Mazda Southern Africa continue with their success story across the country with an approved repair network that now includes 400 successful body shop operators. Trevor Ward, head of customer service for Mazda Southern Africa, is pleased with last year’s overall collision repair results. In a hard year of trading conditions the original parts business was good. “Thankfully we exceeded our budget levels,” says Ward, “and the OEM presence of our brand also delivered optimum levels of aftermarket parts and excellent pricing.”

Mazda have just introduced their own insurance brand in an initiative to avoid cases of early write-off levels as some insurers  don’t seem to care about the brand once it’s been in an accident. “One statistic for a motor maker that comes out very poorly in our studies is that if a client is involved in a write-off situation, over 90% of those drivers never buy the same brand of car again. In an industry where we are always striving for high aftermarket customer care, taking out our own insurance brand to protect the Mazda driver from some questionable write-offs has to be seen as a move to keep Mazda drivers on the road and driving a Mazda vehicle.”

The drive by the company to employ Mazda original parts in collision repair has also been a successful venture along with their “Save-a-Car” initiative for marginal vehicle write off vehicles that occur.

The move to organise trade bodies as service level agreement partners has also been incredibly successful as they always get involved in customer disputes, resolution disagreements and complaints in a successful manner.

The push this year will also be to offer older car original parts at value prices. “Look around the local roads,” says Ward, “there are still many Etudes, Mazda Rustlers and many more pre-2012 models being driven. At Mazda we want to keep them rolling through our dealers with competitive pricing initiatives on out of warranty vehicles.”

Mazda also introduced some exotic new colour shades recently like the top selling Soul Red Crystal which simply put, outsold all other vehicle maker’s red colours by a country mile. Along with the red are new iridescent shades like Machine Grey. These special xirallic shades needed a way of being brought into the perfect colour matching world.

“We have to keep master colour samples at head office. We have also entered into a national “train-the-trainer” plan with BASF Coatings which is also working well. Training at their own special application centres on Mazda’s way to do exact touch-up rectification right the first time, helps to keep our customers happy.

“Mazda employ six major paint supply companies for OEM manufacture plants based in Japan, Thailand and Mexico. Our job at Mazda Southern Africa in the aftermarket activities is just a simple one – keep all of our customers happy throughout the warranty lifetime guarantee as well as after that,” concluded Ward.