GoNow Auto Botswana, the local representative of GoNow South Africa, this week unveiled its first premium car, a 3-petrol-engined bakkie for the Botswana market which is manufactured in China.
GoNow Auto Botswana is a new subsidiary of holding company Supa Cars, which is part of the Botswana Motor Car Distributor (BMCD) in Lobatse. BMCD was established in 1978 to sell new and used cars.
Headed by Cassim Kowa, Supa Cars has been dealing in an array of top new models ranging from bakkies to exotic cars.
“Our marketing strategy has been to cater specially for customers who will only buy reasonably priced cars that meet their expectations,” Kowa said. “All GoNow bakkies come with a standard rubberized load body, air-conditioner, power steering alloy mug wheels and Nester tracking with 12 month subscription free.”
He said they are confident that the product would do well because it had gone through a rigorous development phase to make sure that the vehicles are prepared to suit local standards as well as meet customers’ expectations.
“I think there will be room for globally successful Chinese Model which embraces the changing structures of the industry. This will help them become more competitive in those areas of automotive value-chain where future profitability is likely to be,” he said.
GoNow was built with the aim of meeting local customers expectations, such as reliability, safety and comfortable interior, which put it in a league of meeting the local tests and challenges.
The new franchise is added to the well-known and established business of Supa Cars based in Gaborone West Industrial.
The Manager of GoNow South Africa, Adri Roe, pointed out that the new model is of a higher quality and is technically sound and safe.
“We also center our attention on efficient service in provision of product and parts to our dealer’s network as well as training and development of the dealer network as required with specific emphasis on the aftermarket component of the business, she said.
After receiving the first right-hand models, Roe stated that they had made dozens of improvements to the vehicles.
“These include more than 40 changes to the finish and trim, excluding equipment changes,” she added.
She said the strategy put in place by GoNow SA will ensure that GoNow will be the number one Chinese brand in terms of value, styling, reliability and aftermarket support in the Southern African market places.
It will be interesting to observe specifically the impact of fleet sales that this product will make, she said. On the single cab models, Roe said the vehicle is reasonably priced adding that one could purchase 2 GoNows for the price of 3 of the existing entrenched marques.
Roe said that over the last 3 years, global vehicle production grew by some 2 million units per year to top 69 million last year. She pointed out that China’s expected domestic market sales this year is 7 million units.
“That is 10 percent of the world market and this from a country whose motor industry only started 4 years ago,” she said.
“GoNow Botswana will soon roll out free 24-hour road side assistance to all its valuable customers providing mechanical adjustments at the disablement site, battery service, flat tyre assistance, delivery of fuel or other fluids, lock-out service and towing due to mechanical breakdown,” Kowa said.