Cars.com2 shines on Voortrekker Road

You have your work cut out for you if you operate in a street with almost 50 other dealers. This is the case for Johan Boshoff, the owner of Cars.com2 in Voortrekker Road.

22 Cars Com2a

Voortrekker is in the Moot in Pretoria and is famous as one of the city’s “car streets”, and Johan has been trading there for 31 years, with 15 years as the owner and leader of Cars.com2. He was recognised as an Absa Golden Partner this year.

“The Absa Golden Partner Award is our first big award and it carries a lot of weight. We are very proud of it and of the effort that our team has put in,” Johan tells Dealerfloor.

Here is Queen Liale (Absa Business Development Officer), Johan Boshoff (DP and owner) and Fransinah Malatji (Absa Regional Sales Manager).

Johan started life in the motor trade as Sales Manager and Dealer Principal at McCarthy Volkswagen many years ago in the same street, while his wife, Rosie, was a national F&I at the Auto Pedigree Group.

After many years working for OEMs, they decided to venture into the pre-own world of the motor trade. Johan then partnered with a friend in the used car trade, and they established Cars.Com and Cars.Com2. They eventually decided to go their own separate ways, each with a dealership in a different part of Pretoria.

“The car trade is an ever-evolving business. After 31 years in the trade and most of it in the same spot, you might think that you have seen it all. That is never true,” Johan tells us.

“I still learn every day and the last couple of years saw a lot of changes happening at a rapid pace. Not only the effect of COVID and the constant stock shortages, but a different buyer’s profile and the growth of buying on-line have swept through the industry.

Queen Liale (Absa Business Development Officer), Rosemarie Boshoff (F&I) and Erika Gollnitz (F&I).

“I would like to expand our on-line presence as Cars.Com2 already generates most of our buyers via our different platforms. In fact, normal walk-ins are very limited and those who do enter the showroom are already tired of the sales talk heard at the many dealerships that prospective customers had already visited,” says Johan.

“Our preferred trading segment is the R250 000 to R350 000 sector with lower mileage vehicles and with a part of their warranty and/or service plan still intact. That not only gives the customer peace of mind, but also to us as the dealer,” Johan says.

And what is considered a low mileage? “Before COVID about 25 000 kilometres a year were considered average. With more people working from home, it came down to, I would say, roughly 20 000 km a year. We try to stick to a cut-off for trade-ins at about 200 000 kms on popular brands like Toyota and Volkswagen.”

Asked about the stock situation, he says it is improving owing to the increase in the availability of new cars, that feed the used car market. “We buy a large number of vehicles from car rental companies, and I have a couple of trustworthy providers sourcing quality cars for us. Then there is your trade-inns from repeat and new customers as well as private sales.

The Cars.Com2 dealership in Pretoria.

“We are very picky as ‘come backs’ are not something any dealer wants. We have, on average, 35 cars on the floor and sell roughly 20 to 25 a month. In the past, the turnaround time for a vehicle was 90 days and even longer. The last two to three years, when the new circumstances made stock scarce and expensive, this period came down to 60 days and less.

“I am glad we avoided the situation where we had to buy stock at too high prices because of availability issues. The situation is slowly getting back to normal and there are dealers stuck with expensive stock that they are battling to move at a profitable margin.”

Johan tells Dealerfloor about an interesting trend that he has witnessed over the last year or two.

“Customers overwhelmingly want automatic transmission. No matter how big or small the vehicle, the preferred choice is automatic vehicles. For younger people it is easier to obtain their driving licence with an automatic car and just as important is the comfort of an automatic car in traffic and city driving,” Johan says.

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