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Wheels24 speaks to: GWM SA

2013-10-17 06:21

GWM IS HERE TO STAY: GWM SA chairman Tony Pinfold said that GWM has come a long way and that the automaker will take a bigger step in 2014 with the launch of its upcoming models. Image: GWMSA

Earlier in 2013, Wheels24 reported that Chinese automaker GWM announced a model assault on South Africa with its H6 SUV, C30 and C50 sedans set to arrive locally in 2014. What’s more, the automaker’s new crossover is headed for our shores – the M4.

GWM SA chairman Tony Pinfold spoke to Wheels24 and shared his thoughts on service, reliability and future plans.

'NEXT PHASE IN ITS SA JOURNEY'

W24: GWM was one of the first Chinese manufacturers to enter South Africa, having launched its first model in 2007. Have brand perceptions changed in the past six years?


 “The South African market is one of the most fiercely contested in the world. When we arrived, there were a lot of sceptics who didn’t give us a chance. GWM has prospered where others have failed. We often hear or read that we are a newcomer to the South African market, and in some respects we are, but there is also indisputable evidence that GWM has entered the next phase in its South African journey.”

W24:
  What are your successes in South Africa in terms of sales?

 “GWM has sold nearly 50 000 vehicles in South Africa to date. We have established a comprehensive network of more than 70 dealerships. We have invested heavily in parts supply and back-up. The simple truth is that GWM is no longer a newcomer.

“We have put down roots in South Africa and we have big plans for this brand for the future. The 2013 Johannesburg International Motor Show is the perfect platform for us to share some of these plans with the media and the public.”

RELIABLY TACKLING RELIABILITY

W24: Many potential customers in South Africa are have qualms about customer service and support with regards to Chinese automakers, how will GWM tackle this critical area in vehicle sales?

“Offering a competitive product and a good price is only half the challenge. The most powerful brand building tool remains customer satisfaction and the word-of-mouth that follows as a result.”

“Examples of our efforts already exist. Earlier in 2013 we opened a PDI (pre-delivery inspection) centre in Gauteng with the aim of saving our dealers time and ensuring consistent quality. The PDI centre spans 1500 m2 and boasts a staff count of 16 technicians, as well as the most modern equipment necessary for such a facility.”

“Already initiated is a tablet-based sales application to assist dealers with virtual walk-arounds and the collecting of customer information, sending out digital sales brochures etc. These items represent only the beginning of our customer-focused strategies.”

'WE'VE COME A LONG WAY'

W24: What are the plans for the brand in locally?

“The 2013 Johannesburg International Motor Show is an important moment in time for GWM as a brand. We’ve come a long way in seven years, and we thank our South African customers for their faith in us, but now we have to take the next step.

“Competing in the mainstream of the South African market will require not only cutting-edge, desirable products, but also service levels to keep customers happy and loyal.”

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Read more on:    gwm  |  south africa  |  new models

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