Ward's Automotive International / May 1, 1997
By Larry Luxner
A private British automaker wants to manufacture fiberglass cars locally for the leisure market on Barbados, a 166-square-mile island in the Caribbean.
Rogwer Whalley, director of Khaleej Cars Ltd., says his company is willing to establish a factory here -- in partnership with a local investor -- to initially produce 120 to 150 automobiles a year for the Barbados and Eastern Caribbean car-rental market.
"The general size of premises we need for construction programs such as this is around 600 square meters," he said during a trade mission to Barbados by the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. Whalley added that his company will invest half of the required £150,000 start-up costs. Basing the cost of the local vehicle on that of existing operations Khaleej Cars has in Egypt and the Canary Islands, Whalley said cars to be made in Barbados would cost under £5,000 (around $8,200). Another company in Barbados already manufactures a version of the "mini-moke" sport-utility vehicle for about $15,000.
Barbados, a former British colony, is a popular tourist attraction for U.S., Canadian and European visitors. The island has about 50,000 registered vehicles.