Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 23rd 2015 Contents GAIL ALEXANDER
"Forward ever, Rowley never!"
That new campaign declaration
on Wednesday night from Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar
marked the start of the People s
Partnership s (PP) national cam-
paign meetings last week, starting
with Arima on the East-West cor-
ridor in the midst of showers.
Despite being a COP-held seat,
the number of yellow UNC jerseys
present in the crowd outnumbered
the COP s white jerseys almost
three to one.
Not that the gathering was very
large either. A number of mainly
red band (E-W corridor) maxi taxis
were evident in the car park off
Hollis Avenue where the meeting
was held, but the number of COP
supporters present amid the UNC
supporters who turned up---clearly
including many from several other
constituencies---raised the question
of whether more than rain had
affected the COP s "parade" in
Arima over the five-year term.
The threatening weather forced
supporters to cluster in several tents
erected along the Avenue and at
the front of the stage. It had been
drizzling until the start of the meet-
ing when the PP was lucky to see
the showers halt.
"Rain can t stop us," said COP
Arima MP Rodger Samuel.
"My cup runneth over,"
remarked La Horquetta/Talparo
candidate Jairam Seemungal, some
of whose supporters were present,
as were St Joseph candidate Vasant
Bharath, Tunapuna activist Larry
Lalla and Dr Gregory Bissessar, the
PM s husband, who walked among
supporters sizing up the situation.
"Look at trouble now!" declared
COP Arouca candidate Wendell
Eversely (not alluding to any prob-
lems with COP support).
Samuel, however, confirmed the
PP s bid to fight hard, when he
said: "We re not giving up Gov-
ernment in T&T and we re going
all out to ensure Kamla Persad-
Bissessar is returned to the helm
He said: "It s very important to
get everyone to go to the polls."
His boss also underscored the
need for members to "go out early
Toco candidate Brent Sancho,
proving comfortable now with the
platform and a definite crowd
favourite, felt the attendance
despite bad weather proved the PP
was "on the road to victory." COP
leader Prakash Ramadhar also felt
the PP had "arrived at the point
where it s on the road to victory."
A cheer arose for singer Nigel
Rojas who arrived to do the PP s
"Prepare the Way" campaign song.
But bigger cheers were for the
Prime Minister who exulted as she
announced the PNM had cancelled
its Couva meeting that night and
the PP had pressed on with its own
despite bad weather.
"Forward ever, Rowley never!"
Spectators, engrossed, didn t look
twice at the man in a red PNM
jersey emblazoned with the name
of the PNM s Arima candidate
("Anthony Garcia") on the back as
he walked through the crowd, com-
fortable amid the political compe-
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt August 23, 2015
SMILES OF SUPPORT
Managing director at Ansa
Automotive Jerome Borde pre-
dicts that the local automobile
sector will grow by at least ten
per cent by year s end, adding to
the impressive results recorded
in 2014, while sustaining the pos-
itive trends the market has seen
over the past five years.
In a T&T Guardian interview,
he said his optimistic forecast for
the sector was based on the fact
that the local economy was strong
and the cost of borrowing was low,
due to excess liquidity in the mar-
He did not see a reduction in
the price of new vehicles occurring
anytime soon, citing lending insti-
tutions currently higher risk tol-
erance, and the popular business
model where repayment terms for
consumer vehicle loans are extend-
ed for as long as seven years.
The flexibility in payment
options made it easier for the aver-
age pre-qualified consumer to
access financing, which meant
dealerships were moving units a
Borde said: "The market has
been growing since 2010. It s been
on a growth path and we expect
2015 to be no different. Percentage
wise I would suggest that we may
experience a further ten per cent
growth over 2014.
"What we are seeing is an inter-
esting scenario in that the tradi-
tional luxury market is changing.
We have so-called luxury brands
producing models that are entering
what we would not have consid-
ered the luxury market.
"So, there are a lot of down-
stream models coming into the
traditional market. At the moment
the outlook and growth for the
luxury car market has been very
good. It has been growing over the
last three to four years and we
expect it to continue onto 2015-
Borde said the transitions in the
market augured well for Ansa
Automotive which had five brands,
two of which were luxury lines:
BMW and Land Rover/Jaguar.
Both models were segment lead-
ers, he said.
"When we look at the Land
Rover today and what lies ahead,
it s going to be extremely inter-
esting because there are so many
models coming in with smaller
engines, with new technology that
gives you the output that is turbo
charged and so on. This brand is
on a growth path and we are very
excited about what comes before
us," he said.
Responding to questions about
fitting luxury vehicles for CNG,
Borde said Honda was the first to
market a bi-fuel vehicle that was
CNG capable which was doing
well, and rival brands were expect-
ed to follow suit. The Honda deal-
ership is under the Ansa Automo-
"So, it s only a matter of time
that we would see a significant
amount of CNG or hybrid vehicles
being available in all models. From
the brands which we carry, I think
from early next year, we will start
to see in the luxury segment some
offerings along those lines," he said.
10% growth expected
in T&T car sales
Dr Paula Henry of Diego Martin North East, right, hugs Jean Forde of Rio
Claro during a public meeting held at Mayaro Junction, on Friday.
PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
Showers on COP Arima support
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar greets supporters during a public meeting at Arima, on Wednesday.
Also greeting supporters are MP for Lopinot/Bon Air West, Lincoln Douglas, and Jairam Seemungal, MP for La
Horquetta/Talparo. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
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