We are constantly looking at ways to improve the way we do business. The arrival of the pandemic and the subsequent stock shortages hastened the process and the urgency to adapt to survive.
“Gone are the days of stock standing around. We have already moved to ordering specific vehicles for specific clients. The abnormal circumstances over the last year forced us into a new way of thinking,” says Joe Senekal, Dealer Principal at Jaguar Land Rover & Auto Baltic Volvo in Rustenburg, part of SuperGroup.
“We are thankful for a couple of record months, and during this time while we were waiting on new stock, our workshop played an extremely important role to keep the wheels rolling as well as the commitment of our staff.
“Renewed emphasis is placed on every detail of the business and focusing on every aspect that could lead to a transaction. The first impressions of a customer walking into the dealership can make or break a deal. Customers know what they want, and we must successfully navigate every aspect of their requirements.
“This can only be done with constant training, knowledge, assistance and professionalism. Super Group Head Office has invested a lot in this regard and now plays a vital role in providing us with the know-how through specialised and focused training to offer the best customer service possible. It is all about retaining the client, clinching the deal and through customer care ensuring repeat business,” says Joe.
“To get it right, you have to make at least double or even more contacts than previously; then follow through on every lead and the process of focusing on every aspect of client relations applicable to every area of the business, from selling a new or used vehicle to the workshop with servicing and repairs.”
Joe says the demand for their products, which can all be classified as premium, is still strong, and especially the new Land Rover Defender is immensely popular. “The arrival of the Defender 90 and diesel variants proved to be a winner in this regard. On the Volvo side, the new addition to the XC40 range – the XC40 T4 – will make this range even more attractive and it is already selling very well.
The two dealerships share the same premises but with different entrances and separate workshops. They moved into the new building three years ago adjacent to other brands that are also part of the Super Group’s portfolio in Rustenburg (Ford, Mazda, Nissan, Renault and Volkswagen).
Asked about their area of responsibility, Joe says they cover quite a large area and do a lot of business outside of Rustenburg. “About 40% of our sales are outside of Rustenburg and even as far as some Gauteng metros. The challenge is to get the customers who stay some distance away to support your workshop with servicing. We do get a number of Volvo customers from neighbouring Botswana, who have their vehicles serviced with us,” he tells Dealerfloor.
Joe started his journey in Rustenburg where he joined the SAPS after he was recruited at Craven week playing for Western Transvaal schools, where he spent 15 years and went on playing for the Bulls u/20s, SA Forces and SA Police. He also played Currie Cup Rugby for the old Eastern Transvaal and the Falcons. Joe served in various sectors in the SAPS such as VIP Protection, Stability Unit (Riot squad) and his last 6 years as a Physical Training Instructor.
In 2003, Joe joined the SuperGroup Family as a Sales Executive at Jaguar Land Rover East Rand where he advanced through the ranks and became the Sales Manager and won Jaguar Land Rover SA Sales Manager of the Year for 2017/2018 and numerous awards as Sales and Sales Manager from SuperGroup.
In 2019, Joe went back to his roots and accepted the challenge of becoming the Dealer Principal at Jaguar Land Rover and Auto Baltic Rustenburg. Since joining the dealership, it has numerous awards like the Financial Services Award for Jaguar Land Rover in 2019 and the Runner-up as the most improved Volvo Dealership in 2020.
True empowerment must be visible and sustainable. The transfer of expertise and knowledge is crucial to make it a success, and last but not the least, all parties must invest in the venture.
Namaqualand is an unforgiving region, and during the current prolonged drought, farmers can suffer. It can also be a paradise in the flower season bringing much needed tourists to this remote part of the country.
Kia South Africa rewarded its top-performing dealerships across the country with numerous prizes for outstanding achievements in sales, after sales and service operations.