New DP and new brand in Komani

The arrival of Mitsubishi in Komani (previously known as Queenstown) has generated quite a stir among those locals who are faithful followers of the Japanese brand.

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Ashton Schnehage (Dealer Principal) at the Kelston Motor Group’s new multi-franchise dealership in Cathcart Road, said there were Mitsubishi clients in the area who trusted the brand “fiercely”.

At the time of its local launch, he was confident that the proximity of the carmaker, combined with the backing of a comprehensive service department, would ensure a flurry of customers.

Born and raised in Komani, Ashton understands locals’ value affordability and reliability in their vehicles, and both boxes are comprehensively ticked by the manufacturer.

Visits to the Land of the Rising Sun have made him aware of how that country’s vehicles leant towards smooth design profiles, eye-catching colours and superior comfort.

Ashton Schnehage, DP at Kelston’s multi-franchise dealership in Komani, says the arrival of Mitsubishi has turned many a head in town.

“They also take great pride in everything they build,” he said, which is a good fit for Ashton and his team who take pride in what they offer the market.

Models that are resonating with locals include the seven-seater Xpander and the ASX SUV, which offer loads of space and comfort.

On the other side of the spectrum there are the Pajero Sport for off-road enthusiasts and the Triton, which comes in single and double cab models.

Ashton, a Queens College alumnus who matriculated at the turn of the century, became the DP at the dealership in February this year.

Starting out as a member of the sales team in 2015 when extended family owned the dealership, he quickly grew into the job and two years down the road, he was promoted to sales manager to oversee three brands and a used vehicle department.

He continued in this role when Kelston took over in 2019, and last year he was appointed sales manager at one of the Group’s dealerships in the town.

Finally, with the support of the directors, his then DP and the sales team, he was able to land a coveted DP position himself.

A seasoned sales executive mans the showroom to ensure the Komani community feels valued when enquiring about or purchasing a vehicle.

The workshop services existing and new clients, while a parts department keeps vehicles “in tip top shape”. The staff also receive continuous warranty and service training.

To ensure they stay on top of things with regard to product knowledge, Mitsubishi Motors South Africa “tests” both the sales executive and manager on a weekly basis.

“It is a great way of ensuring that we are up to date,” he says.

Kelston Marketing Manager Bev Venter says the Group was excited to have Mitsubishi on board given its illustrious and proud history.

“One of the big factors is that the brand keeps its prices affordable. We think it will be a big hit in the agricultural and broader community thanks to the range of bakkies and SUVs on offer,” she says.

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