JLR Stellenbosch honoured by overall winner’s title

A great honour, hard work, team effort and a wonderful family culture at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Stellenbosch. That is the essence of how winning the premier title as the country’s top JLR Retailer of the Year is described.

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Dealerfloor had a chat with Wynand Tredoux, Dealer Principal at JLR Stellenbosch, about their success and what it entails to come out on top.

“First of all, as an independently owned business, we have a culture and working environment that’s second to none. Our directors’ leadership and involvement, and the commitment of everyone working here played a crucial part in us winning this accolade.

JLR Stellenbosch is part of the Donford Group, which also owns two BMW dealerships (Stellenbosch and Somerset West) as well as two repair facilities. The group has been going for 78 years and opened the Land Rover dealership in Stellenbosch in 2000 and added Jaguar in 2015 to become JLR Stellenbosch.

Mary-Anne Koopman and Wynand Tredoux

“Although one keeps track of the requirements to be a top dealer, we had a challenging year behind us that makes this award so much more valuable to us. We made the transition from a franchise dealership to an agency dealership, which brought about a number of new administration processes,” Wynand says.

“Although not always visible to the customer, these changes required a lot of focus in the way we run the business and still deliver a first-class service to our customers. We knew we were in the running, but the overall victory came as a surprise to us.”

Dealerships are monitored throughout the year with feedback on the different aspects of business across the spectrum with the three main components, Aftersales, Sales and Networking all with a number of subdivisions or a lot of boxes to tick.

The dealership has won the top title twice before for the periods 2009/10 and 2010/11. Says Wynand: “We were runner-up for the overall title last year and this year took the step to the top podium spot. We have consistently achieved top results over the years in different categories of the Retailer of the Year awards.”

Asked about the affluence of the Stellenbosch area and the role it plays in the success of selling premium brands, Wynand says notwithstanding this, what happens with the county’s economy does have an effect across the board, no matter the dealership’s location.

The JLR dealership in Stellenbosch.

“I would rather say part of our success is that our customer base is spread out across mainly the Western Cape, but also further afield. Although we do a lot of local business in Stellenbosch itself, our customer base has diverse locations. Over the years, customers move to different parts of the province and country, but the service they received from us, is what makes them keep coming back to us,” he tells Dealerfloor.

With premium brands in South Africa bearing the brunt of the economic downturn in the economy, Wynand says customers of the two brands represented by JLR seem to have weathered the storm reasonably well. “It may sound strange but the effect of COVID on the automotive business still has an impact today.

“JLR soon realised that the focus should shift to higher-end luxury vehicles rather than chasing volumes owing to the shortage of vehicles during and after the pandemic. The adoption and design of premium vehicles made sense for our brands as they are what our customers want. This strategic forward thinking of our OEM is bearing fruit for us as dealership level,” he says.

Asked about his career, Wynand tells us he has been part of JLR Stellenbosch since he left school with an interesting twist in the beginning.

He’d heard of a temporary vacancy for three months at the dealership as a lady working there had to go on maternity leave. “After she returned three months later, they found me a permanent job in the spares department and that is where my career kicked off .

“After my experience in Aftersales, I was given a rep position selling parts, and in 2006 moved over to sales where I became Sales Manager in 2012. In 2019, I was honoured to become the Dealer Principal here,” Wynand says.

Looking forward, Wynand says they will keep on doing what they do best, by delivering excellent service and streamlining the new way of doing business to the best of their ability.

  • Staff members who could not be there when the main photo was taken, are Shane Canary, Sherna Paulse, Avron Jafta, Leonard Jooste, Rodney Lilford, Onke Thoba, Francois van den Heever and Francois Westenberg.
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