SilverStar Mercedes

Structure and Design spoke to Donald Matuku, the founder and CEO of SilverStar Mercedes, situated along Coventry Road, Workington, Harare.

Q When and why was SilverStar Mercedes started?

A The idea started in my backyard in Houghton Park in 2009. With my training and expertise I realised I could offer customers improved service and make better use of my qualifications as a Certified Diagnostic Technician, offering superior solutions at an affordable price to the growing Mercedes Benz and Jeep market in Zimbabwe. So in October 2010 we opened our first workshop at Alex Motors along Julius Nyerere Way. We have always aimed to offer our customers a real alternative to main dealer repairs and servicing options.

As the business at Alex Motors expanded we moved to 3 Hanover Road, Workington in 2011. SilverStar Mercedes was founded in 2014 at 76 Douglas Road with 6 employees before moving to 93 Coventry Road last year.

Q As the CEO of SilverStar Mercedes, could you tell us about your experience and training as a Mercedes Benz and Jeep expert..

A I have trained as qualified Mercedes BenzTechnician, acquired through a dealership, dating back to 2000. I have acquired training locally, regionally and internationally through the Daimler Chrysler Global Mercedes Benz Training programme. I have received training in South Africa, Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe resulting in me becoming a Mercedes Benz Certified Diagnostic Technician. The qualification boosts the abilities of Mercedes Benz technicians, also enhancing the entire service experience. I have a natural interest in auto-electrics and so in my training as a Mercedes expert I also trained as a Jeep expert.

Q Let us talk about your staff – the technicians and their training.

  1. In the last few years the science of vehicle maintenance and repairs has changed quite dramatically as new vehicles are more advanced and complex. SilverStar has 8 qualified technicians who bring with them unrivalled technical training that enables us to truly understand Mercedes Benz and Jeep vehicles. With my own experience and training we continuously offer in-house training for our technicians in addition to their college qualifications. We also have technicians bringing expertise from other workshops and dealerships. We have someone who has worked at a dealership in the USA and he brings with him vast experience and information to the company. We also have a partner in Dubai who assists with the training.
  2. Our model is based on continuous in-house training for our team and, with the help of our partner in Dubai, we have invested in the correct manufacturer-specific diagnostic equipment and up-to-date product training for our technicians. We constantly strive for excellence and we continue to receive the latest technological software and training material from our partner.Automotive technology has advanced considerably over the last few years and at SilverStar we have made it a point to acquire high level diagnostic equipment to identify faults as well as advanced calibration systems. With Mercedes the diagnostic tools come with workshop and vehicle information that keeps us up to date. There is a lot of literature which is at our employees’ disposal. Our Dubai partner always supplies us with the latest Mercedes-Benz and Jeep technical bulletins and software so that we are always aware of the latest information
  1. Do you still work on vehicles yourself or are you in a more administrative role these days?
  2. My passion in life is for fixing cars and I enjoy both my technical role and my quality control role, so I am still on the workshop floor.

Q.What makes SilverStar the best option for maintaining or repairing your vehicle and what special services do you offer that sets you apart from your competitors.

  1. We always have that personal touch and we make sure that we talk to our clients and understand them. The first process of fixing a car is listening to the customer’s complaint. We make sure at the end of the day we have a happy customer.Our service centre therefore offers the best options for parts, repairs and maintenance and we are equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic and repairs equipment – along with our comprehensive stocks of replacement Mercedes-Benz and Jeep parts to suit your vehicle.believe Zimbabwe has now entered a new era of motoring and we have been waiting for these hybrid vehicles since 2015. Through our partner we have had a few training sessions in preparation for the electric and hybrid vehicles and we are well prepared.

The automobile’s future is electric, and we as SilverStar we are part of that future. It is important to understand that the fully electric or hybrid vehicle is not just the future, but also offers the ultimate in luxury driving. We are therefore excited about this future.

  1. How do you see the future of vehicle repairs and maintenance as hybrid or electric vehicles are becoming more popular? Will you be in a position to service and repair fully electric vehicles?

A.We trust the quality of work can be expected only through personal satisfaction, dedication and enjoyment. In our profession, precision and perfection are not a dispensible luxury,but a simple necessity.

  1. What makes SilverStar the best option for maintaining or repairing your vehicle and what special services do you offer that sets you apart from your competitors.
  2. We always have that personal touch and we make sure that we talk to our clients and understand them. The first process of fixing a car is listening to the customer’s complaint. We make sure at the end of the day we have a happy customer.Our service centre therefore offers the best options for parts, repairs and maintenance and we are equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic and repairs equipment – along with our comprehensive stocks of replacement Mercedes-Benz and Jeep parts to suit your vehicle.

 


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