Expanding dealerships in Phalaborwa, Tzaneen

With a rich history in the vehicle retail business in Phalaborwa and Tzaneen, the Simpson family name is synonymous with community involvement at many levels and for going the extra mile for their customers.

23 Morne Simpson1

Morné Simpson, owner of Phalaborwa Ford and now also Chery Phalaborwa and Chery Tzaneen, is the second generation in the motor trade with more than 30 years’ experience while the third generation is waiting in the wings to continue the family legacy in this part of Limpopo province.

“My father started the business in the eighties, first as a Delta and later General Motors dealership (GM) in both Phalaborwa and Tzaneen. We also had an independent used car business at one stage, all of which was done under the Simpson Motors banner. One of my sons is currently also working in one of our dealerships.

Morné Simpson (DP and owner) with his son, Edwin, who is following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps.

“On the eve of GM’s withdrawal from the country, we decided to open a Ford dealership in Phalaborwa during 2016, a wise move when looking back at how events unfolded. A year ago, we opened up Chery in Phalaborwa and more recently during July this year another Chery dealership in Tzaneen,” Morné tells Dealerfloor.

Growing up on the showroom floor so to speak, it was always his fate to join the family business. Morné spent three years in the parts department and another year in the workshop before taking a break to the USA for a few months doing odd jobs like construction work.

On returning to South Africa, he joined his dad in the business. In 2017, he bought the building in which the Ford dealership was located and started taking over the reins at the dealership. The Simpsons also bought the building in which Chery is housed and have just acquired the building in between the Ford and Chery dealerships in Phalaborwa.

The Chery dealership in Phalaborwa.
The Chery dealership in Tzaneen.

“We own a whole block now, and our latest property might be turned into another dealership that we are considering. I am proud of the dealership’s achievements over the years with the many accolades we have received. We won many categories over the last couple of years and have been runner-up in several more. The proudest moment was when we scooped the title as Ford Dealer of the Year in category D in 2019,” he says.

Morné says that he is also encouraged by the good sales performance from Chery and that they sell on average 12 vehicles a month at the Phalaborwa dealership and around eight in Tzaneen. “On the Ford side, the Ranger continues to be a strong contender, and we are excited about a new range of Ford vehicles coming in the next year or two from the Blue Oval stable.

When GM, with Isuzu, was still part of their portfolio. Seen here back in 2008 are Eddie Simpson (founder of the company), Eugene Farber (EPX Courier Services) and Morné Simpson.
The Ford dealership in Phalaborwa.

“In Phalaborwa, we have a strong customer base in the mining community as well as game farms, while in Tzaneen the fruit and vegetable farms are the foundation of our agricultural customers in that part of our region.

“Owing to inadequate service delivery in both towns, we have implemented a going green strategy, and we are trying to be less dependent on the national grid. Water storage tanks have been installed at both dealerships as well as solar panels providing enough power to run our dealerships for up to eight hours, if necessary,” Morné tells Dealerfloor.

And going forward? “Like I mentioned, Chery is still a new brand, and we want to expand the popularity of the vehicles to a greater extent in our area of responsibility. From a price and quality point of view, the success of the business speaks for itself. On the Ford side, we will be preparing for our first plug-in hybrid Ranger bakkie and later on the fully electric Mustang is on the cards. For the rest, our team, which has been with us for many years, is ready for any challenge,” Morné concludes.

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