It’s true! You can pick up a Range Rover HSE V8 for only $15 million-$17 million from the Kingston Industrial Garage (KIG) in Jamaica. But wait! As Dawn Green, Land Rover sales and marketing manager says, “the Range Rover Sport V6 is a little cheaper at $9 million-$11 million.”
OK. So what’s this all about? In a word: Security. You get all the off-road traction and on-road luxury you’d expect from the Range Rover…plus a hefty dose of built-in security features and added luxury amenities you won’t find in the stock models.
And $17 million? That’s considered a bargain in the heady world of high security.
Consider…the Mercedes Benz S500 at $24 million. Now before you start balking you should know it comes fully equipped with features such as keyless ignition start, premium-leather ventilated massage front seats (rear seats optional – Optional!), eight-way power-adjustable front seats (again…rear seats optional!), parktronic with rear-view camera, night-view assistant, multizone climate-control system, blind-spot assistance, and 20-inch AMG sport wheels, along with a range of other optional features you can select at your whim. (Zebra-hide seats? A cloaking feature? We’re not at liberty to say. )
Another Teutonic techie, the BMW 7 series, and the Audi Q7, come in at a million dollars below the S500. Sales and marketing manager for BMW vehicles at Stewart Motors in Jamaica, says the 2008 BMW 760i would set you back $23 million.
So how can these cars be called a bargain? Because they’re less than half the cost of the Audi A8, which costs – are you ready? - $80 million! At that price, you could also buy five to eight McMansions. But Deborah Stewart, Audi brand and sales manager at ITG, says given its features, the A8 Security was “reasonably priced”.
After all, the car comes equipped with the most advanced security features and luxury amenities. Of course, the B6 European ballistic-certified vehicle is available only on special order. Stewart will willingly take orders.
So what exactly does an $80-million car offer?
The Audi A8 Security sedan’s “standard” features include full-cage outer-body armoring certified by the German Federal Police, run-flat tires, gas tank and battery armoring, double-mirror interior, emergency door exit, and a slate of comfort features such as silky-soft power-adjustable leather seats, refrigerator, retractable rear-seat tables, heated wind screen, multi-zone climate controls, and more.
And the market is growing, with sales reportedly rising 30 percent last year.
"The Jamaican population is actually more educated; they are a lot more exposed," said Stewart. "We have so many young professionals who have experience in Europe and North America and they have been exposed to these brands."
So, if you have the cash – and an aversion to rocket-propelled grenades, road mines and paparazzi – why not take a little side trip to Jamaica and cool your heels in the sand while you wait for your new car to be constructed?
After all, you can’t run a country, or a corporation, when you’re dead.
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