From a very young age, just like any young male person Darryl Norris always liked to play with cars. Though some are fascinated by them and later choose different careers to focus on, for him it was a different story. He made sure that his career fell along that line too. Right now he works as a Services Manager at Naledi Motors in Gaborone. He is a qualified Diagnostic Mercedes Benz Engineer. His career with Mercedes Benz started off in 2003 when he was one of the 19 technicians that were poached by Mercedes Benz to go and explore the car further in the United Kingdom. That was not his first experience with cars since he was working at Isuzu. Going to the United Kingdom was a dream come true in pursuing his passion for the model. He spent five years there where he worked and trained with Mercedes Benz. Later he moved to Mauritius where he worked for two years.
He then moved back to South Africa – his home country – in 2010 and spent 11 months. He was then deployed to Tanzania for two years, and then Uganda for the same number of years before coming to Botswana. He has also worked in Dubai and Jordan, still under the Benz brand. At Naledi Motors, he focuses only on passenger vehicles not commercial vehicles. As a Services Manager he makes sure that the vehicle is repaired well to exceed the customers’ expectations. “Sometimes it is very difficult to please every customer, we do have unhappy customers and with me now being in charge I am trying by all means to focus on them to see how then we can assist them in order for us to get to the level where they want us to get at,” he said.
He said when a customer buys a Mercedes Benz they always expect to have the best service possible and hence some come off as very demanding. He said this keeps them on their toes most of the time to try and deliver. He said the current challenge for Botswana operation is that of parts availability; they can’t have a full range of parts for all vehicles that they have on stock. For that to happen they would need a bigger warehouse here. He said the dealerships in South Africa have it easier because their parts belong to Mercedes Benz Group and they also have their own stock in the dealerships. For Botswana, there are often delays in sourcing parts because sometimes they even have to wait for them from Germany. To compensate for that, they always offer their customers courtesy cars to use while theirs are still repaired. He referred to a Mercedes Benz as a totally different brand of vehicle, with class and prestige. He said though there are brands that offer almost the same level of class, there is no denying in the fact that Mercedes Benz has had a prestigious reputation for many years. “I think a lot of customers buy it based on the safety factor of the vehicle and status as well,” he added. He said though there are other vehicles that someone would love to play with like Maserati Mercedes Benz still remains the prestigious car that someone can drive on a day to day basis.
He said their cars are able to cater for different markets from young to old because of the different categories that they have. He said they try to focus on all categories from the family guy, single guy to someone who just wants to look flashy. On what his preferences are in regard to categories of people, Norris said for a youngster with a dad with a lot of money he will go for the A45 AMG, for a middle age man he prefers the C63 AMG which is also a top of the range, the ML range for mums and normal A-classes for young ladies since they are small. Though there are many on the roads now that are bought for cheap from the second hand car dealers, Norris advised that it is not always a good idea to buy those if someone wants the quality of a Mercedes Benz. He said on his spare time when he is not busy trying to satisfy challenging Benz customers, his hobby is actually rebuilding engines where he focuses mostly on classic cars which he later sells. "I strip them down, refurbish and then sell them, and they give me a thrill. I enjoy working with my hands," he said. Though he takes things very seriously when at work, he is actually a fun 'Durban boy' who likes the beach and fishing.