The adoption of a new management structure was necessary to navigate through the tough times brought about by the pandemic and economic situation in the country.
A streamlined set-up allowed us to run our dealerships effectively, and I took charge of two brands each that we have in three different towns.
Dealerfloor spoke to Danie de Kock, the main Dealer Principal, of the 4Wheels Group’s Hyundai and Mitsubishi brands in the North West towns of Mahikeng, Vryburg and Lichtenburg.
“I am based in Lichtenburg and look after the sales and general running of the dealerships in the three towns. I try to spend a few days a week in Vryburg and the odd day when needed in Mahikeng where our Dealer Principal of another brand in our group, assist me.
“We have incredible General Managers for the workshops and parts departments who oversee all the activities in this regard at the dealerships in all three towns, without whom we won’t be able to give the best after-sales service in North West. They relieve some of the pressure emanating from these departments on me as Dealer Principal and allow me to focus more intensively, with the help of my brilliant sales managers, on the sales,” says Danie.
“Notwithstanding the multi-franchise set-up, we also have a system in place that focuses on each brand. The two brands allow us to cater to the needs of a wide variety of customers across the spectrum.
“Hyundai is an incredible brand and although stock shortages across the range hamper business at this stage, the situation seems to rectify itself although it is a slow process. On the Mitsubishi side, the range and the sales have grown, and the introduction of the Expander, which is the most affordable Mitsubishi yet, gives the brand more striking power than ever before,” he says.
Danie says that the latest addition to the 4wheels Motor Group stable, the JAC brand and the FAW are both getting increasingly popular and represent exceptionally good value for money and have a good back-up system in the country in terms of spares availability and competitive guarantees.
“We focus more than ever on providing the best customer support by doing things like fetching vehicles for servicing to name one example. The 4Wheels group has in the past had a strong focus on digital marketing through the Internet and innovative ways to show potential customers our vehicles.
“We have sharpened our digital pencils so to speak for a greater on-line presence. We even did videos for clients of new and used models. Our sales executives did a virtual test drive where a video is made of the vehicle on the move showing elements like fuel consumption, etc at certain speeds.”
Asked about the difference in the customer base between the three towns, Danie says Lichtenburg has a strong agriculture sector and with factories like Clover closing and putting up shop elsewhere owing to the bad state of the local municipality, customers are holding on to their money longer.
“In Mahikeng, the capital of the province, which accommodates all the state institutions, business is much better, while in Vryburg, which is located quite some distance from other bigger towns, it is a mixed bag with a strong agriculture sector, mining operations and stronger economic activities in some of the larger surrounding towns,” he tells Dealerfloor.
“The 4Wheels group is strong believer in not only taking but also in giving back because we are part and parcel of the communities we live and do business in. Community involvement is our passion,” concludes Danie.
Under Danie’s watch, the three Hyundai dealerships raked in numerous awards:
Despite the severe drought in large parts of the Karoo, the motor business in Graaff-Reinet is stepping up with more brands being represented in this part of the world.
If a pandemic and stock issues aren’t enough of a challenge, why not add a building project/dealership revamp/moving of facilities and getting a second dealership to full independent dealership status to a DP’s list of tasks.
Scott Auto Mazda in Bethlehem has a proud history that stretches back nearly 50 years, which makes them one of the best-known Mazda dealers in the Free State.