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The ultimate Caribbean driving experience at the 2016 North American International Auto Show
Published on January 7, 2016 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Claudette de la Haye
Caribbean Financial Network News

DETROIT, Michigan -- The launch of the Ultimate Caribbean Driving Experience in the Motor City capital of the world brings a fresh focus to Detroit’s 2016 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). January 11, 2016, kicks off with 1,800 foreign members of the press, then the world’s largest black tie and children’s charity fundraiser on January 15 will raise an expected US$5.5 million in one night at Detroit’s Cobo Hall.

With temperatures in the ‘D’ and bone chilling conditions, the mission is simple. Bring the challenges of terrain from the Caribbean’s sundrenched tropical islands of land, wood, and exotic waterfalls to NAIAS, asking auto executives the following question:

“If you could pick an island in the Caribbean, which island would you pick for vacation and, what car would you drive for the ultimate Caribbean driving experience?”

In an effort to track down answers, the assignment came equipped, not stripped, with rather revealing fully loaded comparisons with rather revealing answers. Here are some of the one on one interviews conducted with the world’s biggest executives in the automotive industry. It was quite the eye-opener.

Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman, Daimler AG

Answer: Claudette, I pick Jamaica and, Jamaica is never too much for Mercedes G Wagon (aka the Beast).

Comment: Dr Zetsche knows what he’s talking about between Jamaica the beautiful and Daimler’s Beast, given the gullies and the unforgiving back roads of country parishes regardless of how difficult it is to navigate, the Mercedes G Wagon can handle anything in its path and you won’t be disappointed.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Answer: Claudette, I love The Bahamas.
Response: But The Bahamas isn’t in the Caribbean!
Answer: Well, I love my Bahamas and I drive my Fiat 500X.

Comment: Given that Sergio Machionne is a tall burly man of Italian heritage, the last advertising campaign at Super Bowl 2015 gave the subtle comparison of its boost in size and endearing sexual prowess curb appeal, basically implying that the consumption of that little blue pill Viagra, in the gas tank of the Fiat 500X was just as appealing as an older man’s performance with his lady. Review Youtube

And, equally stunning is the car’s tour de force X-Factor inside inner city limits. This experience I know all too well after my test drive with Ralph Giles on Detroit’s I-75 freeway in the Hell Cat Supercharger. And, let’s just say that, I was very smitten. It was truly a throwback to my girlish virtues of prosperity. Review NAIAS 2015 Test Drive Hellcat:  PG Rated.

Ralph Giles, Global President, Product Design, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Answer: Personally, I don’t like to drive. My favourite pastime on vacation is biking in my native Haiti, and throughout the Caribbean. I’m attracted to challenging new terrain, usually biking with friends who love the exploring new uncharted territory.

Comment: Giles is a man by way of Mother Nature’s car designing ilk. His soul is inspired by heart, muscle, earth, wind and fire, so expect nothing less.

Many others were asked the same question; however, the most important person to ask is you the reader. For many of you living back home in the Caribbean, tell us what works for you in your everyday lives as farmers, construction and even utility versus transporting your family. By all means describe the terrain of your respective island nation so that we may learn more about where you live, where you vacation and the vehicle you love to drive for your ultimate Caribbean driving experience. We also welcome bike clubs, sports motor cars enthusiast and revered professional automotive collectors and drivers in the Caribbean.

We look forward to reading your reviews and I most certainly look forward to showcasing the 2016 NAIAS with you.

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