How to buy a classic motorcycle in SA?

'There are a few things you need to consider,’ writes bike guru Dries Van der Walt.

Top family cars in SA

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post has gone from a 'SpeedQueen' to a supermom. Check out her list of top family cars.

Alfa answers your questions!

2007-03-15 07:37
We asked you to send us your questions to Alfa Romeo, and you responded in your numbers. Here's what Alfa Romeo had to say in response to the five questions compiled by Wheels24.

What do you think?

Several readers lamented the general apathy from sales and aftersales/servicing staff, with a lack of follow-through between divisions listing high. What is being done to address morale levels within the Alfa Romeo business?

A legacy of the past was the multi-franchise environment which was to the detrimental to the Alfa Romeo brand. To address this imbalance, the past two years has seen a large investment in both dealer network development and additional manpower to specifically cater to the needs of Alfa Romeo.

There has been a focus on fewer dealers with state-of-the-art facilities that can provide the appropriate level of service befitting a premium brand. We are now confident that our current dealers are fully committed to the Alfa Romeo brand and to providing customer service of the highest standard.

Similarly, numerous readers complained about recurrent mechanical problems, and then having to relinquish their cars to dealerships for months while the problem is being addressed or the required parts are being sourced. Does Alfa SA have a policy concerning the availability of spares and what is the accepted turnaround time for the sourcing of parts required for routine jobs? Or as one reader put it, why do you sell cars that you are unable to service afterwards?

Parts availability is a crucial element in any automotive organisation which is why the decision was taken to relocate our parts warehouse. In line with international business practice, it is administered by a logistics' specialist to ensure timeous and efficient parts distribution. It is important to note, however, that our parts' policy is and has always been as follows:

  • For routine/service parts, customers can expect 24-hour service.
  • In the event of a vehicle off-road situation, service-critical parts will take between 7 and 10 days to be delivered.
  • Non-critical parts (eg a parcel shelf) will arrive from Italy via normal airfreight and will take a maximum of 15 days to get to the dealer.

    If your Alfa Romeo dealer is not offering you this level of service when it comes to parts, please contact our Customer Care department on (011) 205-3700 - provide the Customer Care Officer with as much detail as possible.

    What has happened to the race cars that were used in the production car series two years ago? Are there any plans to re-enter the local motorsport arena at any time?

    There are no plans at present to re-institute an Alfa Romeo motor racing programme.

    What are the rules governing how your new models are priced? Is it in line with what you perceive potential owners would be willing to spend, or in line with what you would consider to be the cost of your key competitors? Most readers perceive your new models as being overpriced with quality inferior to that of key rivals (on price).

    Our pricing strategy naturally has to take into account our key competitors, but we also have to consider factors such as rates of exchange.

    We are very satisfied with the quality levels achieved by the latest brace of Alfa Romeo products and the facts speak for themselves - like most prestige motor manufacturers, most of our range is covered by a five-year/100 000km maintenance plan, free road-side assistance for a year and a three-year/100 000km warranty.

    Unlike our competitors, we go even further by offering longer service intervals (30 000km) on most Alfa Romeo products.

    Is there any way that the registration plate can be aligned centrally on the grille? Has Alfa been required to get any special permission from the Department of Transport to allow its number plates to be off-centre?

    The off-centre positioning of the number plate is very much a design feature of modern Alfa Romeos and to tamper with this would destroy the gracious lines penned by the designer.

    All new vehicles sold in South Africa are homologated by the SABS and are given their seal of approval to be driven on local roads.

    Aston Martin's next on our list and we'll be calling on you to submit your questions soon.

  • Inside Wheels24

    Opel Astra 1.4T Enjoy auto – understated and smart new hatch

    When it comes to the mid-size hatchback choice, there are a few default choices, a few bland ones… and some often overlooked cars. The Opel Astra hatch is an example of the latter, writes David Swanepoel. - Sponsored

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.