Aliwal Auto Ford is revving up its game

Aliwal Auto Ford in Aliwal North is set on a winning path with a new management team taking the dealership from a difficult period to reaching sales targets and winning customers back.

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So says Heinrich Schoeman, new Dealer Principal at this rural Ford dealership in the Eastern Cape.

The family dealership belongs to Tobie Potgieter, well-known business man with various real estate interests, his wife and daughter, Noreen. It was established in 1996 and later also included Ford satellite dealerships in Barkly East and in Mossel Bay, both of which were later closed.

“We are on course and are consistently achieving and exceeding our sales targets since the beginning of this year. Our workshop, with three master technicians and a parts department, is doing well, and customers are returning, with new ones added regularly. Our Service Department got a 91.75% and Parts Department a great 93% ranking for the 2023 Merit Club in the Dealer of the Year contest.

Heinrich (Dealer Principal) and his father-in-law and owner of Ford Aliwal Auto, Tobie Potgieter.

“Our new management structure and our approach to doing business underwent radical changes. We appointed a new Sales Manager who will predominately get our pre-owned car division back on track, so to speak. WP van Wyk is an experienced salesperson who previously worked for another dealership in the Southern Cape,” Heinrich tells Dealerfloor.

“We are thinking outside the box to use the well-known phrase, to attract more business. Our Ranger bakkies are our top selling vehicle, and the farming community around Aliwal North is our largest customer base.

“For this reason we are getting more involved with the agricultural sector by sponsoring events linked to this sector, and we plan a number of incentives to make deals more attractive to farmers. This will include added value offerings that will benefit farmers in a big way,” Heinrich says.

Heinrich (DP) with his wife, Noreen, the Financial Manager and one of the directors of the business.
WP van Wyk (the new Sales Manager) and Heinrich.

He tells us they are involved in different sponsorships across a wide spectrum, from assisting with projects like helping street children take part in sport and giving their lives new direction, to sponsoring numerous community projects as well.

“Business conditions are tough, and our dealership, which is a local family-owned business, went through a difficult period owing to some unforeseen circumstances. We are, however, on solid footing now, motivated and determined to keep our doors open and our business as a part of the local community, which includes getting the right people into the dealership to change our fortunes.

“We have an exciting product range with the new Ranger doing extremely well, and the brand-new Territory that’s being launched will most certainly get its fair share of attention too, also here in Aliwal North,” Heinrich says.

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