DOTY: Rola Ford Robertson shows how it’s done

Ford Rola Robertson made history as the first rural dealership to take the prestigious overall national Ford Dealer of the Year award.

24 Karen Ford1

Robertson is a small town in the Western Cape in an area known as the valley of wines and roses just off the N1 & N2 national roads at the foot of the Langeberg Mountain range, and this winning streak has not only manifested over a couple of years, but the Rola team under the leadership of Karen Möller, went home with various others top titles this year.

This came as a huge surprise that left Karen speechless after a show of acknowledgement and a standing ovation from her fellow contestants at the awards ceremony.

Karen tells Dealerfloor these awards are a true reflection of teamwork and a team that knows what is expected of them. “We have the same vision and drive to make this a winning dealership. That is why our team is known for its tenacity, perseverance and resilience, especially during a challenging 2023.

Rola Ford Robertson was recently crowned the national Ford Dealer of the Year.

“I want to express my gratitude to the whole team as Robertson is running a very small staff complement, so their input and effort are valued and appreciated. To all our business partners, local customers and those further afield, thank you for your support.”

Since Karen joined the Rola Ford Robertson team in October 2020, the dealership won Dealer of the Year for category E in 2021 and was runner-up in the category for the 2022 Dealer of the Year awards. The Rola Robertson team has won numerous awards for their categories during the last four years.

Karen says that the management team at the dealership considers themselves serving leaders, assisting and mentoring staff. “Taking care of our staff is a priority as their well-being reflects on all aspects of the business. We try to create an environment at the dealership where they feel safe, happy and confident no matter their personal circumstances.

Seen here are Johan van Zyl, (Service Manager) who won the Service Merit Club Award and was recognised for the criteria of customer viewpoint scores, service business performance, extended business performance and technical training. Michelle Fourie (F&I) was the winner in three Divisions for Ford Credit Merit Club criteria, which included the highest penetration, Ford Options, renewals and retention. She was also recognised for the sales of Ford Protect products to customers and the winner for the best penetration for the Ford Protect products. Shinica Olivier (Parts Manager) qualified for the Parts Merit Club awards, Dewald Möller (New Vehicles Sales Manager) was recognised in the Sales Merit Club as the winner in his category for the Deals Total Sales and marketing business performance, which include Sales performance, Dealer standards compliance, Ford Credit penetration, Inventory pipeline management and Customer viewpoint scores, and Karen Möller was also recognised as the Dealer of the Year for Category E for performance in sales, aftersales, Ford Credit, Ford Protect and Brand standards.

“Integrity is Rola’s cornerstone, and we place a high regard and value on living and working according to Rola’s DNA & Values, ‘The Rola Way’.”

Karen echoes this well-known phrase in the Rola Group that says: “Service is your best salesperson.” One of the founding principles on which Rola is build.

“I truly believe in this and the value system we have come to experience in the Rola Group. Although we work with vehicles, we are in the business of building relationships with people. I like to engage with our customers and potential customers. In a small town like ours, knowing people, their needs and circumstances is vital. Community involvement across the spectrum is crucial for us,” she says.

She tells Dealerfloor they consider themselves a family, but in the broader sense also part of the Rola family which is, after all a family-run business that is celebrating its 61st anniversary this year. “With 15 different brands and various pre-owned sites in the Rola Group, the experience and leadership we receive at dealership level are beyond measure.

The management team at Rola Ford Robertson celebrate winning the Dealer of the Year title. Seen here are Etienne Fourie, Michelle Fourie, Shinica Olivier, Karen Möller, Dewald Möller, Rentia Pieterse and Johan van Zyl.

The Rola Ford division consists of five dealerships: Roberston, Hermanus, Caledon, Riversdale and Bredasdorp. And 2023 has been a good year for all our branches, which also won awards in their categories. The Rola Group took home 11 awards. “One’s input, understanding and communication with other departments and staff members are an integral part of our success. Combine this with the leadership we receive from our franchise director and Rola’s Chief Financial Officer, Paul Botha and Marius Claassen our Group CEO, and the cornerstone for our achievements becomes clear and aligns with our vision for Rola.”

Rola gave Karen and Dewald the opportunity to work together as they have been working alongside each other for more than 20 years. Karen believes that their love for people and the Ford OEM is incremental in growing the business, always using the building blocks of respect and integrity, which build lasting relationships.

And what about the future? “We will continue to align with the needs of our current and future customers in an ever-changing industry, adapting and to do what we do best - deliver the best service to our customers.”

Proud staff members at Rola Ford Robertson with the trophies.

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