Grandmark and Road Safety
On the Arrive Alive website we refer to contributing factors to vehicle crashes with reference to three categories – driver fitness, vehicle fitness and environmental factors. How well do we keep our vehicles maintained and how easily and affordably can we repair our vehicles?
We approached vehicle component specialist Grandmark with a few questions on its role asssiting road users to effectively maintain and repair vehicles.
Grandmark has been a partner to the Arrive Alive Initiative for a number of years. Is it fair to say that contributing towards automotive safety is one of the core functions of Grandmark?
Providing high-quality and affordable parts, which do not compromise on safety, to the South African public has been important to us. Our initiatives in the insurance industry bear testimony to how we have made automotive safety affordable to more South Africans.
What are the major components of a vehicle covered within the product range of Grandmark?
Grandmark has one of the biggest range of automotive parts under one roof in Southern Africa. This includes Automotive body, lamps, braking components, clutches, cooling, automotive glass, transmission parts, shocks and suspension parts and engine parts, to name just a few categories.
Would the repair shops be your main customers or are there also many individual vehicle owners buying products "from the shelf"?
Whilst Grandmark is predominantly a wholesaler of quality automotive parts to many other wholesalers and retailers, our interactions with the insurance industry have lead us to deal directly with the motor body repair industry as well as individual vehicle owners.
Is there a significant need among vehicle owners for quality vehicle components and affordable prices?
Affordable, high-quality replacement parts have always been a major priority for Grandmark. Our commitment is evident with the guarantees we place on all of our products, such as the 5-year warranty quality and workmanship warranty on our shocks. In these challenging economic times, providing high-quality affordable parts is essential to maintaining road safety whilst ensuring vehicles can afford to stay on the road.
What drives this need- would it be vehicle repair from crashes, continued maintenance of vehicles or vehicle modifications/ improvements?
Repairs from accidents and general maintenance of vehicles would be the biggest driving factors for the consumers who buy our parts.
There are many products from various suppliers and imports- what are the major pitfalls the consumer needs to be aware of?
There are many pitfalls that one could look out for. These are our suggestions on ensuring you are purchasing quality products:
- Look for quality certifications – many safety-critical parts such as brake, lamps and automotive bulbs need to carry a compulsory quality certification such as E-Mark and SABS. Reputable manufacturers of non-safety critical parts will also certain carry manufacturer certifications such as TUV and ISO.
- Purchase from reputable distributors of parts.
- Stick to using reputable repairers and ensure that you know which brands of parts are fitted in your vehicle during the repair.
On the Arrive Alive website we emphasise that an informed road user is a safer road user- Do you believe there is a need for increased awareness of vehicle components/ parts/ accessories among consumers?
Indeed we agree. Doing one’s homework and finding a reputable distributor of parts can only serve one’s interests.
Could an online portal such as Arrive Alive in partnership with industry experts such as those from Grandmark contribute towards raising the levels of awareness on vehicle safety?
Yes. We would certainly be keen to contribute any way we can.
Should a vehicle owner have a right to offer input into the components used to repair his insured vehicle? What is " The Right to Repair"?
Free competition will always serve the consumer well. We strongly feel that this extends to the right to choose which components to use and where the repair happens without jeopardising the warranty of the vehicle provided that the automotive component is of like quality and a certified technician does the repair. This is the entire premise of the “Right to Repair.”
How important is the link between the quality of product you offer to the market, the usage of that component during repair and the recognition by the insurer of that product in the repair? Do you consult with insurance companies?
The quality of the automotive components that are used by our insurance partners in their repairs is absolutely critical. We have certainly helped many of our insurance partners navigate the different levels of quality available in the aftermarket. This vetting process includes accompanying many of our insurance partners overseas on actual factory visits. Many of our manufacturing partners also manufacture for the original vehicle manufacturers. At the end of the days, whilst cost saving is a factor we would and should never jeopardise the relationship between ourselves, the insurer and their customers by using parts that of not of the highest quality.
With so many products in the market, does Grandmark have a screening protocol of checklist that they follow before deciding to offer such a product?
Absolutely and this separates us from many other distributors of parts in South Africa. Firstly, every item is sourced directly from a factory that is known to us and adheres to strict management quality standards such as ISO/TS19649. Because there is no middleman, we have direct visibility of each and every item that we source and distribute. We also ensure that, where possible, we source from factories that manufacture for the original vehicle manufacturers. The majority of the factories that we partner with certainly fall into this category. We also have a quality control team based in the areas where we source from and by batch numbering all of our products we are able to track and trace and quickly resolve if we ever do encounter quality issues.
If a consumer needs more info on products- where should he/she go- do you offer complete product info to the retailer or have a contact address to raise and enquiry?
Consumers are welcome to browse our website – www.grandmark.co.za or call any of our branches nationwide to speak to a sales consultant, all details can be found under the ‘Contact Us’ button on the website.