J'can businessmen find gold in luxury car rental
At an average cost of US$200 (J$26,256) for pickup from home and drop-off at an event in a luxury vehicle, it's no wonder why two friends from Jamaica decided to get into business.
The New York-based Got 2 Be Gold is one of best sacrifices that former Portmore residents Jayden Longmore and Kivan Powell have made. It is a car rental service with luxury vehicles that are wrapped in metallic vinyl. One of the vehicles is a Mercedes-Benz.
Longmore, who also works as a driver, said that after migrating to the United States, the next step was to find a way to make money, so they decided to establish the company. Since going into business, he said that seven vehicles have been customised in less than five years. However, three of the vehicles are currently out of service (a few sports cars), and the entrepreneurial duo is now searching the market to make additions to their auto catalogue.
Longmore explained that the rental of luxury cars has increased in popularity because many persons have developed a new-age thinking about image and social media, while some individuals may just want a high-profile appearance for business meetings.
"Many of our clients book the car and driver, as a regular taxi is not able to come at a specific time and pick them up from a particular place," he said. "The age group would be about from as young as teenagers at the end of high-school education to about 35 years old."
But according to Longmore, it is a risky business to rent vehicles to people who are unknown to the company.
"We have had clients crash the vehicles or destroy some parts of the vehicles. It is already expensive to maintain and purchase the gold wrapping," Longmore told THE STAR, adding that clients who get good referrals might get a small discount.
Despite how risky the business is, Longmore is confident that this type of business could survive in Jamaica because of the entertainment industry. However, he said that he and his business partner are not ready to open a similar company in their birthplace just yet.