Human-centric focus at Tom Campher Volvo Cars

As the most awarded Volvo dealership in South Africa, TCM is the current South African Volvo Car Dealer of The Year as well as Service Dealer of the Year. Their secret? Making sure their focus is on their people.

Vic and Gerhard Campher

According to Dealer Principal, Vic Campher, they have been awarded Volvo overall Dealer of the Year every year since 2016.

“We are very proud that since day one we have been able to provide Volvo customers with the best service and support. As a human-centric brand, Volvo is also part of our DNA, which is why we are one of the few Volvo dealers in the world that has a world-class Volvo-restoration programme,” Vic told Dealerfloor.

“We pride ourselves in restoring classic Volvos to their original specifications and extend that to Legends Racing where we participate against, but also support, Volvo competitors,” he said.

Gerhard (left) and Vic Campher now run TCM, which remains dedicated to the Volvo brand.

Vic took over the business from his father Tom, a multiple winner of the LM Rally in the 1950s and ’60. Tom established Tom Campher Volvo Cars (TCM) in Johannesburg as a family-owned business where the current owners, brothers Vic and Gerhard, inherited their father’s love for racing cars.

Back in the day, Tom, now 95, became a motor sport legend for his rally performances, topping it by winning the commemorative LM Rally in 1993 in a Volvo 122.

When looking back, Vic says that 1994 proved pivotal when Volvo Cars returned to South Africa after being absent for 19 years. Within two years, the dealership moved from Blackheath in Cresta to Auckland Park, and five years later was awarded with a Volvo Approved Authorised Dealership.

Gerhard, who has been running the workshop until recently, and with Vic’s daughter, Jami, responsible for the parts department, make this a proper family business, while wife Colleen is providing ample support in various roles.

“One of the main attractions to Volvo is how the brand continues to dominate the clean energy and safety features in the market,” Colleen told Dealerfloor. “I am still in awe how Volvo introduced the three-point safety belt in 1959 with an estimated one million lives saved by that innovation. What makes it even more of an achievement is that Volvo waved the patent rights so that everybody could benefit,” she said.

TCM has a dedicated Volvo restoration division at their dealership in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

According to Colleen, most of their customers are safety and environmentally conscious, leading to many environmentally aware and family-focused drivers coming through the doors.

Asked about the challenges that came with COVID-19, Vic still believes that customer services are pivotal in establishing and keeping a lifelong engagement with the buyer.

“Our Personal Service Technicians are a direct communication channel between the motorist and our technician servicing the car. There is no middle-man in-between that often can culminate in miscommunications,” he said.

Tom Campher Volvo Cars is the flagship Volvo dealer in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

Volvo Corner in Auckland Park has become a landmark destination for motorists with the Volvo dealership, a Tiger Wheel and Tyre, as well as Engen service and petrol station next to each other in a cohesive “all-under-one-umbrella” focus on the avid auto-enthusiast.

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