Cas Kolbé is a lawyer by profession. But, like many other who came into contact with the auto industry, he had a completely different dream.
In 2008 there was an opportunity to buy shares in the existing Mahindra dealership. “I would be responsible for all the legal work at the dealership – if required,” says Cas.
“Eventually, though, I bought all the shares. Those early years were tough – economically. I did most of the admin, sales and the day-to-day management with only a small staff contingent. And I still, for a while anyway – also had one foot in a law practice.
“The business grew steadily and now, in 2021, one of my dreams – of owning the building from which the dealership operates, has become a reality. We have just moved into a much larger – a 6000 square metre facility – in Riverside.
"The dealership occupies about 4000 m2 of the latter at the moment. This building is extremely modern and is considered by many as an architectural landmark in Mbombela.
Cas continues: "Mahindra, as a brand, has grown significantly over the years. In fact, it is light years ahead of where it was in 2008. The product range is in a constant flux of being expanded. We offer a range of SUVs and bakkies suitable for most budgets, with single cabs being the bread and butter of most dealerships.
"The quality, technology and safety of these products are on a par with the best out there and this has gained the brand a solid foundation within the market. Products are being recognised for durability and value-for-money. And although the economy and stock shortages present many challenges, the products are gaining traction within the market.”
Mahindra has often said that it considers South Africa its second home. With an assembly plant in KwaZulu-Natal and sales volumes steadily climbing, a manufacturing plant may well be the next step. This would cement its commitment to South Africa.
“Similarly, this new facility will allow us to realise the dream of becoming the flagship Mahindra dealership in the country.
Next year will also see a renewed focus on the Mahindra tractor range, and we will also add an exciting quad bike brand to our product offering.
Adding a Mahindra Certified Pre-Owned franchise to our offering is yet another highlight of the move to this facility. This will add many value-added products and assurances to every pre-owned Mahindra we sell.
“Our team has developed this new used-vehicle offering in response to the ever-increasing demand for used Mahindra vehicles. We created a process and brand that would not only ensure a greater supply of used Mahindra vehicles but also give customers a higher level of confidence and peace of mind in their purchase,” says Rajesh Gupta, CEO of Mahindra South Africa.
A used Mahindra will have to pass a stringent 120-point inspection. Next will be mileage and ownership verification. Once certified, all pre-owned Mahindras come with a 12-month mechanical warranty and a complimentary 12-month service plan, which will also include a 12-month comprehensive roadside help rendered by the AA.
“The new trend, with limited edition bakkies, has merit but also limitations. The current interest created by the Dusk double cab and the Scorpio Adventure products has created a buzz among buyers and will stand the brand in good stead,” says Cas.
“For now though, inclusive of installing signage, we have lots to do still, but 2022 will be the year where Mahindra Nelspruit will truly rise to new heights. Our sales and workshop teams are experienced, inspired and prepared to delight you with service beyond your expectation – a flagship experience.”
To chat to Danie Stassen, co-owner and Dealer Principal of Subaru in Mbombela (Nelspruit), without mentioning Dakar would be impossible.
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