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2004-04-06 09:13

The facility is designed to ensure that Volkswagen and Audi customers have enjoyable, trouble-free motoring over the lifespan of their vehicle purchases.

Speaking at the opening of the Uitenhage-based facility, Volkswagen of South Africa managing director Andreas Tostmann, said: "I am sure by now you are aware of how technologically sophisticated the products from both Volkswagen and Audi have become.

"We, however, fully realise that complete customer satisfaction will not be possible unless the technological sophistication in the product is matched by the same levels of sophistication in the realm of After Sales Service.

"For this exact reason, Volkswagen AG have established an International Technology Support Centre in Germany as the manufacturer's central competence centre," he said.

Long before the market introduction of each new product, specialists are trained in every aspect of the new vehicle's engineering and development.

These specialists are then fully equipped to advise and guide the National Technology Support Centres in the various markets where Volkswagen and Audi are present around the world.

"In other words," Tostmann said, "Each market where the brands are represented has to establish a Support Centre such as the one we are opening here this morning in South Africa.

"Aside from the technical product support, the centre's core function is the controlling of all vehicle repairs from diagnosis through to final repair.?

"All field and product information converge and are bundled into an integrated knowledge database here in the TSC.

"This database becomes a vital resource in the correct diagnostic and repair processes within each of our dealers around the country," he said.

To date, nearly all South African Volkswagen and Audi dealerships have been fitted with the infrastructure enabling them to link up with VWSA and, in turn, with Volkswagen and Audi AG.

The centre also assists with practical and problem orientated on the job training for Volkswagen of South Africa's dealer technical service personnel.

The direct link with Volkswagen and Audi AG's Technical Operating Divisions ensures the fastest and most effective information exchange possible, thereby minimizing the amount of time customer vehicles require in the company's dealer workshops.

Tostmann said it was Volkswagen of South Africa's stated objective that the Volkswagen and Audi Brands will become the benchmark in terms of customer satisfaction in South Africa.

"It is our firm belief that our new Technology Support Centre will contribute significantly towards our achieving this objective.

"This centre, and the investment made by our dealer organisation, represents an investment of approximately R8m.

"This illustrates how serious we are about not only meeting the expectations of our customers but exceeding them," he said.


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