To be an award-winning dealership and having had one of its best-ever financial years, will always take serious team effort but also a dedicated leader.
To make it even more of an achievement, is the fact that the dealership is in the rural area of the Free State.
Dealerfloor spoke to Gino De Crescenzo, Dealer Principal at Motus Ford Kroonstad, about business in South Arica’s maize heartland.
“It is a blessing that, notwithstanding the abnormal circumstances we find ourselves in since the beginning of 2020, we are not only thankful for a good financial year, but also for the awards bestowed on us.
“We won the Dealer of the Year Award form Ford in the D category. Our Workshop Manager, Derick Krohn, won his class in this category. Our success saw us moving upwards from D to C category. The growth in all our departments is a good sign and shows how strong and dedicated our team is. Our workshop is open on Saturdays as well to accommodate our customers’ needs.
Gino says agriculture is the main driving force behind business in the region, and good rainfall the last two seasons benefitted the local economy in a tremendous way. “Our area of responsibility covers a large part of the north-western Free State. It stretches from Kroonstad in a westerly direction to Bothaville and Viljoenskroon and north to towns like Koppies and Parys.”
“The short supply of stock is, however, restricting us. We have buyers, and the economy in the region is strong thanks to the agriculture sector as well as the low interest rates. Ford has a very healthy market penetration in our region of around 30% that we can expand as the stock levels normalise,” says Gino.
“The market and circumstances today demand that you can sell vehicles all over the country. We also deliver vehicles throughout South Africa at 50/50 ratio between local sales and the rest of the country. This includes new and used vehicles,” he tells Dealerfloor.
Gino is excited about the future with plans to upgrade the dealership at its current location in Brand Street in Kroonstad, and they are looking at opening more dealerships for different brands in town, all part of the Motus group.
Dealerfloor asked him when the situation around stock supply would start to normalise. “It is difficult to be precise, but indications are that towards the end of the year we could see some positive movement in this regard. The local Ranger manufacturing plant, which was closed for expansion reasons, will be back on track in the next month or so.”
“It goes without saying that the Ranger is extremely popular, and the EcoSport and Everest are doing well in the Free State too. The used car market has seen a demand for bakkies and SUVs with smaller cars less in demand mainly because of aspects like road conditions, which today demand something more robust,” he says.
“I am very optimistic about the future for the dealership, our brand and South Africa,” Gino concludes.
Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA) kept the wheels rolling this year with the opening of five new dealerships in four provinces.
The latest addition to the Stellantis dealer network is a large, new Super Group multi-franchise facility in Jacaranda Street, Hennopspark, Centurion, for Jeep, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot and Citroën.
We can overcome all the hurdles placed in front of us if we recognise our biggest asset in business is our people, says Rob Downs the Dealer Principal at CMH Nissan and Mitsubishi Pinetown.