Alpine Volkswagen Hillcrest recipe for success

Managing an automotive dealership successfully, requires that you should surround yourself with people of strength.

24 VW Tyrone1

“That is a crucial part of Alpine Volkswagen Hillcrest’s success since we started in 2019. The same core team is still part of the dealership and our unwavering success at the Volkswagen Dealer awards, bears witness to this,” says Tyrone Tait, Dealer Principal (DP) and a Director of the Alpine Motor Group.

Above and beyond his duties as DP, Tyrone also has an oversight role of all the Group’s dealerships. Currently, there is 19 dealerships in the KwaZulu-Natal based motoring group’s portfolio.

“If we look at VW Hillcrest’s success at the recent VW awards ceremony, we once again won various top accolades across different divisions of the business, indicating the continued success of our team. These awards saw Dylan Rielly scooping up the Golden Circle Mastercars Sales Manager Award, Shane Govender the Golden Circle Parts Manager Award, I won the Club of Excellence Dealer of the Year Award and Dineshin Odayar the Golden Circle New Car Sales Manager Award.

Seen here are Dylan Rielly (Golden Circle Mastercars Sales Manager Award), Shane Govender (Golden Circle Service Manager Award), Tyrone Tait (Club of Excellence Dealer of the Year Award) and Dineshin Odayar (Golden Circle New Car Sales Manager Award).

“We are regular winners in the above-mentioned categories since 2019, and although the official Dealer of the Year title eludes us, these recognitions indicate that we are one of the top performing dealerships in the country,” Tyrone tells Dealerfloor.

“In general, doing business now is a lot tougher than, say ten years ago. The number of brands currently available in the country, gives people different choices. Also because of economic conditions, buyers tend to look at price, brand loyalty is not necessarily the foremost consideration when buying a new vehicle today.

“Although Volkswagen relinquished its second place as a top seller in South Africa to Suzuki, the brand still holds its own as a premium product with high aspirational value. Being a premium product does have an effect on affordability. It does not mean that we will not venture into the more affordable sector in due course,” Tyrone says.

“I believe that no matter the political landscape, relief to prospective buyers must be on the cards in terms of lower interest rates. Although it might not immediately impact new vehicle sales, it will eventually lead to an increase in sales and stimulate the industry,” he tells Dealerfloor.

Tyrone says at Hillcrest, Volkswagen’s T-series models like the T-Roc, T-Cross and Tiguan remain popular as does the Amarok, which is doing very well. “With the premium sector of brands under pressure owing to the economic challenges the country faces, top-end vehicles like the Touareg are also in the line of fire.

“I am, however, optimistic that the prospects in South Africa look good, notwithstanding the challenges the industry faces at this time.”

  • Tyrone began his career in the automotive industry 22 years ago as a sales executive at a VW Alpine dealership in Pinetown. He then left to join McCarthy, for years as Sales Manager in Durban and a year as DP in Umhlanga before returning as DP and shareholder at Alpine.

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