General Motors will be launching eight new products in key markets in Sub-Saharan Africa during the course of this year, says Rita Kavashe, Exports Director for General Motors Sub-Saharan Africa and Managing Director of General Motors East Africa Operations.
Key upcoming launches from the company’s Chevrolet stable include the Aveo, Sonic, the Cruze hatchback and the Chevrolet Utility. “In addition to this, from the end of this year we will be launching the exciting new Trailblazer. This is a true Chevrolet Sports Utility Vehicle which offers great styling, impressive ride and handling, outstanding comfort and excellent towing capability.”
Kavashe highlights that great products also need to be matched with outstanding service to customers. “Together with our dealers, we are focussed on putting our customers first because we know that everything we do starts and ends with the customer.”
“It is not just about providing our customers with new products, it is about ensuring that the necessary aftersales support is in place, to guarantee peace of mind for all of our customers. This is the General Motors Difference. General Motors strives to ensure that every single customer is looked after for the entire lifespan of any General Motors product that they purchase.”
She said that the company knew that the purchase of a new vehicle was a big commitment, especially in developing countries where conditions are not always ideal and service centres are few and far between. “We want to be able to assure our clients that we will be there to look after them and that we will do everything in our power to ensure that their vehicles stay on the road. One part of ensuring that our clients receive the best possible results from their vehicle, is through providing genuine parts for their vehicles.”
“These genuine parts are engineered and validated to ensure the optimal performance and reliability of the vehicle they are designed for, and we encourage our clients to use these parts whenever possible. In order to ensure access to Genuine Parts, we have been working tirelessly with our extensive dealership network throughout the region to support their after sales and servicing divisions.
We hope that, through these and other initiatives that we as a company are rolling out across the Sub-Saharan Africa region, we will be able to provide our customers with the best possible service.”
Kavashe also emphasises that there is a certain peace of mind that comes with owning a new vehicle, backed by the manufacturer and supported by a dealership network with a strong aftersales support team, and workshops with qualified mechanics who have been trained to service the specific make and model of vehicle.
She says that General Motors considers a number of factors when engineering a vehicle for a particular market, from the top end quality of fuel available, to the climate the vehicle will be exposed to, road conditions and ambient temperatures. A car destined for the European market for example, will be engineered to operate in extremely low temperature conditions, whereas a car destined for Kenya or Ghana, would be designed to operate in higher temperatures.
Kavashe points out this means that a car imported from Europe could, for example, have problems coping with the heat and the engine may constantly overheat, or the vehicle may be fitted with the incorrect type of tyre, and not cope with the current road conditions.
“General Motors strives to ensure that each of our clients receive the best possible return from any new vehicle they purchase, irrespective of where they live. This process begins long before the client even walks into the dealership as each model of vehicle is carefully selected for that specific market and then engineered to provide the best possible performance, durability and longevity for that area,” she says. “General Motors is committed to strengthening its dealer network in Sub-Saharan Africa and is constantly growing and developing their aftersales support throughout the region.”
“With the great range of Chevrolet products which we have available coupled with strong after sales support, we are pushing hard to grow our overall sales volumes in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
General Motors’s overall vehicle sales volumes in Sub-Saharan Africa grew by 22.3% in 2011 versus 2010, with the highest volume growth taking place in South Africa, Nigeria, Angola and Mozambique. This growth is well above the industry average which was 16.9%. In total the company sold over 78 000 vehicles in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2011. “