Beverley Satchell is the EVRM at FJ Chalke, Wincanton, Somerset. She has been working with the Nissan LEAF for about two months and is enjoying her first role in car sales after four years with the company.
She told us: ‘I used to be the receptionist, so this new role is a brilliant opportunity for me.’
One of the ways Beverley is spreading the EV message is by tweeting about the car and asking potential purchasers to get in touch. She answered a few questions for us about her role at FJ Chalke.
So, a couple of months in, how’s it going?
It’s going really well. I am really enjoying it. In such a short space of time I have sold a few Nissan LEAFs, and I have had plenty of inquiries and test drives, so interest is really picking up. I like the fact that I am knowledgeable in this technology of the future, and enjoy putting people’s doubts at rest once they realise the performance and benefits of owning a Nissan LEAF.
How long has the LEAF been available at your dealership?
Since March 2011.
Is the LEAF creating a lot of interest among the customers at FJ Chalke?
When the customer comes to the showroom, they are instantly impressed with the way the car looks. Then when you explain it’s 100 per cent electric, no petrol, no road tax, tax deductable for business, it really gets them excited. Once they start having a test drive, I always get the question, ‘Is it on? I can’t hear anything’, and then they are blown away by the quietness and smoothness of the drive. I can most definitely say interest is growing – especially after the talk of fuel strikes.
How many LEAFs has the dealership sold so far?
We have sold 33 new and used LEAFs so far.
Do your LEAF owners seem pleased with their purchase?
Yes, all of the owners love their LEAF. They love the fact they are helping the environment, and love telling stories about how far they went with how many miles left. They keep being pleasantly surprised by the LEAF. They are very happy customers.
Are you equipped to service the vehicle?
Yes – we have two fully-trained specialist EV technicians at our branch.
What are your own thoughts about the car?
My personal opinion is that this is the car of the future. In time, more and more people will come to understand the Nissan LEAF. I think what initially put people off is the price, but when you explain how much money they would be saving, and that this is the first 100 per cent electric family car on the market, they realise the LEAF really is something different.
Also, people are doubtful about the range and are waiting for a newer model with a higher range. The LEAF isn’t for everybody’s day-to-day life, and using an electric car is a change of motoring style, but the future is about change, and in time, the technology will change and improve to erase any anxieties some people may have.
I enjoy driving the LEAF. As I drive by, people stop and stare with curiosity, especially when I am overtaking on a dual carriageway. The shock that an electric car can be so quick and not sluggish surprises a lot of people.
Also, the quietness of the drive is great. It’s nice having a peaceful drive, and with a passenger in the car, you haven’t got road noise disrupting your conversation.