The French are clearly taking the competition in the Hatchback segment very seriously; with the launch of the new Renault Megane recently, it was evident to one and all that with this out-of-this-world design, Renault were putting their foot quite solidly down. At BB Hatfield Renault, I was introduced to this dynamic vehicle recently, and have to say – at the outset – that it is pretty darn impressive.

I met with Dealer Principal Andre Gouws last week, who – with an incredible 21 years of experience in the motoring industry – blew me away with his incredible philosophy on Customer Service and really bringing true meaning to client care. Believing in the “personal touch” as far as customer service goes, Andre notes that BB Hatfield Renault is fully committed to developing and maintaining professional, trust-based relationships with every client. Being very proud of the fact that numerous customers come back for more products and services, and often request certain team members by name, Andre believes their philosophy on prioritising the client has created a firm foundation that underscores the great reputation this dealership has. Andre adds that he has invested a great deal of time and effort in identifying the right  team members, placing them in the right role in the Dealership, in such a way that they are doing the right job, in the right way. In the last 14 months, this was manifested in a focus on staff training and nurturing a customer-centric perspective; the team as a whole believe that the success of their Dealership hinges directly on the happiness and satisfaction of their customers.

Sales Representative Karen Steenkamp is introduced to me as my guide for the day. She has been in the automotive industry for the past twenty four years, and has acclimatised herself to working with big name brands in the industry. Karen notes that after years in the industry, she feels she has settled in the BB Hatfield group, where the teamwork and work ethic is superb and her personal values align with those the dealership upholds.

Feeling as though Renault as a brand epitomises passion and flair, Karen states that she loves the up-market, executive feel that the Renault vehicles possess, as well as the fact that most Renault vehicles are packed with features and technology that rivals other vehicles, even in higher segments. Clearly a client-relationship specialist, Karen comes across as a passionate and dedicated individual who prioritises taking care of the people she meets who are looking to buy the car of the dreams. With numerous repeat customers asking for her by name, Karen notes that she believes each client’s purchase is their “big moment” – regardless of which vehicle they are buying, for the client, this is their “million dollar car” and she treats each delivery as such by creating a memorable, exciting and joyful experience for each client.

Karen notes that she absolutely loves the Megane GT – easily one of the best-looking hatchbacks on the market at the moment, the Megane has been given a serious facelift; the styling and design of the vehicle is almost flawless, and the sexy, sleek look of the car is definitely drawing attention across the nation. Karen, with a grin tells me that (although being a bit biased in working for the brand), the Megane is an absolute showstopper. Being proud to represent such an incredible vehicle, and the brand alike, Karen emphatically states that the Megane can easily compete with vehicles in the luxury car segment.

I cannot wait to find out if this is true, and as I set off on my test drive, have to unapologetically admit that I loved the look and feel of the vehicle – despite finding the bucket seats a tad uncomfortable (I think they may be a tight squeeze for driver’s who are on the bigger side). However, I am swept away by the sporty look of the interior; giving me a sense of excitement, I note the effort of the designers in giving the cabin a decidedly high-end feel. I love the racy stitching on the upholstery and the well-laid out dashboard and instrument cluster. The infotainment system also boasts (free!) satellite navigation which is set-up via Renault’s R-link (which Karen claims is a step up from the normal Sat Nav in other brands) on a crystal clear 7.5 inch touch screen. I find this to be user-friendly and easy to grasp, and am able to enjoy the light, responsive drive of the car as I make my way through heated Gauteng traffic.

The vehicle itself is spacious and has sufficient leg and head room in the front and rear (as well as enough boot space) to make this a great family vehicle: Karen mentions that because of it’s space, comfort and reliability, the Megane resonates with the older generation of buyers, whilst the sexy, racy look ad tech-laden interior appeals to the younger generation.

It is clear to me that the technology present in the Megane is, as Karen suggested, state-of-the-art, and although the vehicle can seemingly do everything short of make me a cappuccino, there is clearly no lack of features or accessories in this gorgeous Hatch. The 1.2 litre EDC engine provides suitable power for me to feel a bit like a racer, but also uses quite a bit of fuel in the process. Although this is to be expected from the likes of such sporty cars, I feel the nippy, reactive drive is pretty much worth it; it’s a fantastic drive that I have taken a massive liking to!

With a 100% open door policy, Andre Gouws, Dealer Principal re-affirms his commitment to the Customer by sharing with me that when I client was not satisfied with a particular product or service recently, he personally took the time to drive with them in their vehicle, and oversee the complete repair of the situation thereafter. With a hands-on, invested and involved DP such as this, BB Hatfield Renault is sure to continuing growing exponentially – what a superb and fulfilling experience it has been getting to know this team!

For a closer look at the what this Dealership has to offer, please follow this link: BB Hatfield Renault


By Desh Bechan