A true Star for Nissan in Vaal Triangle

Star Nissan in Vereeniging can truly be considered a jewel in the Nissan dealership crown.

Star Nis1 Mathew Anderson Wayne Oosthuizen Susan Gorman Collin Laubscher Maryke Beyers Edwin Strauss Lizette Crause Nissan South Africa Janette Nell Hennie Strauss Bertie Mari

With six consecutive titles as Nissan Dealer of the Year under its belt in its category, the independently owned dealership also boasts the best Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) for the brand, five years in a row.

At the helm of the Star Group is the owner and director, Edwin Strauss. A Chartered Accountant by profession, Edwin spent two years at Deloitte & Touche in Romania, Eastern Europe, specialising in the SAPS financial accounting system.

At an awards ceremony from Nissan: Mathew Anderson, Wayne Oosthuizen, Susan Gorman, Collin Laubscher, Maryke Beyers, Edwin Strauss, Lizette Crause (Nissan South Africa) Janette Nell, Hennie Strauss, Bertie Maritz & Isaac Molotsi.

On his return to South-Africa, he joined Nissan South Africa and after seven years ventured into the retail side of the automotive industry.

“Star Nissan bought the Nissan franchise from Imperial and opened its doors on 1 April 2008. At a later stage, Star Motor Engineering was established to assist us in all our motor engineering needs, as well as the Star Tracker and Beekman Canopies fitment centres in the Vaal Triangle. Star Nissan also acquired the Nissan franchise in Vanderbijlpark and has moved to a new facility on the Barrage Road,” Edwin tells Dealerfloor.

Star Nissan had problems with the current off-the-shelf CRM system for Sales and Service because they did not integrate with each other. Edwin and his partner, Andrew Kiddle, started Star Tech during 2019 to overcome this problem.

Together with the Star Nissan Management team, they wrote a CRM system called AutoConnect 360 that integrated the Sales, F&I, Service and Parts department and also with the dealer management system and TransUnion.

“AutoConnect 360 is probably the reason for our success with our CSI awards. The system put us in a position to communicate electronically with customers via a link to follow the progress, say for instance, in the workshop.

“Internal communication is made a breeze between different departments. The system, which has now even elicited interest in other countries, brings a level of efficiency to our operation that in turn leads to top class customer satisfaction,” says Edwin.

Edwin says as a mega dealership, the shortage of stock is a serious problem for every dealership. “We are positive, and indications are that the situation will return to a better state during 2022.

“At Star Nissan, we are fortunate to have top class staff who make the most of what we have. I could not be more thankful for the people working here and allowing people to grow and make their own decisions, is part of the process.

“Another positive aspect is the people of the Vaal Triangle. Although we are in a metropolitan set-up, people have a warm attitude and the area has in a certain sense a more country and rural feel to it,” Edwin tells Dealerfloor.

“What also contributes to our success, is our community involvement. We assist sports teams in 14 schools across all the towns and townships in our area, including sponsoring the Sedibeng Athletic Team for the South-African Championships.

“We have a close relationship with the taxi associations and a large taxi rank is located across the street from us. We assist them in many ways, from helping them with admin duties to hosting functions at the dealership,” Edwin says.

It is not only Star Nissan that is the proud winner of numerous awards and trophies. Edwin himself was recognised for his contributions to the Vaal community. He received the Businessman of the Year award for 2019 from the Golden Triangle Chamber of Commerce.

“Without my team, I could not achieve this. People are my passion and without them we would not have been able to grow Star Nissan Vereeniging into one of the most successful motor dealerships in the country,” Edwin says.

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