I would never have thought that I would say the words “small” and “panel van” in the same sentence, and yet I find myself saying these words with a smile and a nod of approval. Datsun released their GO+ Panel Van some time ago, and it has been extremely well-received especially by the likes of small business owners.
At BB Hatfield Datsun, a Dealership that promotes both Nissan and Datsun brands in the greater Pretoria region, Dealer Principal Marcel Moolman is known as a man with clear direction and focus. Managing his dealership with humility and passion, Marcel’s drive has filtered down to the team that now serves the local community by providing quality vehicle at affordable prices. With an impressive track record and a client-based philosophy, Marcel believes that selling cars is not about how well you know that vehicle, but rather, how well you can relate to people. Confident in his genuine care for the happiness of his clients, Marcel and his team uphold this philosophy with pride.
The team leader for the Datsun brand at this Dealership is Madelein White, and as always, I am impressed with the length of the commitment that women in this industry have to the brands and dealerships they support. Having been in the industry for 16 years, Madelein has spent the last 5 years dedicated to BB Hatfield Datsun. She believes her strength lies in her ability to most effectively communicate with clients, learn to identify their needs and use this to help them in the best possible way to achieve their dream of buying a car. Madelein thrives on the delight which customers express when they buy their first vehicle, and most especially, when they come back for more.
Following on this trend, Rebone Machacha, who is the vibrant Sales Representative for Datsun, has a similar belief. Having been with this Dealership for majority of her time in the motoring industry, Rebone has 5 years of service to this Dealership. Noting that meeting new people is her passion, Rebone believes that the different personality types and idiosyncrasies inherent in customers is the key to her success. Learning to work most effectively with a variety of different people is what is important to Rebone, as she feels this is how she could best serve her clients. Excited about growing more and learning more in this respect, Rebone would love to one day head up her own dealership. Her unique approach to customer service is to ensure that every interaction your have with your clients remains memorable and leaves them feeling as though they are your only customer. Noting that this Dealership is like a second family to her, Rebone smiles as she recollects how the entire team of staff rallied around her to celebrate the birth of her first child.
Drawing my attention to the GO+ Panel Van, Rebone notes that it is an extremely popular vehicle that is both versatile and user-friendly, and as such, is very popular with small businesses and delivery companies. Not only will the Panel Van carry you and a passenger, but it has ample space in the back for cargo, be it boxes, luggage or other products for delivery. With ease of access to the cargo space – thanks to large, loading rear doors and side rear doors, there is less loading hassle too. To top it all, the Panel Van is well-sized to still fit into your garage and driveway (at a total length of 3.995 mm and width of 1.635mm), which is not only a unique concept, but extremely practical.
The interior is practically the same as the Datsun GO+ and Lux variants, with the only major difference being the gear shift and park brake have been moved up towards to dashboard to provide more space for the driver and passenger. The dashboard is uncluttered and modern, and although there is no radio/CD player, there is an on-board docking station for your smartphone which enables you to connect via AUX cable and still manage your audio needs. There is no touchscreen or Sat Nav options, but other brilliant features such as the “follow me home” system that provides lighting for you as you exit the vehicle and walk away, mitigate this somewhat. For this price range (and the features available that still enable to you connect your audio device for music) this is quite sufficient. Boasting intelligent wipers and long-range headlamps, the importance of driver comfort and safety has been re-designed recently on these models. A driver’s airbag is standard, and whilst you may add-on additional airbags, there is only one other passenger seating which you need to be concerned about.
Released with only one derivative, the panel van has a 1.2 litre petrol engine, coupled with a manual gearbox that produces 104 Nm of torque and 50 kW of power. Even fully loaded, the panel van is said to still hit 100 km/h in a little over 13 seconds, adding a little bit of zip to your daily deliveries. Datsun proudly notes that even if you need to make multiple trips and journeys with the panel van, it remains affordable due to its low fuel consumption, which Rebone notes is 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres on a combined cycle, with very low CO2 emissions to boot. Designed to drive really well and be responsive and stable around corners, the Panel Van has a stiffer suspension setup and a higher ground clearance than most other vehicles in its class. Having really impressed me with this very practical, versatile and affordable concept, the Panel Van seems to be growing in popularity locally; with a starting price of R152 500 it’s no wonder this van is being snatched up.
Now in its tenth year of selling Datsun vehicles to the greater Pretoria and Johannesburg areas, BB Hatfield Datsun is the product of a 5 decade legacy (the BB Group Legacy) with an excellent track record and the mission to create long-standing relationships with clients. Not only does this dealership promote New and Used Cars of only the highest quality, but parts and servicing is available to all; in-house financing is also available through the Finance and Insurance Department and vehicle accessories can also be arranged.
For more information on what the BB Hatfield Datsun group has to offer, please follow this link: https://bbhatfielddatsun.co.za/
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson