Kia Motor Corporation was founded almost 75 years ago in Korea, initially starting out as specialists in motorbikes and bicycles. Now Kia is South Korea’s second-largest automobile manufacturer, and reaches across the globe in popularity. No less so in South Africa, where the reputation of Kia motor cars has increased dramatically, so much so that the exceptional quality, unique design and leading technology upheld by this manufacturer is now a regular sight on our roads. With one of my personal favourite SUV’s belonging to the Kia brand, I am an avid supporter and fan of what Kia has to offer.
As such, Kia Goldreef stands out as the hub for Kia products and services in the greater Johannesburg area. For more than a decade, Kia Goldreef has provided excellent vehicles at affordable prices, and backed this up with phenomenal services to the local community. Having had the pleasure of reviewing numerous vehicles from this Dealership, I am proud to be able to provide an overview of the Dealership and what it has to offer.
Aboobaker Seedat is the Dealer Principal of the Kia Goldreef Dealership, and is a familiar face to those who have been in the industry for some time. He is well-known for his extensive knowledge and experience in the industry, having been in numerous roles within the field. Aboobaker notes that Kia remains popular due to the fact that they consistently produce quality vehicles and provide quality services, something which he is proud to represent. Anticipating an exciting 2018, Aboobaker notes that Kia will be launching the exciting new Ceed later on this year, which promises to be a “sporty and fast” car equipped with a 1.6 turbo engine, panoramic sun roof and a full house of specs to rival other Hot Hatches on the market. Similarly, the much-awaited Stinger will be released in September, which promises to be both a powerhouse and a luxury sedan (boasting a 3.3 litre twin-turbo V6 engine).
I take some time to chat to Khalid Baba, who is the New Vehicle Sales Manager for Kia Goldreef, who has been in the industry for the last ten years (half of which he has dedicated to the Kia brand). He has a personal motivation that stems from being passionate about what you do, so that you have the drive to do it, and the determination to do it well. He aspires to own his own franchise one day, and is excited about the opportunities presented to him in this industry. Keeping his client’s happy is Khalid’s forte and he believes this can be achieved by catering unique deals to suit each customer. When I asked him what his strategy is, he graciously extended credit to the sales team he heads up, noting that the Dealership and the sales team by extension, work together well and function more like a family than anything else. In a similar way, Khalid sees Aboo as a family member who is there to help and assist when he is needed. Together, the team is excited about the future of the brand and also about the way in which Kia’s reputation is growing, thanks to the excellent vehicles being released to the public.
Another familiar face at the Kia Goldreef Dealership, is fellow female motoring-enthusiast, Waseela Cassim, who currently serves the Dealership for her fourth year as New Car Sales Executive. The Kia brand is what lured her into the industry, and is the source of her passion and drive. The tagline, “The Power to Surprise” is what fascinated her and drew her in many years ago when she started out as a receptionist and Personal Assistant, and found herself falling in love with products and services Kia had to offer. Waseela is adamant that Kia is a brand that requires no sales gimmicks: the brand speaks for itself, and the truth of the quality and superiority of the vehicles is evident in what you see and experience when you drive a Kia vehicle for yourself.
With an inherent love for people, Waseela also notes that to be in this industry, and understanding and appreciation for people needs to be at the forefront of your mind. As a woman in an often male-dominated industry, she is also not blind to the fact that women have to work twice as hard as men to achieve and grow, and in listening to her passionate retelling of her story, I can only conclude that she is a woman of great strength and determination. Waseela appreciates the family-oriented nature of the Dealership, echoing Khalid’s sentiments that the team at Kia Goldreef are close-knit like family, and that her manager (Khalid) is an excellent source of motivation for her in her personal capacity, but also in terms of growing the Dealership. With regards to Aboo, the Dealer Principal, Waseela notes that he is like a father to the team, nurturing, guiding and caring for them all in a way that is unique to this dealership. I can only agree with this sentiment, as I always feel at home, and part of the family, when I am here.
Talking to Fazal Khan, Service Manager at the Dealership, I am blown away to find out that he has 41 years of experience in the motoring industry, having started as an apprentice mechanic more than four decades ago. Telling the remarkable story of how he was wheelchair bound for 7 years, Fazal notes with a proud smile that he came out of that tragedy to come home to the motor trade, as he calls it, where he loves to be. Fazal provides me with the insight that he has been able to see Kia’s impact and reception in the community over a very long period of time, thank to his time in the industry. Seeing where it started, how it has grown, and the fantastic, exciting trajectory it is now on, Fazal is excited for the future of the brand. Kia, in his opinion, can now be seen as a premium brand which has proved itself with the likes of it’s top-of-the-range, class-leading offerings.
As manager of the Service department, Fazal is also proud of the way in which this Dealership is able to manage its services to clients. With the pre-booked option of servicing or repairing your vehicle, Fazal notes that you can have your vehicle returned to you in under and hour, which is mind-blowing to consider. When asked about the Dealership and how it functions, Fazal repeats the statement that Kia Goldreef is one big family, although he jokingly states that he is actually Aboo’s boss. He highlights laughter, warmth and acceptance as characteristics of the Kia Goldreef team, and I am very much in agreement with what he has said, from my own experience here.
Kia as a brand is well-known for their hospitality, and none more so than this dealership where it is clearly imbued in every aspect of the trade. As a result, numerous customer care accolades have been won by this specific team in 2015 and 2016, earning them the title of CSI Aftersales Dealer of the Year, 2015 and 2016 parts dealer of the year.
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson