Casting your mind back to 1969 will conjure up images of the Rolling Stones in their prime, Tom Jones and Three Dog Night. Let your mind wander across to vehicles, and it will likely have visions of the muscular Chev Camaro, the Valiant or the iconic Triumph TR6. All at the time were masterpieces of engineering. That was over 50 years ago, however, and they are now ‘real plodders’ that couldn’t beat a half-decent, modern-day hatch.
All things automotive have changed. That is also the case for South Africa’s Motolek which this year celebrates 50 years of supplying electrical parts that, in 1969 when doors opened for business, included ‘points’ (remember those); plugs; condensers; distributors; HT leads; plugs; thermostats; generators and other parts the average DIY mechanic or professional workshop required.
Fast forward 50 years to the vehicles of 2019 which require much more than a quick look at fuses to find out where an electrical problem has occurred. Sophisticated computer systems operate air conditioning, radios and in-car entertainment systems, airbags and engine controls to name but a few.
Diagnosing a problem now goes far beyond a dashboard light telling you what problem is taking place under the bonnet. The light now provides an indication that alerts the driver towards a symptom- finding the underlying problem involves using computerised diagnostic equipment to isolate a problem. The trial and error parts swopping marathon that was the only way to find a fault in 1969 has gone for good.
“Motolek has kept pace with the rate of change. Today, it is a fully-fledged workshop franchise for auto electrical specialists who work from more than 40 franchised stores across the country. All are professional, experienced technicians who carry out tasks using state-of-the-art diagnostic machinery,” says Hugo Grobler, National Franchise Manager at Motolek.
“The range of services has also expanded exponentially. The list of specialities includes air conditioning electronics, fitment of alarms and anti-theft devices, alternator services, audio, wiring and diagnostics; and fitting of after-market systems and parts. We are finding that many customers are spending money on retrofitting features that bring their vehicles up to date. Park distance control sensors and reverse sensors are firm favourites with drivers who today, must contend with more congested parking areas and parking bays that allow an SUV to squeeze in. It’s a good investment when the alternative of buying a new vehicle featuring all the ‘mod-cons’ is considered.” Adds Grobler.
Motolek also offers field services that enable quick turn around times on breakdowns experienced in the field. This Business to business service limits down time for the customer and ensures his fleet or machines function 24/7. They also currently offer a range of services in the commercial, mining, marine, agricultural and earth moving fields and is sure to have the solutions to any electrical problems experienced by the prospective customer.
Any predictions for Motolek’s future?
“We have successfully served South African motorists for 50 years. To continue to meet their demands will involve ongoing investment in technology and equipment. Importantly, Motolek will continue to ensure that the skilled technicians are on hand to deliver the best from a franchise store concept that will continue to grow.”
With the future advent of Electric vehicles, Motolek will be even more relevant in the changing environment of motoring and will facilitate the need for more training and investment in technology and equipment.
“We have been committed to South African motoring for 50 years. We intend being here in another 50 years,” says concludes Grobler.