By By Shasimana Uugulu and Toffy Dube
March 2011
ACCORDING to thanjiweMtinsto’s (1999) Conceptual Framework Women in Business, “once women have entered any sphere of decision-making and remove the barriers to their effective paticipation, they are likely to start ringing up the changes”.

The new Jeep Grand Cherokee, a stunning masterpiece that promises adventures in an uncompromising yet comfortable environment and unleashes ingenuity, has arrived on the Namibian market.

Although it is accompanied by another stunning Jeep Compass, the new Jeep Grand Cherokee defies all expectations and its handler at M+Z Motors, Nathalie Schroeder believes this is the saviour of Jeep’s fortunes in Namibia.

To begin with, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee rivals the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and GMC Acadia although it has more horse power and features some of the best safety, security, and infotainment electronics.

M+Z Motors Sales Manager for the Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep division Nathalie Schroeder is over the moon with the latest models available in Namibia, namely the Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.6L V6 Limited and the Grand Cherokee 3.6L Overland with a price tag of N$ 525 000 and N$ 575 000 respectively.

“The available models are all petrol and we expect the Grand Cherokee 5.7L Hemi V8 Overland to arrive in the mid-year while the Grand Cherokee 3.0L V6 CRD Overland is expected to arrive at the end of this year. The Grand Cherokee 6.1L Hemi V8 SRT will be here only in 2013,” Schroeder says.

With no prior experience in the auto mobile environment Schroeder is a living testimony that the word impossible only exist in the dictionary and is a state of the mind.

She worked as a jewellery sales person for 16 years at Adrian and Meyer Jewels, before joining M+Z Motors in 2005 as a sales person for Mercedes-Benz.

Her passion and major interest for her job and automobile did not go unnoticed as within a year she was promoted and appointed the branch manager of Dodge/Chrysler and Jeep when M+Z opened the department’s new office in Windhoek.

“I strongly believe that one can sell anything, if you are interested and passionate about what you are doing,” she says.

Schroeder’s responsibilities now lie in protecting, upholding and advancing jealously the interest of Dodge/Chrysler and Jeep in Namibia and with the 2011 Grand Jeep Cherokee, it becomes an easier burden.

She is responsible for the running of the Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge department of M+Z Motors, located at John Meinert.

She currently heads the Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge New vehicle sales of the sub-branches in Walvis Bay and Ondangwa, yet despite all these responsibilities, it is this 2011 machine that has become the apple of her eye.

“I run a profitable department of M+Z Motors based on honesty and fair business principals that give the clients value for their money. In the beginning l constantly had to prove myself with facts and convince clients that l can do the job just like men,” recalls Schroeder.

She adds that as a woman in this industry one has to have a broad knowledge of the product, an open mind, be wary of one’s conducts and above all have an independent mind. Only then will you be able to command and earn respect from people.

“We periodically embark on customer participation day M+Z Motors’ customer participation open days where people are invited to drive the vehicles and experience the vehicles capabilities,” she says.

The last such open day was in November 2010 in Swakopmund were customers were presented with a life time experience of navigating through the dunes courtesy of M+Z Motors.

Standard features of the Jeep Grand Cherokee include Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, and Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross-path detection systems.

With Keyless Enter-N- Go system, your key can stay in your pocket or purse and your journey begins with the simple push of a button.

Numerous safety features are standard, and options include Blind-spot/Rear Cross-path detection and Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Warning, along with FloTV, satellite TV, and Internet router.

Standard safety features include Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM), four-wheel Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with rough-road detection, four-wheel Brake Traction Control System (BTCS), Passive Entry/Keyless Go, Remote keyless entry, express up/down windows for driver and front-seat passenger, seat-belt pretensioners, Trailer-Sway Control and Remote-Start which is standard on Overland and available on Limited.

The Brake Assist System recognizes emergency situations (by seeing how quickly the driver hits the pedal) and increases brake pressure; it’s based on research that shows that in many accidents drivers had panic-stopped without fully activating the brake.

Other standard safety features include full-length side-curtain air bags which extend protection to front and rear outboard passengers, seat-mounted side thorax air bags that enhance protection for the driver and front passenger, and active head restraints which deploy in the event of a rear collision.

The cargo bay behind the rear seats has 6.8 more cubic feet of room (36.3 cubic feet total), and includes a storage unit with a rechargeable flashlight and new grocery hooks on both sides. The spare tyre compartment includes removable dual storage bins for secure storage of muddy gear or other items.

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee also features U-connect user-friendly systems which act as a hub for most important media such as cell phone, navigation systems and personal devices such as an iPod or smart phone.

These systems are:
• Uconnect Phone is the in-vehicle voice-activated communication system that allows you to pair up to seven Bluetooth compatible phones and then talks virtually hands- free.
• The Voice Command system allows you to vocally select FM radio stations, select navigation destinations and record voice memos.

• Multimedia manages all your media. You have three ways to access audio; a 30GB hard, iPod control with voice command and Bluetooth streaming audio.
• The Navigation system provides turn-by-turn guidance by voice command and visual display. It can also locate nearby restaurants, shopping malls, hospitals, or point of local interest.
• Remote Door Unlock – Remotely unlocks doors with a simple phone call.

Compared with the outgoing Grand Cherokee, the 2011 Jeep has 4 inches more rear seat leg room, with 12° of recline, a standard centre folding armrest and rear seat vent controls, and 17% more cargo capacity... with the spare tire now mounted inside.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with a maintenance plan as well as a warranty of 3 years or 100 000km. Schroeder is confident that 2011, is the Jeep year and most Namibians will soon be gallivanting across the country in this new machine tipped to change the fortunes of this department. And it’s a mixture of both the car and the lady in charge. PF