PARAMARIBO, Suriname – They’ve only been open a short time, but SEMC Motors, Ford Motor Company’s first dealer partner in Suriname, is pleased with the response it’s received from customers.
Ford already enjoyed a strong reputation as a quality brand with innovative products in Suriname, despite not previously being available there. SEMC Motors officials are optimistic that the favorable opinion will translate to strong sales. “This is just the beginning, and we have big plans together with Ford in Suriname,” said Eric van Ravenswaay, CEO of SEMC.
All indications so far are positive. In the few short months the dealership was open in 2013, it sold about 120 Ford Rangers, and sales continue to grow. “The Ranger is making its way to the top in the Surinamese market, going head-to-head with the best-selling vehicles from Isuzu and Toyota,” van Ravenswaay said. “We have a very positive outlook for 2014. We are aiming to sell 200 units. Plus with the Kuga we will get a great chance to compete with other affordable SUVs on the market.”
Officials from Ford Motor Company and Suriname Earthmoving Contractors, the parent company of SEMC Motors, spoke about their joint commitment to customer service at the official opening in August 2013.
“The opening of this dealer marks Ford’s commitment to the region,” said Pablo Haase, regional director, Central America and the Caribbean, Ford Motor Company. “We are very enthusiastic to work hand-in-hand with SEMC Motors.”
In addition to the Ranger and Kuga, Ford’s lineup in Suriname includes the Focus, Edge, Escape, Explorer and F-Series.
To focus attention on its vehicle offerings, the dealership participated in an annual car and motor show, Motosur. It received two of the three awards handed out – Best Booth and Trendsetter. “It was a great way to get exposure, and the Explorer generated a lot of interest,” said van Ravenswaay.
In addition to a showroom, the full-service facility includes a parts and service center to provide after-sales support, which SEMC Motors Commercial and Operations Manager Ryan Veldkamp said was of great importance. “Selling a vehicle is done by the sales department, but your second vehicle will be sold by our service department.”
The SEMC group of companies also includes heavy equipment (SEMS Contractors) and heavy equipment sales (SEMC Hardware).
Suriname is on the northeast coast of South America and is home to about 266,000 people.