Every year Cubas Ministry of tourism spends upwards of $25million on the renovation of its Cuban Car Rental fleets. However, each year the new cars purchased are often plagued with typical mechanical problems which render portions of the fleet unserviceable until spare parts can be delivered. A recent accord signed in mid 2013 by Raul Castro and Mr. AN Conghui, CEO and President of Geely Holding Group will see Cuban Rent a Cars being manufactured in Cuba, saving the government over $10million annually but, more importantly, allowing Car Rental companies in Cuba to rapidly obtain vital spare parts for vehicles currently in use.
Pedro Perez Santana, operations manager of Transtur Car Rental Havana commented we anticipate that our national car rental fleet for 2015 will consist of at least 60% locally manufactured Geely CK , EC7 Emgrand and EC8 vehicles. Whats more, our mechanics will have direct access to spare parts which will allow us to keep our fleet of vehicles on the road when today we suffer a loss of up to 30% of the vehicle fleet, either through accidents or mechanical failures. These are sometimes brand new cars that stay off the road for unacceptable lengths of time awaiting simple spare parts.
With over 10,000 Geely vehicles previously sold to Cuba since 2012, these cars, which are now being sold to Cubans as second hand cars, will also benefit from increased servicing possibilities and an abundance of spare parts, much like the now antiquated Russian built Lada cars did until the early 1990s.
Transtur Car Rental spokesman Pedro Perez Santana added the current problems we encounter in high season months when demand for Rent a Cars in Cuba far outstrips vehicle availability should soon become a thing of the past. Just by being able to keep our fleet operational, instead of having a large percentage of cars off the road will undoubtedly solve 90% of our problems at Transtur. Our aim at Transtur Car rental is that if a tourist visiting us wants to rent a car in Cuba then we have a car available for them, simple. Sadly today, many people visit the island, especially in high season months, ending up having to take the bus or taxis which, apart from affecting our company financially, also affects the tourism experience we are trying to promote for the island.
There is no doubt that by manufacturing its own rental cars, Cuba will be one of the few Caribbean nations with a self sustainable Car Rental industry and, due to the size of Cuba, renting a car is almost a prerequisite for anyone wishing to visit cities across the +1200km country. From 2015, embarking upon your Cuban road trip should, in theory, be much easier than it has ever been.