French automaker Citroen dealer in Cuba Zepol Marin S.A. will sign a three-year long agreement with Cuban importer Transimport to give cars and auto parts worth some 21 million dollars in consignment to Cuba.
“It is a three-year long contract and the amount allocated will be around seven million dollar worth of merchandise, depending on Cuban purchase power” Ania Perez, an executive of Zepol Marin, said in Expocuba, venue of the XXX Havana International Trade Fair, undergoing in Cuba.
The Panamanian company has represented Citroen in Cuba since 1995 and deals with the main Cuban government institutions. In 2010, it increased the range of products it sells with car batteries, Fate tires, and Argentinean firm it also represents, and spare parts from the PSA group.
During this time, its main clients have been the Ministries of Transportation, basic Industry, Communications and Informatics and Public Health. These state entities used to import using different importing companies.
However, Cuba centralized purchases abroad on a handful of companies depending of the kind of needed product. In the case of auto parts and cars, and everything related to transportation, all imports are made by Transimport and Maquimport.
The centralizing of purchasing power is one of the policies implemented by the Cuban Foreign Trade and Investment Ministry since 2011, which aims at Cuba importing in an efficient way. Just in 2012 estimates by the Ministry forecast this policy will save the country over 30 million dollars.
In previous statements to Opciones weekly, Zepol Marinñs President José Luis López López, described as positive his dealings in the Cuban market, though “with highs and lows like it happens with many other enterprises because of the very dynamic of the work”.
The company already has a consignment warehouse that, according to their executives, guarantees a proper coverage of stock for their clients. They also have a network of workshops scattered around the country to provide assistance to their vehicles.
Perez said they offer courses of technical training to make of the staff that works in those workshops that cover Citroen cars “expert technicians”
As it has happened since their first time 17 years ago, Zepol Marin brings to the Trade Fair the latest Citroen models. Next to the Spanish pavilion in the EXPOCUBA fairground, visitors can see the flashy C3, C4 models, including the Picasso, and also their vans.