, but they were especially happy with the reopening of Licensing Office which further allowed them to push the sale of cars.

“Thankfully, the Licensing Office operated in tandem with us and it’s because of that we felt the need to really push forward with vehicle sales in particular and that exercise in terms of vehicle registration,” said Latchu, who told Guardian Media that there were no issues experienced by his membership on the day.

“We are extremely appreciative that we were granted permission to operate from today and will comply with the guidelines outlined by the Ministry of Health. There were no challenges experienced with today’s reopening and we were satisfied that the Licensing Office was able to facilitate vehicle registrations on the first day of reopening,” he said.

Latchu, however, noted that vaccinations were definitely on the agenda for the association going forward.

“We have requested that the ADATT members be allocated vaccines for our respective companies and are awaiting the response of the Ministry of Health,” he said.