In the town of Vryburg in the far western part of North West province, business is picking up pace at the local Oranje Toyota dealership.
Not only do they, as part of the CFAO Motors Group, boast a brand-new dealership at a new premises that is hardly a year old, but a new Workshop Manager, Quentin Kruger, was appointed about five months ago and a new Dealer Principal, Harry Kruger (not related) is in the hot seat for only a couple of weeks now.
Apart from the Vryburg dealership, Oranje Toyota Schweizer-Reneke, some 65 kilometres away, is part of their responsibilities.
Harry is no stranger to the brand or Oranje Toyota or CFAO Motors for that matter. Being a Toyota man for the past 22 years of his motoring career, he was up to now the Sales Manager at Oranje Toyota in Klerksdorp for the past seven years.
“Klerksdorp prepared me in a way for Vryburg. Spending most of my career at urban dealerships in the big city environment, Klerksdorp has a more relaxed and rural feel in comparison with the city. Vryburg is a much smaller town but nonetheless one with its own momentum and dynamics.
The new dealership boasts the latest Toyota look and feel and is one of the first dealerships where the used car section, Automark, is integrated into the complex and behind glass instead of the open under roof approach. It adds a feel of quality and professionalism to the used car section with a neat set-up that makes clients feel welcome and important,” says Harry.
“The new dealership is now located on the Kuruman road. At this moment it is still classified in the small category by the manufacturer, but I can see it might change to a medium sized classification.
“We have a large geographical operational area that includes towns like Taung, Stella, Delareyville, Migdol, Jan Kempdorp and a few more close to Schweizer-Reneke, places like Wolmaransstad, Hartswater and Bloemhof.”
Asked about his management philosophy, Harry says he believes in doing the basics and doing them right, especially in these challenging times. “I am positive and proud of the team at the dealership. It is now more important than ever before to keep our customers happy and updated on the issues at hand,” he says.
“We are fortunate our workshop is busy, and it helps keeping the business in top gear while we struggle with getting enough stock for customers. The good rainfall now and during the previous season, creates more financial security in the agricultural sector. Rather than buying parts elsewhere and doing home repairs and services to save a few bucks, we see a return of vehicles to our workshop,” says Harry.
Harry reckons Vryburg is bakkie country making up around two thirds of their sales. He says the Hino 5- to 8-ton range trucks are also in demand with farmers, with the bigger cattle farmers in the region who will opt for bigger carriers. “We have a service facility for trucks and a trained technician,” says Harry.
And what does he do for fun when he is not selling Toyotas?
“At this stage, I travel every weekend between Klerksdorp en Vryburg because my family still live there, and my children are at school on that side. For the rest, I enjoy golf, braaiing, the outdoors and spending time with the loved ones,” Harry says.
Human Auto is not only a landmark in the Free State and Northern Cape, but it’s a familiar name to many businesses throughout South Africa.
The expansion of the Stellantis dealer network continues, with the latest addition being the new Reeds Bellville facility in the Western Cape for Jeep, Fiat and Fiat Professional.
Like many other towns, the growing town of Rustenburg has seen its economy take a hit with the COVID-19 pandemic.