Geely to the rescue for the sick and the aged

  • Geely 1.3 LC GT responsible forWest Randmedicine deliveries
  • Cheaper to buy; lower running costs
  • Runs 6 days per week with pharmacy deliveries – without problems


One of Geely’s top selling subcompacts is running around theWest Randon a daily basis, delivering life essential medication to patients at home. And no-one appreciates the agile little run-about more than residents of retirement villages and old age homes between Krugersdorp and Roodepoort and every suburb in-between.

Clocking up a monthly average of around 3 500km, Ouklip Pharmacy’s unmarked Geely 1.3 LC GT shoots around its West Rand target areas from 8:30 in the mornings until late afternoon, sometimes even after dark, although only in the event of an emergency.

Pharmacist and owner Charles Kruger took proud ownership of the Geely from Herman Nel Motors in May this year.

“We used to have a halfton bakkie that was more European thanFar East, and although it had a perky 1.6-litre engine, it became a thirsty burden,” says Kruger, who also used to have another entry-level Japanese runabout that lasted a good five or six years.

“I decided to get rid of the first car because of its high maintenance cost and the fact that we sometime had to wait for a few days or up to a week for service parts. The bakkie was brand new at the time and the focal point of a massive media campaign, so I bought it. It immediately turned out to be the wrong choice – heavy on fuel, and it didn’t have aircon.”

The bakkie, which was a far cry from the old predecessor Kruger had in mind, was also totally under utilised. “Our parcels are small packets of a few containers of medicine that we deliver to our customers who either don’t have transport or are not fit to drive. It was always urgent, so performance counted a bit.”

Kruger used the same way many buyers of new brands do – he Googled it and liked what he saw.

“I went to kick the tyres and go over the car, and after going on a short test drive with my driver and the salesman, decided to buy it on the spot.”

Driving all three vehicles for the last 11 years in the employ of Ouklip Pharmacy, 49-year old Sydney Montsheng , who also took it for a test run, is suitably impressed with his latest “company car”.

“It is not as powerful as the 1600, but it goes well enough. Maybe I’ll get less speeding tickets,” the ever smilingSydneysaid. He should now – he has been doing deliveries for more than 20 years.

Both Charles, who uses the car “every now and then”, and Sydney, who drives it six days a week, is impressed with the vehicle. “It has every comfort feature for everyday driving, such as air-conditioning, electric windows, and even park distance control – and all that for a very affordable R86 000 or so,” says Kruger. “However, I made the effort of paying the extra cost for a maintenance plan which covers the services – the same item that cost me dearly when I had the other car.”

The Geely also hauls stock between the pharmacy and the Ouklip Medicine Depot a few hundred metres down the road. “That was the reason I decided on the bakkie, but the Geely has more than enough space for what we carry when the back seats are folded down,” says Kruger, adding that on weekends it also runs from his house in Noordheuwel to the municipal dump with a few loads of garden rubble in plastic bags.

“It’s not as big as the bakkie, but it has more than enough space,” both Charles and Sydney said.

As far as Geely as a relatively new brand is concerned, Kruger had no problems: “Once I realised what a big international company Geely was and heard that they bought Volvo two years ago, I was convinced. And after six months I am still not disappointed.

“The Geely, which did not only have a lower purchase price, is cheaper to run and also attracted a much lower insurance premium. It was the right choice this time.”