TYRES

A transformation in premium tyre fitment reaches South Africa

bestdrive.jpg

South Africans are about to experience a revolution in tyre fitment with the official launch of the global BestDrive brand locally.

Driven by the need to provide superior, top-notch service to discerning customers who demand the best, BestDrive brings stylish lounge amenities, superior expertise and service excellence to the tyre fitment business.

South Africa is the latest country to benefit from the BestDrive phenomenon, which was first developed in Europe more than eight years ago. Today, an extensive network of BestDrive fitment centres operates around the globe, and the number is growing all the time.

Regardless of country or location, the objective of each BestDrive centre is the same: to become the world's leading tyre service network through an unwavering commitment to premium service, premium quality, premium products and premium facilities.

HISTORY

BestDrive has been a leading tyre retail brand in Europe and in Asia since 2006. Jointly developed by the tyre division of Continental, and the Continental Corporation's trade division, ContiTrade, BestDrive focuses on delivering an exceptional service experience.

From a local perspective, BestDrive is managed by ContiTrade Africa, which will be responsible for Continental's tyre fitment, retail and franchise operations on the African continent.

Both ContiTrade Africa, and Continental Tyre SA, are subsidiaries of Continental AG, and they co-operate closely to achieve their shared mission of ensuring that Continental's premium tyres are fitted to the highest possible standards.

A real commitment to a first-class tyre fitment experience is evident at South Africa's first four BestDrive tyre fitment centres, all located in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. This quartet of BestDrive outlets will set the benchmarks, and become the springboard, for the planned expansion of the brand to key centres around South Africa.

The four fitment centres previously formed part of the Jody's Tyre group of outlets, arguably the most successful tyre fitment group in Johannesburg's northern suburbs. The group's success was pivotal in the decision of ContiTrade Africa to acquire the Jody's Tyre group in September 2013.

The acquisition allowed ContiTrade to fast track the opening of its first four BestDrive fitment centres, utilising the existing, knowledgeable teams, and benefiting from an established customer base.

Applying BestDrive's elevated standards to the newly upgraded facilities, and training the teams to further improve their service levels in order to meet the highest expectations, has allowed ContiTrade to offer the premium-grade BestDrive tyre fitment experience to customers in record time. The experiences gained in the process will also allow the swift and efficient roll-out of BestDrive fitment centres countrywide.

THE BESTDRIVE EXPERIENCE

The BestDrive brand targets motorists who are accustomed to premium quality, regardless of the product or service being offered. Meeting - and in fact exceeding - the expectations of these customers is at the core of the BestDrive philosophy.

BestDrive fitment centres thus deliver a unique customer experience that starts with the initial contact and advice, followed by being offered a choice of premium tyres to match the customers' requirements.

The experience continues during the time spent enjoying the sophisticated amenities of the waiting lounge. Quality coffee, free wi-fi, dedicated work booths with power sockets, and elegant furnishings create an ambience of quiet elegance.

While some customers will make full use of their time to catch up on correspondence, others will simply enjoy the respite offered by their relaxing surroundings.

But there's more to BestDrive than a sophisticated lounge. The BestDrive experience is anchored by an expert team that is driven by a real commitment to service excellence. Customers can expect professional advice and quality workmanship, using latest-generation fitment systems.

All BestDrive fitment centres provide a comprehensive portfolio of services that includes the fitment of brakes, shock absorbers and other related services. These include strategic alliances with quality-driven brands such as the Thule range of racks and carriers.

BestDrive fitment centres have full access to the comprehensive Continental Tyre product offering, which includes tyres for passenger vehicles, SUVs, light commercial vehicles, truck (radial and bias), and speciality tyres. Other well-known, premium tyre brands are also available.

A GROWING DEMAND FOR SOPHISTICATION

The launch of the BestDrive tyre fitment network is proof of Continental's confidence in the growing awareness of and demand for premium tyres, mirrored by the increasing sophistication of modern vehicles.

The key role played by tyres in the overall performance of latest-generation passenger cars and SUVs - not only in terms of ride comfort and handling, but also as far as aspects such as safety, braking capability and fuel economy are concerned - is also driving customers to ensuring that replacement tyres meet the specific requirements of the vehicle.

However, the acceptance of the need for technologically advanced tyres is linked to an expectation that the tyre fitment experience will match the sophistication of the product being purchased. BestDrive ensures that premium tyres are selected and fitted in equally premium surroundings.

Dieter Horni, managing director of Continental Tyre SA, believes that demand for premium services as support for premium products is a trend that will continue to grow locally.

"BestDrive is about more than just fitting tyres - it's a complete, premium-driven concept, designed to satisfy discerning customers in both product and service terms. Service excellence is backed up by the expertise of the highly trained staff at our BestDrive fitment centres.

"Vitally, the close link between Continental and BestDrive allows direct access to specialist knowledge: after all, Continental is not only a leading manufacturer of tyres, but also of vehicle systems and components, which ensures an exceptionally wide and valid knowledge base," Horni concluded.

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