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Lower Mbuya, Kampala (U) Plot 6 Ojara Close

Uganda’s first Specialised VW-Audi Maintenance Centre: My Journey

Uganda’s first Specialised VW-Audi Maintenance Centre: My Journey

In August 2017, what started as an ordinary month was about to turn into a landmark period that would quietly go down into history’s back pages. Yes, few would notice, yet it happened.

There was an inception that would go on to catch the eye of even the least attentive person that lived in this corner of the universe.

In the subsequent years, S-Line Motors Ltd was born as the First Specialized VW-Audi Maintenance Centre in Kampala, Uganda. The auto garage would go on to lay claim to the number one spot when it came to specialization in the auto repair and maintenance of the luxury that was synonymous with Volkswagen and Audi vehicles in Uganda.

Seeing the different types of Volkswagens & Audis that lined the garage premises and the number of smiling customers exiting with cars that had just had life anew breathed into them, the owners of other group brands were influenced.

So much so that they would not only propose to have their cars serviced from the new garage that was near them, but they wished to see used and new cars arraigned for sale at S-Line’s location in Kampala.

Yes, we were doing it. As testimonies showed, we were making people proud with our maintenance program that incorporated all the essentials on the customer’s checklist and came in timely intervals.

VW and Audis at S-Line Motors Ltd, the first Specialised VW-Audi Maintenance Centre In Kampala, Uganda
A few cars at S-Line Motors’ current premises on Ojara Close, Lower Mbuya

Before I proceed with the story of the young giant that continues to grow from strength to strength, let me take you back to where it all began.

In the period between 2010 and 2015, CFAO had ventured into the waters of Uganda, setting up at Shell Jinja Road. A key strategy they hoped to prosper with was the delivery of General Brand cars to would-be customers.

Having equipped themselves with an arsenal of specialized service tools, the arrival of investors with seemingly unlimited money in the bank for equipment and operations gave rise to VAG Motors in 2016.

CFAO had a front-running intention of selling cars in Uganda with an afterthought that entailed repairing and servicing these cars for their clients as the need arose. However, the market was small from the get-go, and they could never meet their financial target, which prediction some (pessimists?) had made earlier.

The resulting downtime in operations and the ill response of the Ugandan crowd to their business model led to financial struggles. Fight as they could, the technical and financial team behind VAG saw themselves losing the battle in the long run.

Consequently, the side venture that the provided auto garage services to the public became background noise. Since the employees as stakeholders had contributed to the pool of repair tools, a return of the same saw an end to dealings with VAG.

CFAO eventually left Uganda, and with that came a huge market gap as the owners of luxury cars needed an immediate alternative that would ensure they did not miss their car maintenance schedules.

Somewhere in the crowd of redundant employees was one Samuel Okello who, fresh out of school, had finished an apprenticeship program that had given him tremendous experience in the repair and maintenance of high-end cars.

Samuel Okello, Co-Founder S-Line Motors Ltd, the first Specialized VW-Audi Maintenance Centre
Samuel Okello (far right), post VAG Motors

The desire for the continuity of good services at a value-giving cost from clients created an aura of need that the passionate inner child of Samuel Okello caught up on; the screams of this inner child had to be silenced once and for all – he was out for blood.

The former employees were already in too deep to quit the game at that stage, and there was nothing else to do but one thing, for the drums had begun beating, calling for action, and with that played the fight song.

It was on indeed; someone would in the same period step onto the scene to pick up the mantle, with the torch of change, they would light the way into the unknown – shining light into the night.     

The subsequent days saw numerous meetings with a friend at a café in Kampala, where intense discussions went on till late in the night. Tenacity was in full throttle, for even when the doors to that venue closed off to the public, the conversations continued into the wee hours of the morning.

Something incredible was indeed happening, an origin that would be a game-changer in the next three years. History was made as the First Specialized VW-Audi maintenance centre, a fully-fledged facility in Kampala was conceived.

This centre would cater to the needs of the Volkswagen group car owners in Uganda and the greater East African region at intervals suitable to clients and convenient, with the consistent availability of accessories.

Genuine spare parts the garage would provide, not stopping there but would go on to enable customers to book for VW repair services from the comfort of their home with the user-friendly online platform.

This revelation was precisely what was needed in the digital age, and no, it would not all be empty talk. There would be regular maintenance tips through regular newsletters, our in-house maintenance records & service history, with the bonus of all-round equipment that would benefit any VW group brand owner who happened to walk through our doors.

The newsletters would provide car repair assistance with tips that could be done at home, for we had been requested to answer the question on simple repairs for ‘Do It Yourselfers.’ At the same time, our wide array of service offerings would be tuned to impress even the toughest of critics as far as luxury car repair was concerned in Uganda.

The deed was officially done by 2018, and S-Line Motors Ltd positioned itself at the helm of the luxury car maintenance world, specializing in the VW Group Brands. A few years later, we are here, still strong, still serving, and still driving the motor forward as the First Specialized VW-Audi Maintenance Centre.

Our service categories have doubled and, as of 2021, include:

Innocent O.

Innocent O. is a content maven who creates web copy, blog articles, product descriptions, and reviews, while also availing forerunning marketing copy such as, but not limited to Newsletters.

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December 2022