Vaughn Marescia, Director at FMGH Motor Holdings and head of Volvo CARS Hillcrest and Pietermaritzburg, talks about the electrification of cars and the new Volvo EX30.
Vaughn’s life in the motor industry began just over 19 years ago, with the then McCarthy Cadet Business Programme – which recognised and trained young cadets to join their motor group. “I joined one of their divisions and went through the ranks of sales team to management over the next 10 years,” says Vaughn.
In 2008 he began his journey with Volvo, and soon grew a strong affinity to the brand due to its people centric nature, safety and constant encouragement to take responsibility for the world around us.
“In 2014 I decided to leave the comfort of my corporate giant and establish my own company called FMGH, trading as Volvo Pietermaritzburg. Two years later I returned to Durban and took over the Volvo Pinetown operation.” During FMGH’s time in Pinetown, Vaughn recognised a strong demand for a branch in Hillcrest and built the first Volvo Retail Experience (VRE) showroom in KZN – a showroom built in the exact detail of those you would find in Sweden.
“Our strategy is to become fully electric by 2030 and change the future of mobility and ownership – with a strong emphasis on growth and sustainability. We are constantly striving to be creative and have a very distinct line of products. We have always offered unmatched safety, however we would like to build on this legacy by continuing to be innovative and elegant.”
With the intention of minimalist Scandinavian design and in-house baristas, designed to make the customer feel at home and experience Swedish luxury at its best, Volvo Cars Hillcrest has become a trusted brand in our community – and also participate actively in local community projects, with incredible partners such as Meals on Wheels, Amashova Durban Classic and The Upper Highway Baby Home.
“The exciting new addition to our Volvo offering is Volvo Studio Galleria in Pietermaritzburg,” says Vaughn. “Here you’ll find a concept where Swedish culture meets our South African community – combining hospitality, comfort, contemporary design and innovation. Come grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the Scandinavian atmosphere!”
Electrification has not been embraced as rapidly in South Africa as abroad, however regardless of our local challenges it is most definitely the future. “We are living in a transition period, and as demand for electrification increases, so will the cost of production decrease. It’s important to note that not only is it cheaper to build, run and maintain – but the driving experience is far superior to that of Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles,” says Vaugh. In addition, service intervals are only once every two years, there’s zero fuel expense, zero emissions, less noise, and regenerative braking charges your battery as you reduce speed.
The Volvo EX30 recently launched at R775 000, making it more affordable and accessible to the public. “With a range of 480km on a single charge, expect to see more EVs on our roads much sooner than you anticipate,” says Vaughn – adding that EX30 is due to arrive in December. “Drive and acceleration is effortless, and travelling in complete silence is fantastic. You realise that this makes perfect sense, and is indeed the logical choice – making it extremely difficult to revert to traditional.”