Today’s technologically-advanced cars require skilled handling and treatment in the aftersales environment, not just in terms of drivetrain components such as the engine and transmission, but also in what is required when it comes to repairing and painting of the bodywork.
With the latest generation of Jaguar cars and Land Rover SUVs now on sale in Zimbabwe, it is imperative that the aftersales support is similarly capable of meeting customer requirements – hence the opening of a new, Jaguar Land Rover Approved Body Repair Centre in the country’s capital, Harare, on 4th September. Here, cars wearing the distinctive Jaguar Leaper logo and Land Rover’s ‘rugby ball’ oval can now be repaired to an internationally-recognised standard.
“Repairing an accident-damaged Jaguar or Land Rover to an ‘as new’ standard requires highly specialised facilities, tools and skills and if one of those elements is missing, the desired end result can’t be achieved,” explains Rory Beattie, Customer Services Director of JLR SA and SSA. “The construction techniques used in our cars – with an increasing percentage of lightweight material such as aluminium and special steels in very specific areas – necessitates a high level of expertise.
“In the same way that we insist on using Jaguar Genuine Parts in service workshops, it is imperative that paint and panel repairs are done to the correct standard – even if there isn’t necessarily any discernable difference to the untrained eye.”
The 10 500 square metre facility in Graniteside, Harare, has been dramatically upgraded and includes a state-of-the-art Aer-o-Cure painting and preparation facility, with features such as a pressurised and air conditioned spray booth for a finish which rivals that which is achieved at the factory.
When it comes to ensuring the body structure is perfectly realigned post-accident, highly-accurate laser measuring equipment is needed, while the combination of the correct MIG (magnesium inert gas) welding equipment and certified welders is the only way to meet Jaguar Land Rover’s exacting standards.
“Every Jaguar and Land Rover is sold with a six-year anti-corrosion warranty and a three year or 100 000 kilometre warranty, and it is our obligation to ensure that, even in the unfortunate event of an accident within that period, it will be returned to a condition similar to what it was when originally sold. If a vehicle is repaired at a non-Approved facility it stands to reason that the warranty terms may be compromised,” adds Nigel Clarke, Operations Director of Jaguar Land Rover sub-Sahara Africa. “Our longer-term plan is to have a similar facility in all eight JLR SSA markets.”
“The opening of the new Jaguar Land Rover Approved Body Repair Centre is real cause for celebration – not only for Croco Motor Group Zimbabwe, but also for current and future owners of Jaguar and Land Rover products,” said Moses Chingwena, Chief Executive of Croco Motor Group Zimbabwe. “This will enable us to continue to improve our aftersales support, making ownership of a Jaguar or Land Rover an increasingly attractive proposition.”
The Graniteside facility is the only Jaguar Land Rover-approved facility in Zimbabwe, and was officially opened on 21 August 2014 by Richard Gouverneur, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and sub-Sahara Africa and Moses Chingwena, CEO of Croco Motor Group Zimbabwe.
Picture credit: from left to right: Moses Chingwena, Chief Executive of Croco Motor Group Zimbabwe; Farai Matsika, Executive Chairman of Croco Motors; Richard Gouverneur, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa and Walter Muzembi, Zimbabwe Minister of Environment and Tourism. Meropa Communications