New challenges require a new approach, and when it comes to Mokhethi Monareng, new Dealer Principal at Ford Tygervalley in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, this is a man who has the world ablaze.
Mokhethi recently arrived at the dealership, which is visible from the busy N1 on the way to the mother city, and made his presence felt throughout the industry after a video of him dancing in front of his team did the rounds on social media.
“We had no idea the video would go viral,” he said, adding that it did not start there and did not end there.
Who is Mokhethi V Monareng (and what does the V stand for)? You mentioned that you were “sent” from Pretoria to be the DP at this branch. Please expand a little, especially your way to being DP here in the northern suburbs of Cape Town. When did you come here and where do you live?
I was born in Soweto, where I grew up, and had a passion for cars since childhood. Our neighbour used to own a Ford Granada GIA, and that was the first vehicle that I fell in love with. Little did I know that one day I will work for Ford. The V stands for Vusumzinyathi, a name connected to where my father was born. It means ‘Revive Umzinyathi’. Umzinyathi is a district in rural KwaZulu-Natal, near a small town called Dundee. My grandfather was originally from Lesotho and moved to KwaZulu-Natal where my father was born, and I was born in Soweto. I moved to the Western Cape in January and I am still new in this beautiful province.
Tell us a little bit about your hobbies, if any… are you doing something outside of the dealership, including skydiving, shark diving… anything?
I have a passion for photography. I own a Nikon P900, with which I can get a perfect picture of the moon. I love capturing nature. I also love puzzles. I often play Sudoku and Rubik’s Cube. My best time to complete the Rubik’s Cube is 2 minutes and 10 seconds.
I have tried golf … and I am still trying. Hahaha!
I watch a lot of sports, especially soccer (I am an Orlando Pirates and Arsenal fan). I also watch motor racing and athletics.
How have you tackled the lockdown and post-lockdown reopening?
The following measures were introduced: We no longer offer coffee. The kitchen area is closed. We sanitise our workstation and adhere to social distancing.
The COVID-19 training that was done has really helped us to play our part. I am happy and proud to state that Barloworld Ford Tygervalley is a COVID-19 free dealership. We comply and get customers who are prepared to play their role in ensuring that we do things right.
During the lockdown period, everybody was concerned about how we were going to run the business under the strict regulations. We simply made sure that we became more active on online platforms, such as our dealership website as well as other social media platforms.
We managed to stay in contact with our customers via our website. We sent quotations to our customers, processed finance applications and closed deals. Up to 80% of the deliveries we did in May, came from the deals we closed during the lockdown period.
This was a good indicator to show that Ford Tygervalley has a dedicated team that continued to work from home as if the lockdown period never happened.
Any sporting interests?
I played soccer during the days of my youth. I was captain for most of the teams I played for.
What are your plans for the dealership – what is next, how are things going there, what are some of your favourite things at work?
I have been in the motor industry since 2003. I started my career at Barloworld Motor as a trainee. I worked for Barloworld Motor from 2003 to 2006 in different divisions. That opportunity helped me understand the business from different angles. I had other opportunities to work with different brands (such as Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, KIA and Jeep) and worked in different positions (sales, marketing, finance and administration). That experience has helped me to be where I am today.
I am ambitious, passionate and goal driven. One of my strengths and something that I cherish, is my ability to work with people and lead teams. I love empowering people.
What would you like to change at the dealership and for what reason?
Yes, changing the entrance and reception area was important to me. This has allowed us to comply with the COVID-19 requirements. I am comfortable that everyone who is inside the building has gone through the required checks.
If you win R500 000 in the lottery and should decide to spend it, what would you do with the money – go on holiday, shop, send your kids to private school (if they’re not there already), go back to university and study for a few months; add a Man Cave to your existing house (if you don’t have one already) or anything else?
I believe in a concept called Tithing – giving 10% of my earnings to charity. That is where I will start. I will possibly buy two cameras (Nikon P1000). My passion for photography enhances my ability to be creative. I will invest in my children’s education and in their hobbies, passions and other interests.
It does not take long to realise that the person on the other side of the telephone is a remarkable woman, someone who knows the motor trade by heart and defiantly not a pushover.
There is no substitute for hard work with passion, doing the things you love.
As the most awarded Volvo dealership in South Africa, TCM is the current South African Volvo Car Dealer of The Year as well as Service Dealer of the Year. Their secret? Making sure their focus is on their people.