Drag wars got off to a great start on Saturday with cars and bikes from four countries competing at “The Base” in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia for the third running of this event here since being introduced by Neil Beepat back in December of 2009. Now in the hands of “Landmark Events” the largest gathering of race cars ever seen in St. Lucia got down to business by taking part in the “Test and Tune” stage of the event. Some very impressive times were laid down by the visitors with cars from both Trinidad and Grenada running in the 9’s!
St. Vincent and St. Lucia are running almost neck and neck with several cars into the 11’s with the Vincy’s having a slight edge. Hopefully on Sunday St. Lucia will see the return of Neil Beepats “Khaos” which ran 9’s in the last event.
For more information, check out the Lucianriders forum here.
For a direct link to more pictures posted to the forum, click here.
OUR PLANET CENTRE
The future is here now at La Place Carenage in Castries where the new “Our Planet Centre” has recently opened and is wowing visitors both local and tourists alike.
Taking over from where the Desmond Skeete Animation center was previously located, even more space has been allocated to this large and well planned out exhibit.
The brain child of Pablo Rosenthal and Sara Adams, this dynamic duo have worked tirelessly to bring to St. Lucia a World Class feature that all St. Lucians can be proud of. The bulk of the money to build the center came from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, we are very fortunate that they agreed to cover the huge costs to construct the centre. A number of local companies have also been instrumental in providing much needed assistance.
The Our Planet Centre theme is one of education but not at the expense of entertainment. Who knew that learning about our planet and how best to care for it could be so spell binding!?
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I have been following, with interest, the introduction of Chinese made vehicles to the St. Lucian market with several companies importing pickups as their introductory vehicles which have been reasonably well received.
Now, for the first time, a vehicle for the masses has been imported from the world’s largest economy in the form of the Geely MK2 five door hatchback. It almost seems strange that it has taken this long for Chinese made cars to make it to the Caribbean. Just about everything is made in China these days and products (baring the Made in China emblem) are no longer perceived as inferior grade products. One just has to look at the back of any ‘Apple’ computer or iPhone to find that some of the best products in the world are being made or assembled in China.
In addition, most products made in China have a reputation for good value for money and this appears to be the case with the Geely car that I had a chance to test drive recently.
Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd is one of the biggest Chinese automobile manufacturers not to be a state-owned enterprise. Geely is also among the top ten Chinese automakers.
In August of 2010 Geely purchased Volvo cars of Sweden from Ford.
The Geely models being imported by Pinnock Brothers Inc. are two hatchback models the GS and GT and an almost identical sedan model that all list for $49,000.00 EC dollars. The most expensive is the GT version that I tested at $54,000.00 dollars. The difference between the GS and GT is mainly found in the interior with leather seats and a sun roof as standard on the GT, in addition, it gets fancier and sportier rims. The GT also has reverse sensors with its own display in the dash board. Read the rest of this entry »
We’ve probably all heard of “IT”, seen them on TV or even might have been lucky enough to see them when traveling abroad; but now the wait is over! The Segway has reached our shores and are set to make a splash in the Tourism tour market segment.
Brain child of Eliot Bailey, the founder of Lucianstyle (www.lucianstyle.com) which is a tour operation that is located next to Rehab bar on the strip in Rodney Bay. Twelve top of the line Segway X2 models were imported and are in use for both training and guided tours within the Rodney Bay area. The Segway X2 is the off-road version of the original PT (Personal Transporter) version that was invented by Dean Kamen and introduced to the world in 2001 amidst much hoopla.
Kamen was way ahead of his time and pronounced that the Segway “will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy” and announced that they expected to sell up to 40,000 units per year. Unfortunately for Kamen his company found it difficult to sell the units due to most countries banning the vehicle from both the roads and sidewalks. As a result they only managed to sell approximately 30,000 units from 2001 to 2007. However things are improving for the company as many countries including the US are relaxing the restrictions on where the vehicle can be legally operated.
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I heard Charles Pinnock of Pinnock Brothers Inc. on Russell Lakes “Drive By” show on Tuesday and was very impressed to hear him promote his new line of vehicles. What a breath of fresh air to hear a Car Salesman promote his product truthfully and intelligently!
Charles has recently returned from living and working in the US for some twenty years and now back home in St. Lucia, and plans to be the first automotive importer of Chinese pickups to actively promote the rugged and affordable aspects of these sometimes maligned and misunderstood vehicles.
Charles started his endeavor by traveling to China to see for himself a number of the Chinese manufacturers in order to choose what he thinks to be the perfect “do it all” pickup for the West Indies Market. Yes, the big picture is to market these vehicles all over the Caribbean including Guyana and the bigger islands like Jamaica.
Charles has a back ground in Aeronautical engineering having worked for American Airlines as a manager in the maintenance department. His approach to setting up a new vehicle dealership has been one based on his excellent engineering background and he has used his skills to pick apart the vehicles that were available to him.
After visiting a number of different manufactures, he was impressed with the Pickups being produced by the Anhui Changfeng Yangzi Motor Manufacturing Co. located in Anhui China. They have proven willing to work with Mr. Pinnock to customize the range of vehicles that will be exported to St. Lucia and so far this is already bearing fruit.
CMC manufacture pickups that are based on a Mitsubishi chassis and use diesel engines that are licensed from Isuzu but manufactured by themselves. The major difference between these Chinese made vehicles and their Japanese counter parts are the philosophy behind the design and build quality. Read the rest of this entry »