According to folklore, there’s a myth in the auto industry that a dealership getting awarded the manufacturer’s Dealer of the Year (DOTY) title will never be able to simultaneously achieve this feat in the Sewells-MSXI NADA Business of the Year awards in the same year,
Share with friends
Audi Centre Arcadia dispelled that myth by receiving both awards, proving to be myth busters of note.
Under the capable leadership of Phillip Clough, Divisional Executive at Bidvest McCarthy Audi as well as Audi Centre Arcadia Dealer Principal, all three finalists in the Luxury Brand Category of the prestigious Sewells-MSXI NADA Business of the Year Awards, currently fall within his responsibility. The other two finalists are Audi Centre Menlyn and Audi Centre West Rand.
“To be named as one of the top performing dealerships in South Africa’s intensely competitive motor industry is an outstanding achievement. To be recognised as the best-of-the-best takes enormous commitment, constant innovation and a very special set of skills. We are extremely proud of the outstanding performance shown by all three incredible Bidvest McCarthy Audi dealerships,” he told Dealerfloor
The Business of the Year contest is organised under the auspices of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) and Sewells-MSX International, an outsourcing and consulting company that specialises in the automotive industry. The company evaluates the financial outputs of over 1000 dealerships every month and once a year hosts an award ceremony to honour the best performers across five categories.
When it comes to benchmark performance, Audi Centre Arcadia proved to be the cream of the crop, adding to winning the coveted Dealer of the Year award in Audi South Africa’s prestigious Silver Arrow Awards for the third year in succession!
According to Clough, being continuously recognised is not only up to him, but a highly motivated team of employees working in sales, the workshop, customer service and parts, which makes his job pretty easy. “I also have four great managers in the team, making my job that much easier,” he said.
“I love sport and running this business is very similar to winning a Rugby World Cup,” he explained. “Once you have your strategic plan and you’ve set your goals, it is imperative to be consistent over a 12-month period. As we saw with the Springboks, it is okay to lose a match or two, but eventually it is about the sum of the efforts of the team over time. As long as we carry on with the winning formula and don’t try to re-invent the wheel and keep getting the basics right, I think we should be okay, even when hurdles like an economic downturn and a pandemic are placed in our way.”
Being the DP since 2005, Clough believes in employment from within, ensuring succession planning and growth by developing future leaders for the group. “It is about the people in the building and making sure all of them perform to their capabilities,” he said.
Clough compares it to individual performances in athletics, where a PB (personal best) against an athlete’s name, even when they are placed 6th or 10th, is still a massive performance for that individual, despite not being on the winners’ podium. “We try to emulate that by comparing month-on-month performances of our employees, while at the same time recognising their achievement, adding to a winning culture,” he said.
“We strive to run a quality business and understand that as a dealership we have to exceed the manufacturer’s objectives, whilst at the same time achieving great returns for our shareholders,” he said. “And by receiving all these recent accolades, it seems that we are on the right track."
South African auto consumers rely heavily on dealerships for advice and support in their decision-making process, even though online platforms are rapidly changing the landscape, placing pressure on dealers to clearly define their role.
Road traffic and transport legislation consultant, Alta Swanepoel and LexisNexis have made available an online course to unpack the Administrative Adjudication of Road Traffic Offences, or AARTO system, for fleet managers and executives.
The small town of Dundee in KwaZulu-Natal is best known for the annual Dundee July and Boer War history tours, but at the Mortimer Motor Group’s Ford dealership’ branch manager Thokozani Khumalo says the town is now also the place where one can see how to do rural economic upliftment right.