Luxury 4x4 manufacturer Land Rover announced on Friday that it had made amends with the disgruntled customer who last month placed a newspaper advert lamenting his bad experience with the company.

Luxury 4x4 manufacturer Land Rover announced on Friday that it had made amends with the disgruntled customer who last month placed a newspaper advert lamenting his bad experience with the company.

At a "feedback discussion" held at the Land Rover dealership in Stellenbosch on Friday, the customer, Andy Gray, accepted the apology and announced that he would continue to drive his Range Rover TD6. The fully repaired vehicle recently completed a 2 000 km trip across the Karoo in five days and Gray remarked that everything now "finally works like a dream".

According to Land Rover spokesman Mike Dawson, the dealership where the broken-down 4x4 stood for more than a week without being repaired, was under review. Dawson said the dealership was being reviewed, not only because it failed to repair Gray's vehicle, but also for its general under-investment in tools and lack of testing facilities.

Thomas Viehweg, president of the Premier Automotive Group (incorporating Land Rover, Volvo and Jaguar) said that the company would have to focus on improving communication between call centre agents and top management. He also added that the company would consider changing or moving staff viewed as being problematic, in order to restore its credibility.

"We are not yet where we want to be, although we have improved dramatically in the past few years," Viehweg said.

"Had Mr Gray not followed the very unconventional route of placing a (half-page) advertisement in the (Cape Times) newspaper, management may never have been made aware of the issues that had been shaken up."

Following the recent launch of the all-new Discovery 3, Land Rover SA is gearing up for the release of the revised Range Rover, which will be launched in June, whjich will move up a segment as part of the brand's repositioning.

At a "feedback discussion" held at the Land Rover dealership in Stellenbosch on Friday, the customer, Andy Gray, accepted the apology and announced that he would continue to drive his Range Rover TD6. The fully repaired vehicle recently completed a 2 000 km trip across the Karoo in five days and Gray remarked that everything now "finally works like a dream".

According to Mike Dawson, the dealership where the broken-down 4x4 stood for more than a week without being repaired, was under review. Dawson said the dealership was being reviewed, not only because it failed to repair Gray's vehicle, but also for its general under-investment in tools and lack of testing facilities.

Thomas Viehweg, president of the Premier Automotive Group (incorporating Land Rover, Volvo and Jaguar) said that the company would have to focus on improving communication between the call centre agents and top management. He also added that the company would consider changing or moving staff viewed as being problematic, in order to restore its credibility.

"We are not yet where we want to be, although we have improved dramatically in the past few years," Viehweg said.

"Had Mr Gray not followed the very unconventional route of placing a (half-page) advertisement in the (Cape Times) newspaper, management may never have been made aware of the issues that had been shaken up."

Following the recent launch of the all-new Discovery 3, Land Rover SA is gearing up for the release of the revised Range Rover, which will be launched in June, and move up a segment as part of the brand's repositioning.