By Gregory Gondwe
Mere mention of Toyota Malawi makes vehicle owners in the country shudder with fear, in the belief that the company is here to ensure that it sweeps all their monies and leave them to suffer in destitution.
Toyota Malawi Branch Manager for Mzuzu Chris Gadi says this has been their experience as well four years after opening operations in Mzuzu and two years after occupying their majestic offices and workshop.
“There is a misconception that suggests that Toyota Malawi is for government, companies and organisations, this is the reason we have had patronage from these institutions while no individual would bring their vehicles here,” said Gadi.
He says they are now targeting individuals where they would want to encourage them to bring their vehicles to Toyota Malawi without any fears whatsoever.
Toyota Malawi, especially Mzuzu Branch has so much to offer according to Wilson Banda, the Workshop Manager.
Mobile Clinic Services
Banda says they have this service at the disposal of not only organisations, companies or government agencies but individuals as well.
“When customers feel like they cannot take their vehicle to a Toyota Malawi workshop, they can just call us and then we can go to where the vehicle is, be it at the office or the resident of the car owner and do anything that is required on it,” explained Banda.
He said currently this service is being hundred percent utilised by Paladin Africa Limited.
Banda says since the company situated at Kayelekera in Karonga has a fleet of Toyota Vehicles and since it becomes cumbersome to drive such many vehicles to Mzuzu Toyota Malawi, they instead take the mobile services clinic van to Kayelekera.
“It is also cost effective considering expenses and downtime when a fleet owner takes vehicles to our service centers from as far as Karonga,” he said.
The question could be that, if we allow Toyota Malawi to come to our offices or houses wont they mess up the environment?
The answer is NO, because once they are on your door steps, they will not only service your fleet but they will also take care of the environment.
“We strictly observe best environmental practices where we have a disposal system of oils and all other removed parts,” quipped Gadi.
Banda explained that all used oils that are drained from the vehicles flows through different pipes within the workshop and is stored in one tank where other firms whose products depend on such oils do come to reuse it.
Likewise when cleaning vehicles, since the availability of oils cannot be ruled out, they have a sieving system called ‘oil separators’ that only allows water to pass but the oils are automatically retained in specially designed waste tanks.
Banda further explained that what they do with all other wastes is that they use or have used dumping bins which are collected by the Mzuzu City Council.
Gadi said there is need for the individual customers to come to their premises and find on how they can work together with Toyota Malawi.
Toyota Malawi touts itself that better customer treatment is Toyota Malawi’s hallmark of quality service.
The company says their dedicated and professional front line staffs has put it in a position where it is geared to provide excellent customer service and professional advice on all their motoring needs.
“Checking a person’s vehicle is free and we also provide free consultancy on what customers can do with their vehicles,” said Gadi.
Toyota Malawi also boasts of trained technicians through Toyota Motor Corporation training Programs in all specialist dimensions of Toyota engineering.
The company says this is to ensure that vehicles for customers are serviced to the highest standards.
Toyota Malawi says these standards are achieved through constant ongoing training in advanced technologies in electronics and mechanical product development.
State-of-the Art Service Centre
The reason Toyota Malawi Service Centres are state-of-the-art facilities designed specifically for all Toyota vehicles maintenance requirements could be proven when one pays a visit to a similar centre in Mzuzu City.
Well, the only thing that is not available at the centre is the Showroom.
Gadi acknowledges that this has come with its own attendant problems like lack of knowledge from customers that one can buy a Toyota vehicle right in Mzuzu.
“People from the region still travel to Blantyre and Lilongwe to buy vehicles when they can do likewise right here. In fact, the prices and all the conditions are the same,” said Gadi.
On the Mzuzu Toyota Malawi’s service aspect, the place is fully equipped to support technicians in all their product range that they supply to their customers.
As such Mzuzu has a capacity of handling 400 units per month and 20 vehicles per day.
Wheel Alignment Machine
Mzuzu Centre has a computerised wheel alignment machine where your vehicle is hoisted some metres high and the rest of the job is done by robot-like equipment controlled by a computer.
In case the feeling that this service is for Toyota vehicles only is very present in your mind, but please do away with it because tasks such as wheel alignment can be performed on other models that are non Toyotas.
Mzuzu Toyota Malawi says these specialized jobs can also be done alongside the Toyota vehicle as long as the customer contacts Toyota Service Advisor or Workshop Manager for further details.
Quality parts are like wise going alongside genuine parts and accessories whenever your vehicle is undergoing maintenance at the centre.
One major advantage with Toyota parts is that it ensures your vehicle’s safety, reliability and durability.
Toyota Genuine Parts come with a full Toyota factory warranty which gives you total peace of mind. This warranty looks at either 6 months or 20,000km of work.
Even when individuals are afraid of approaching Toyota Malawi, but the company says it provides competitive pricing on service and repairs which give the customers value for money.
The motoring company says its quality service is priced at a very reasonable rate which always gives customers not only value for money but has numerous long term benefits such as high resell value which makes great economic sense.
“We also tailor make service packages for individual customers with one or two vehicles,” says Gadi.
One cannot ask for anything better, Toyota Malawi says it provided free service up to 25,000 km to all customers who purchased vehicles from 1st April 2011.
They also observe what they call standard service menu where prices have not changed despite the current economic situation.
“You will find our prices displayed in all our service centres including Mzuzu,” says …
She says they now have an extended warranty from 50,000km/2 years to 100000km/3 years whichever comes first.
They also ensure that they not only enter service contracts with customers but full maintenance contracts as well.
Gadi also says there is a 20% discount on parts for all customers coming through their workshop.
Toyota Malawi has also what is called Global Electronic parts catalogue which enables them to supply any part for any Toyota vehicle irrespective of its origin.
They also host a fleet management facility that includes; priority maintenance administration; well maintained vehicles; quarterly reports such as cost /kilometre, fleet ageing and recommendations at no extra cost.
The facility has lower fleet overheads and running costs as well as providing fleet visits to address customers concerns.
Gadi challenges that all this is done at very fair prices and all one has to do is just go to Toyota Malawi and ask.