Business excellence for VW dealers in Lowveld

The Lowveld Motors Group made a big splash at the recent Volkswagen Grand Prix Awards.

Alan Hudson Main

The group, with its headquarters in the eastern part of Mpumalanga, has three VW dealerships in Mbombela (Nelspruit), White River and Mashishing (Lydenburg) and made a clean sweep at the Volkswagen Grand Prix Awards.

Not only was the group awarded Micro Dealer Group of the Year for 2021, but Alan Hudson Motors – the group’s dealership in Mbombela – scooped up the trophy as overall Dealer of the Year. This means the group won two of the three most sought-after titles, and it walked away with the Micro Dealer of the Year Award for the second time.

Lemmy Dolezal, Dirk van der Merwe, Anru Myburgh and Juraj Dolezal.

It was, however, the first time that the dealership reached the pinnacle of the manufacturer’s premium awards by winning the Dealer of the Year category. The great achievement was that all the dealerships in the group achieved Club of Excellence status.

Dealerfloor had a chat to Lemmy Dolezal, DP at Alan Hudson VW Mbombela, about their achievement.

“We knew we stood a chance in terms of Club of Excellence as we had focused collectively as a team on this, but we were certainly not thinking about winning the Dealer of the Year title. We are ecstatic, proud and honoured.

“It is not only a recognition for a job done well. It is much more in the sense that we are running our business properly with the necessary focus across all spectrums. It does not only include sales but a variety of aspects covering parts, the workshops, our used car division, customer satisfaction and some financial key performance indicators.

“In terms of the Micro Dealer of the Year Award, all three our dealerships combined their efforts in the different divisions in which we competed, and it was enough to see them achieving sections A, B and C of the VW Club of Excellence. That combined achievement of the three dealerships against the criteria set by Volkswagen landed us this title and indicates that all three dealerships are on the right track in how they conduct their business,” Lemmy tells us.

Alan Hudson in Mbombela.

Asked about the reason for the success, Lemmy says that they bought as much stock as possible over the past two years, even the more slow-moving model lines. “During the stock shortages, we had a good supply of stock and we put in a huge effort in marketing the slower-moving lines. It paid off and assisted us in having enough used stock, which is normally hampered by the shortages on the new side.

“Our strategic planning was spot on and was supplemented by service excellence. I am more technically minded, so to me it is of the utmost importance that we have the best qualified technical team. There should be no guessing or speculation about what a problem on a vehicle might be. The name of the game is identifying it the first time and fixing it.

Palm Motors in White River.

“I started in the parts department, worked through different departments and had a short stint at our Audi dealership, also in Mbombela, before taking over the Volkswagen dealership.”

Lemmy, a qualified auto electrician, says he grew up in the dealership where his father, Juraj (George) was the DP before him. He says that they had a good relationship and that he learned a lot from him. We bounced ideas off each other that has had a positive influence on the growth of the business.

Lemmy says his dad is now semi-retired, and that he took over the reins from his father as DP about 12 years ago.

Highlands Motors in Mashishing (Lydenburg

“We recently moved into our brand-new facility in Mashishing (Lydenburg) known as Volkswagen Highlands with Anru Myburgh at the helm. At Palm Motors White River, we have the very capable Dirk van der Merwe in charge.”

Asked about the name Alan Hudson, Lemmy says the name is well-known, respected and 65 years old this year. Although they are not housed at the same original premises, the name stayed. They are in their current facility for roughly six years now.

Lemmy concluded that this year so far seems more difficult than last year, but that they remain focused, and the teams at the different dealerships are highly professional and committed.

“My DPs at the other dealerships are first class and they even push my own boundaries to do better. We are immensely proud of our staff and would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their continued and loyal support,” he concludes.

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