In 2003, Patrick Marzouca of Excel Motors in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, made history by exporting the locally-made Island Cruiser motor vehicle to the Bahamas. After ensuing years of dormancy brought on by the economic challenges of the times, the resilient and tenacious Marzouca is back at it again, this time exporting three Island Cruisers to the Turks and Caicos Islands in December 2010.
The three vehicles represent the first set out of a total of 30 vehicles that have been ordered by a businessman who plans to establish a car rental business. The revival of the fortunes of the Island Cruiser actually stemmed from the initial export of the vehicle, as that historic unit ultimately found its way from the Bahamas to the Turks and Caicos Islands, where it garnered serious interest over the years.
“The buyer said he saw the vehicle being driven around in Turks and Caicos for the past seven years and he was impressed by its quality and durability. When he contacted us we quickly began the preparatory work on three cars from our existing fleet,” said Marzouca.
The Island Cruiser is a comfortable two-door vehicle mounted on a fibreglass chassis and equipped with a 1.5-litre Japanese-made engine. It can attain top speed at 170 km per hour and is available in all colours except black. The Island Cruiser retails for US$15,000. Marzouca pointed out that the vehicles were sturdily built to stand up to the conditions of the Jamaican road and the conditions of coastal areas in the region.
In developing the Island Cruiser, Marzouca benefited from the expertise of senior German automotive engineer Hans Fleischer, who was secured with the help of JAMPRO, the national trade and investment promotion agency, through the Senior Experten Service (SES) of Germany. The company commenced operations over 10 years ago and has so far manufactured 65 vehicles.