Mutual respect, goal setting the winning recipe

For the third time in five years, Thekwini Toyota Westville received the President’s Award as the best Toyota dealership in the medium category at the annual Toyota Dealers Award ceremony held in Sandton recently.

Toy West1

Says Michael Koberstein, Dealer Principal: “We won this award in 2017, 2018 and now for 2021. It took a team effort second to none to succeed.

“We wanted to win this award from the outset and started with our planning and commitment as far back as 2020, getting our goals in place in all the departments and monitoring them every single day. Each and every aspect of the business is scrutinised for optimal performance.

At the Toyota awards ceremony are Andrew Kirby (President and CEO of TSAM), Michael Koberstein and Leon Theron (Senior Vice-President Sales & Marketing).

“Finally, you can find the reason for the success in our staff. I passionately believe to create a work environment that encourages people to look forward to coming to work. Happy staff means happy customers. We have a staff complement of around 60 people, and they all know what is expected of them, and they are dedicated to their jobs.

“The foundation for our success in terms of our staff is a mutual understanding and respect for each other. We share the same goals for the business, and we all bring our side, and we have no barriers between the different departments and staff. I make an effort each day to greet each employee personally,” Michael tells Dealerfloor.

Thekweni Toyota in Westville, KZN.

He says the main focus of business is in Westville itself and in the broader region to ensure they retain customers for the aftersales department.

“With the well-known stock shortages on the new side, we try to be as diverse as possible, selling to customers across a broad spectrum. This helps us to move stock and make sales and not get bogged down by a shortage of one or two specific variants because of stock shortages.

“I am in the business of selling cars, and popular models are always in short supply. Focusing on the broader range selling to a variety of customers, including fleet owners, farmers, individuals, city dwellers, you name them, creates opportunity in diversity,” says Michael.

Toyota’s Medium Dealer of the Year.

“When the new car market returns to more normal levels, it will surely help the used car side. Owing to this problem, good used stock is more difficult and expensive to come by but we are putting in a huge effort through our Automark division.”

Michael has been DP at Thekwini Toyota Westville for the last ten years and before that worked himself up in different positions within the independent Thekweni Group, which owns three Toyota dealerships, used cars divisions and forecourts. He was 18 years old when he joined the group and by the age of 23, he was the Used Car Sales Manager at one the dealerships.

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