New SAG facility creates new atmosphere

They say a change is as good as a holiday. Well, in the case of the Smith Auto Group (SAG) in Bloemfontein, this is exactly how they felt after moving to their new premises at the end of last year.

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“It really feels as if you are on holiday in terms of our new facilities and the environment in which we work, compared to where we were,” says Ferdie Smith, Director and General Manager of the family-run multi-franchise dealership with a rich history in the Free State. His brother, Fjay, is in charge of After Sales, and their sister, Marisca Morrison, oversees the Sales Department.

Two brothers and a sister – Ferdie Smith, Marisca Morrison and Fjay Smith, Directors of the Smith Auto Group.

“Not only the modern building, but the outside part of the premises with its trees, lawns, big chess sets and the coffee cafe and curio shop over and above free wi-fi, create a vacation-like atmosphere,” Ferdie tells Dealerfloor.

“We have the Peugeot/Citroën, Honda, GWM/Haval and Mahindra brands on one premises but each with its own showroom. We also have a satellite showroom for the latest brand joining SAG, namely Chery.

“The main dealership for Chery as well as our used car division will remain at our previous premises, which still belong to us. With the other brands now at the new premises, it creates opportunities to expand on the used vehicle side. Only Mahindra’s used division is at the new facility.

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“The workshop is housed in one complex, but each brand has its own technicians and work area in the huge facility with a total of 25 lifts and 15 service bays at their disposal. Our customers benefit the most with enough secure parking in a safe environment. All the facilities make bringing the whole family here more of an outing than just business,” he says.

While they are still waiting for their new generator, solar panels will soon be installed to help cope with loadshedding and reflect a more environment friendly alternative. With a water crisis looming in major towns and cities, Ferdie says they are fortunate to have a borehole with a 100 000-litre water storage capacity.

“I believe the situation regarding stock shortages will eventually change for the better, sooner rather than later. Some months certain brands do well, providing good stock levels. This might just be an indication that a turning point has been reached. However, it will still take time, even at full capacity, to get back to what we know as normal,” he says.

“I would like to thank all our clients for the fact that we were able to build a new world class facility. Without the support of our customers and staff, none of this would have been possible. We will continue with this policy and even improve on the way we do business and care for our customers,” he concludes.

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