‘Award belongs to our customers and our head office’

This Dealer of the Year Award belongs to all our customers, our staff and Renault South Africa, says Dean Marais, Dealer Principal at Renault Graaff-Reinet, which was just crowned the best dealership in the micro category for 2021 by the manufacturer.

Ren Graaf1

“It is not only due to our team effort at Renault Graaff-Reinet, but also to our customers who entrust us with their vehicles and the leadership and support of Renault South-Africa, especially during these challenging times. Without customers and support from head office, we would not be able to exist,” he says.

Dean, who was previously in the banking sector, helped to establish the independent business that belongs to Louis and Marius Nell, some 22 years ago with another brand that withdrew from the country and left them high and dry. A deal was struck with Renault and within four weeks a new Renault dealership was established, complete with floorplan and everything in place, ready for business.

Wim van Schie (General Manager: After-sales), Albrecht Grundel (Vice President: After-sales), Zian van Heerden (Vice President: Sales & Operations), Eghard van Vuuren (Sales Area Manager), Carol Dateline (ROM: After-sales), Marius Nell (Director: Renault Graaff-Reinet), Dean Marais (DP: Renault Graaff-Reinet), Madeline Fourie (General Manager: Dealer Network Development) and Katlego Mogaswe (Sales Area Manager).

“The assistance from Renault South Africa was exceptional even in times when stock shortages were hampering business across the spectrum for all vehicle manufacturers. Graaff-Reinet is in the Karoo, and our area of responsibility stretches far and wide from the Eastern Cape to the Northern and the Western Cape dominated by the agriculture sectors in these regions.

“Our product range found favourable acceptance in this, sometimes harsh landscape, with our vehicles offering good ground clearance and a robust nature that fit the environment in the Karoo. Vehicles like the Duster, Triber and Kiger are immensely popular here.

Johanita Snyman (Parts Manager) and Louis Nell (Director).

“As we sell most of our vehicles in our region, we are fortunate to see them for servicing. Owing to the long distances in our area and the distances farmers have to travel to town, we believe strongly in courtesy vehicles. Someone living a great distance away or on a farm, cannot afford to be without a vehicle when it is serviced or needs to be repaired.

“We also won an award in the After-sales division with Johanita Snyman scooping up the best Parts Manager of the Year Award, which yet again demonstrates our commitment to our customers. In last year’s competition, the dealership received the award for the Best Pre-Owned dealership in the micro category, Dean tells Dealerfloor.

Dean says although their staff component is small, they are all well trained, good in what they do and motivated to understand customers’ needs. No problem is too big for us, and the customer is central in our focus as a business. That commitment from our staff and customers, who know we care, combined with the back-up from Renault South Africa, is our winning recipe,” Dean concludes.

Albrecht Grundel (Vice President: After-sales) and Marius Nell (Director).
Sales Executive at Renault Graaff-Reinet, Donne Marais, handing over the keys of a new vehicle to a happy customer.

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