Having recently written about the new Range Rover Velar, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to preview the new Range Rover Sport Facelift through the prestigious Land Rover East Rand Dealership. Having the opportunity to meet up with Joe Senekal, the Brand Manager for both Land Rover and Jaguar East Rand, I learned that his fifteen years of service in the motoring industry has been firmly dedicated to the Land Rover brand. Having started as a rookie salesman, he fed into his passion and drive to be the best at what he does, and is now proud to serve the Dealership in management capacity.
As a family man who strives to live a healthy life, Joe feels the brand – although being a premium brand – is also family-oriented. With aspirations to lead the Dealership to being the best Dealer in the country, Joe believes that the customer must always come first, and as such focusses on building long-term relationships with the customers. His goal is to ensure that they know their value as clients, and loves to see them return to the Dealership for repeat business. His opinion on the Range Rover brand is that is never ceases to amaze: with every new vehicle released, Joe feels they have reached the best possible outcome, only to be amazed by their next improvements time and time again. Joe loves the fact that Range Rover is a reflection of our digital age and notes that the brand has come to the party in terms of technology and lifestyle-changes that seek to make the customer’s life easy, convenient and comfortable. He also notes that he is proud of the sales team he works with, as they work hard to be the best in their field. With the Dealership hosting special test drives every Saturday, Joe promises that every client will have a deal tailor-made to their needs.
Introducing me to Khaba Mkhize, a relatively new Sales Executive who has been with the Land Rover brand and this Dealership for the last two years, I find his enthusiasm for sales and the industry itself to be charming. Whilst he is still learning the ropes, Khaba notes that he aspires to be a Dealer Principal one day, and believes that his philosophy of honesty is what will help him to follow his dreams. Speaking candidly, Khaba adds that when working with a premium brand such as Land Rover/Range Rover, it is important to remember that the clients are investing a great deal of time and money into a premium vehicle such as the Range Rover Sport, and as such, they need to be taken seriously, and listened to, in order to best meet their needs.
His own opinion on the Range Rover Sport Facelift is that it is naturally a beautiful vehicle. Whilst he loved the predecessor, he believes this refreshed version is even better, with the addition of Velar-type technology. Looking even sportier, more capable and even sexier than its predecessor, the Range Rover Sport has been masterfully designed to grab attention and raise eyebrows wherever it goes.
The new Range Rover is available in three fundamental derivatives: a 3 litre diesel (with two variants of this engine available), 4.4 litre V8 diesel and 5 litre V8 supercharged diesel with a 2 litre petrol variant due for launch later in this year. These variants are also available in either manual or auto, and depending on the derivative, range in output from around 600 nM torque on the 3 litre diesel, to 740 nM on the 4.4 litre V8. With power like this, one would assume petrol consumption to be rather excessive. However, typical of Land Rover technology and design, the clean and efficient engine deliver between 7.8 litres per 100 kilometres on the 3 litre engine and around 10.5 litres per 100 kilometres on the V8.
As is expected of anything Land Rover , the interior is leather-clad as standard across all derivatives. Each variant offers an enhanced sound system, with the amount of speakers and their subsequent output increasing from entry-level variants upwards (starting at 8 speakers producing top-notch sound). Sat Nav is also standard across the range, and with 2 armrests in the front and one in the rear, the cabin speaks of luxury and comfort bar none. One almost feels embarrassed to ask about cupholders, but I am assured there are 4 cupholders in total, and with boot space starting at 780 litres with seats left up, this vehicle seems to be outdoing itself on incredible specifications. With the seats folded down, the boot space increases to an impressive 1686 litres.
The Range Rover is fully specced with all the bells and whistles expected, and has a starting price of around R1 194 000 for the entry level Range Rover Sport facelift, which is well worth the premium feel, luxurious comfort and powerful performance under the hood.
Speaking of what’s under the hood, the Land Rover East Rand Dealership is proud of the team employed to manage the Workshop and Parts department. Abie Smit, the Workshop Manager has racked up two decades of experience in the industry, and is proud to note that Land Rover is the best brand to work for; with exceptional quality resulting in much fewer comeback or problems than in other brands, Abie’s team can offer same-day service to clients. Boasting a delightful sense of humour, Abie’s sunny disposition and wonderful attitude has clearly helped him to form great relationships with those around him. Working closely with Parts Manager Herman Roos, who echoes his sentiments of upholding the virtues of honest and factual information being shared in order to maintain the integrity of the brands they serve so passionately.
Having recently marked 70 years of Land Rover, the East Rand Dealership celebrated by showcasing their new models to the local community and are constantly seeking ways to pay close attention to client needs and queries; as a whole, the team at Land Rover East Rand are the epitome of going “Above and Beyond” and I eagerly anticipate what lies ahead for 2018. For more info click:Land Rover East Rand
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson