Once you are part of the BMW brand and believe in its customer-centric approach, it is easy to accept a job as the new General Retail Sales Manager at BMW Joburg City.
Dealerfloor recently sat down for a chat with Piet Maluleke, and we were immediately impressed with his enthusiasm for the business and his excitement to work with a small, but dedicated team towards achieving an award-winning dealership.
According to Maluleke, he started in the auto industry as a sales cadette in 2004 and from the outset was outselling experienced car sales consultants. After a three-month stint at the McCarthy Dealer Academy and four years at VW, he later joined BMW in 2008, selling new BMWs like hot cakes.
“I really enjoy selling cars, because I am helping a customer fulfil a need, but also because of the human interaction. And today, despite COVID-19 and lockdowns, I still strive towards as much human interaction as possible,” he said.
While selling cars, Maluleke still had the drive and urge towards filling a management position. After some time at different dealerships as business development manager, corporate sales CRM and sales manager, he finally pivoted back to his current position in the 100% black-owned Legacy Motor Group (LMG). Founded in 2008, LMG currently employs more than 400 people in five BMW dealerships (three include Motorrad) and three MINI dealerships.
“It feels like I am back with my family and every time I look out the big windows at BMW Joburg City, taking in the panoramic view of the City, I know that I am home,” he told Dealerfloor. “In fact, this is more than just a dealership, it can be considered a venue and landmark next to the M1 highway.”
Despite human interaction as well as the benefit to have premises so close to the Johannesburg inner city, Maluleke believes that online selling is the future of the industry. He also has a strong opinion on the Digital Sales Platform (DSP) developed by BMW South Africa (www.buy.bmw.co.za) putting them ahead of the curve.
“Of course, everyone is jumping onto the bandwagon, but we have been doing this for a while,” he said. “COVID-19 accelerated movement that was already happening. Many dealers are trying to find new ways of surviving, but at BMW we have done it for a while now, assisting us tremendously when navigating the challenges of the past year.”
Maluleke is also proud of his team who are prepared to let nothing stand in the way of complete customer-centric service. “We have introduced collect-from-home where the workshop will collect, service and return your car without you leaving your home, making sure everything is done according to safety protocols. I can proudly say we are the customer experience specialists!” he exclaimed.
For this family man, nothing beats getting home and spending time with his wife and three girls. On weekends, he sometimes plays a round of golf, but usually prefers hosting friends with a good old braai. A favourite moment for Maluleke was when he recently took delivery of his life-long dream car, a BMW520d. “I am glad I could experience the same as what many customers experience from us every day. It made me realise, once again, what a privilege it is to buy a new car and drive it off the dealer floor.”
The Eastern Cape will benefit from a major expansion drive by Mahindra in the province with three new dealerships waiting in the wings.
Volvo Trucks & Buses Johannesburg scooped up the top award as the 2023 Mega Dealer of the Year during the truck manufacturer’s Dealer of the Year awards.
To turn the ship around, so to speak, was no easy task for Prishen Ghandhi (photo), Dealer Principal (DP) at Hyundai Umhlanga, winner of 2023 Dealer of the Year (DOTY) title.