AAA Auto expand to Caribbean market

If you are traveling in parts of the Caribbean in the near future, don`t be surprised to see one of the most well-known logos in the world on tow trucks, auto repair shops, hotels and restaurants on the islands.
AAA, the largest automobile club and leisure travel agency in North America, today announced it will soon be providing services in the Caribbean basin through the Tampa-based AAA Auto Club South. Operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are expected to begin as early as January 1, 2004.

“The Caribbean has always been an important leisure travel destination,” said Robert Darbelnet, president and CEO of AAA. “Offering member benefits and extending the AAA brand into this part of the hemisphere has been a strategic objective of AAA for some time.”
Leadership and management for the new clubs, which will operate under the names AAA Puerto Rico and AAA U.S. Virgin Islands, will be under the direction of AAA Auto Club South, one of 77 clubs in the United States and Canada that comprise the 46 million member association. AAA Auto Club South currently serves more than 3.5 million AAA members in Florida, Georgia and the western two-thirds of Tennessee.
“As neighbour to the Caribbean, AAA Auto Club South`s experienced leaders and knowledgeable employees are ready, eager and able to provide our friends in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands with the safety, security and peace of mind that members in the states have come to expect from AAA,” said Tom O`Brien, President and CEO of AAA Auto Club South. “This is an exciting opportunity that will lead to long-term, positive relationships.”
While AAA maintains affiliate relationships with automobile clubs throughout the world, this is the first time a local club has operated outside the United States or Canada. Service offerings will immediately include AAA memberships, emergency roadside assistance and travel planning with Approved Auto Repair garages, insurance and financial services and AAA`s popular Show Your Card & Save program planned for the future.
AAA Auto Club South plans to open a branch office in San Juan in early 2004, and will also provide services through a bilingual call center and its web site,
“This is a vibrant part of the world, one rich in culture and heritage, and AAA is extremely pleased to have the opportunity to offer its valuable member benefits and services to the people of these wonderful islands,” Darbelnet said.