Dedication, focus bear fruit for NTT in East London

When you focus on something with a well-thought-out strategy and a motivated team to drive it, it will yield positive results.

23 NT Tpaul Kok1 40

This was precisely the case with NTT Volkswagen Commercial in East London, winner of the category commercial dealership in the 2022 MSX | NADA Business of the Year (BOTY) Awards.

“We decided to make a serious effort to bring our commercial offering to the attention of everyone in our region. On the passenger side, owing to the volumes we do, the product line-up is constantly in the public domain in contrast with the commercial products, which are a more specialised part of the business,” says Paul Kok, Dealer Principal of NTT Volkswagen Passenger and Commercial Vehicles in East London.

Paul Kok (Dealer Principal at NTT VW & VW Commercial in East London).

Paul tells Dealerfloor that they had to change the mindset of how to sell more commercial vehicles. Part of our plan was to increase the visibility of our product range with more exhibitions, demonstrations and events to get people in the driving seat of our commercial range.

“We covered a number of different types of businesses from funeral parlours, the taxi industry to the agricultural sector and everything in between. Our range consisting of the Amarok (which will soon see the addition of single cab workhorses) to Caddy panel vans, T6 panel vans and Crew Buses to the bigger Crafter panel vans and taxis (for up to 23 people).

Melvin Makowem (Manager) and Paul Kok (DP).

“We wanted to show businesses that we have a solid offering in all the segments, and the effort bore fruit for us. This award was, so to speak, the cherry on top of the commercial effort cake. We have had a similar success many years ago, winning the title and will continue the momentum this time around with our recipe for success,” Paul says.

He tells us that although stock of certain models is scarce – in contrast to the situation on the passenger side – they follow a system of forward selling, retaining the relationship with clients till they can deliver. “The availability of certain models is still problematic, but we have plans in place and also within our group whereby we swop vehicles to assist clients. The war in Ukraine is mainly one of the reasons for this problem but alternative plans are made.”

Paul says that commercial vehicles are in demand, even though the stiff interest rate increases over the last couple of months, coupled to a weaking rand make trading conditions more difficult. “Once the interest rate stabilises, it will help.

The Volkswagen dealership in East London.

“Load-shedding also has an effect and may not be as fundamental in dealerships like in manufacturing or certain other businesses, but the knock-on effect for us and customers cannot be underestimated. We have a combination of solar power and generators to overcome this obstacle as far as possible,” Paul tells us.

Paul says that winning this award was unexpected, but that it’s one of the major and most important awards in the industry. He was DP at NTT VW/Audi in Kimberley before taking over the reins in East London. While in Kimberley, the dealership won the much sought-after VW Dealer of the Year award. He started his career at NTT in East London many years ago before going to Kimberley in the Northern Cape, and now he finds himself back in the Eastern Cape.

The last remarks from Paul’s side are that no matter how good your plans and products are, your team members need to be top notch as they are they drivers of any strategy and the link between the dealership and the customers. “I must say, we have the best and it shows.”

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