The Pajero is the iconic offering by Mitsubishi which – depending on variant – falls into the SUV and 7-seater category. It is also on offer now in both a Short Wheel Base (SWB) and Long Wheel Base (LWB) derivatives, which have taken the Pajero to new levels of practicality, performance and durability.
Mitsubishi East Rand is headed by Branch Manager and Dealer Principal, Kobus Jacobs, who is one of the few individuals in the industry who can state they have over three decades of commitment and experience in the field. Candidly sharing with me that he took the plunge when he was a youngster and followed his dreams to be in the motoring world, Kobus has gained extensive experience across various brands and in numerous positions that have enabled him to move up into management and be very successful in terms of managing the dealership. For Kobus, being amongst people and working with vehicles is his passion and counts himself fortunate to be able to do what he really loves, daily.
Jaco Odendaal is the Sales Manager at Mitsubishi East Rand. Having twelve years of experience in the motoring industry, Jaco identifies product and service excellence as the number one reason why he feels so connected to the Mitsubishi brand. Inspiring creativity and loyalty amongst the employees, Mitsubishi is a dynamic brand that recognises the individuals working with it too, and together with excellent leadership at the dealership, creates a wonderful working environment. Situated on the East Rand, this dealership now boasts a huge following and many repeat customers who Jaco is proud to serve. New Vehicle Sales Executive, Christo Pruis summarised the philosophy of Mitsubishi by stating that “you can’t fault a Mitsubishi”, and this seems to be the golden thread running throughout the dealership and across departments, where each team member is not just wholly dedicated to their role but also to the brand itself.
Shane Walters has a passion for the Mitsubishi brand and as a result, makes a strong impression as the Sales Executive on the team at Mitsubishi East Rand. Together with his love for interacting with people and understanding the different personality types, Shane finds great enjoyment in what he does. Having worked across many brands over the last twenty years in the motoring industry, Shane feels that there is no comparison between Mitsubishi and other brands; the reliability and quality of the vehicles produced by Mitsubishi are superior in his opinion, and he mentions his own 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer (with over 230,000 kilometres on the clock) as an example, stating that he hasn’t had a single problem with this vehicle in ten years. In saying that, Shane notes that being able to truthfully sell a vehicle of such high standard and enjoy selling it because he knows it won’t let the owner down, is what he lives for. With hardly any comebacks, this dealership has numerous repeat customers that Shane strives to maintain a relationship with through dedicated contact, follow up calls and conscientious service. His motto is to serve and look after his clients as though they were part of the family.
Having a long history of working with both Kobus and Jaco, Shane notes that the family environment at the dealership extends greatly to their clients. The sales team as a whole are passionate about this as well, and together with a thorough appreciation for the brand, have created a close-knit group that truly believes in the product they are selling. In terms of the Pajero Short Wheel Base (SWB), Shane notes that the day-to-day comfort is superb, and yet the off-roading capabilities of the vehicle are unbeatable. I love the tagline related to the Pajero, which says, “with great power comes great destinations” and it truly inspires a sense of adventure in me as I consider the Pajero SWB.
The Pajero looks great in all its variants (including the Short Wheel Base and the Long Wheel Base) with its familiar grinning grille and proud, sturdy stance. From the rear, the Pajero is distinctive in its combination between tough and classy, and in the SWB variant, has the added uniqueness factor of only having two doors (boot excluded). With a total length of 4385mm, this derivative is shorter and stockier-looking than its big brother, but still has all the features and benefits you need on board. Daytime running lights, high mounted stop lamp, electric side mirrors that fold in when the vehicle is locked, black roof rails and 17-inch alloy wheels complete the package in making the Pajero SWB look great and stand out from the crowd.
The interior is very much functional and practical over glamorous, and to my mind, this suits the vehicle perfectly. Whilst the dashboard is laid out in a user-friendly way, there are high-quality finishes throughout the cabin. A central information panel highlights important vehicle statistics and real-time warnings that are relevant to your drive and safety. The steering wheel is tilt-adjustable and multi-functional in terms of audio and cruise controls. All the windows are electric and boast an anti-trapping function to prevent pinches, and together with an all-leather interior and automatic aircon, are guaranteed to make your driving experience a delight. A touchscreen radio with CD and MP3 functionality is present, working through 6-speakers with both Bluetooth and USB connectivity. A rear-view camera is a bonus, together with armrests in both the front and rear of the vehicle. I note there are sufficient cupholders too, and a glass sunroof (and privacy glass as standard all round) seal the deal in terms of premium features on board.
In terms of safety, the Pajero SWB has six airbags, and is designed on the RISE Body Structure – an acronym that refers to Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution. There is also Active Stability and Traction Control systems as standard, ABS and EBD as well as a Brake Assist System that enhances the level of safety. IsoFix child restraints are present for the young family needing to strap the little ones in, as well as keyless entry and an immobiliser to maximise your personal safety and security.
Noted as an “adventure made machine”, the Pajero SWB is released as a 3.2 DI-DC GLS 4×4 automatic, where the engine is an intercooled turbocharged diesel engine that produces 140 kW of power and 441 Nm of torque. Whilst this is superbly powerful, Shane also notes proudly that there is no turbo lag on the Pajero – which he personally loves – and the immediate reactive responses, that are so satisfying of a Mitsubishi as a result. Driving a Pajero is satisfying, and I am getting accustomed to the feeling of confidence and capability the Mitsubishi fleet inspires. Manoeuvrability and light responses make the Pajero SWB a breeze to drive and quick to adapt to.
Mitsubishi East Rand also promote their exceptional parts department and workshop, where knowledgeable and hard-working teams work together to ensure the client’s needs are always met. With the dealership’s solid, positive reputation in the local community, Kobus attributes their good name to the belief that trust relationships must be established throughout the dealership and the customers around them. There is an underlying philosophy that each team member of this dealership contributes to being part of a special family, and thus the growth and investment in the team itself form part of the core plan of this dealership.
In anticipation for the remainder of 2018, Mitsubishi East Rand are looking forward to the launch of the new crossover, the Eclipse, towards the middle of the year. Kobus mysteriously also hints at two exciting new releases that are in the pipeline additionally.
For more information, click on this link to visit this dedicated dealership: http://www.mitsubishi-eastrand.co.za/index.php
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson