DRIVING a Mercedes Benz is generally associated with affluence since the car ranks among the top in the luxury-car range. This has led to the influx of cheap second-hand Mercedes Benz vehicles into Zimbabwe, mainly from the UK, Singapore and Japan.
Since these vehicles can easily be bought via Internet,most purchase decisions are usually not backed by expert advice pertaining to the actual condition of the car, despite the structural appeal of the vehicle on pictures posted on the internet.
This has given rise to the purchase of incompatible vehicles manufactured for specific regions. Motor vehicles designed for Africa have their suspensions modified so they can endure the tough road conditions.
However, because of the irresistibly cheap prices of second-hand vehicles from abroad, these cheap cars enter the Zimbabwean market. The high cost of maintaining a Mercedes Benz, however, is often overlooked by buyers. As a result most people damage their vehicles by getting them serviced by unqualified mechanics who pose as Mercedes Benz technicians.
Formal Mercedes Benz servicing and repairs are expensive since genuine spares have to be imported from Germany and often attract higher mark-ups if acquired from third parties. This renders owning a Mercedes Benz a burden given that the profile of owners is highly skewed towards individuals as compared to corporates.
Because of the need to cater for customers who require an affordable and yet quality service, Uneek Autos was established in March this year.
“We have been well-received in the market because we are bringing back the traditional service-delivery standards which had drastically gone down,” said Uneek Autos MD Robert Travers.
Uneek Autos offers free visual health checks on Mercedes Benz vehicles to identify problems. This service has been well received in the market and the company offers it as part of their customer education programme.
According to Travers, Uneek Autos is now focusing on providing a bespoke service to suit the needs of individual customers in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Their chief technician has more than two decades of international servicing experience, specialising in the service and repair of BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
“At Uneek Autos our clients can be assured that we will perform the full ‘A’ or ‘B’ service in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines. We will only change parts that are scheduled for replacement, and we will provide written confirmation of the work done,” Travers said.
Owner and workshop director, Vincent Denning, has spent more than 10 years in the UK with Mercedes Benz Brentford, one of the largest workshops in London.
Denning worked as a specialist diagnostics technician and was one of only 10 technicians trained in servicing and repairing electric vehicles in UK.
Denning was workshop manager at Quest Motors before he left the country in 2000 to work for BMW, Canada.
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