NTT Potchefstroom serious about going green

Cars are going green, so why not dealers as well?

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Going green is a fundamental part of any new construction and even more so in the motor industry. Not only do vehicle manufacturers in South-Africa put this philosophy into practice on a massive scale but more and more dealerships follow suit.

One such an example is the new Volkswagen dealership on the outskirts of Potchefstroom belonging to the NTT Motor Group and also the premises for NTT Nissan.

Bennie Viljoen, Dealer Principal at Volkswagen NTT Potchefstroom.

“We take the going green philosophy very seriously, and our new high-tech facility, which opened its doors three months ago, is a prime example of this,” Bennie Viljoen, Dealer Principal at NTT Volkswagen, tells Dealerfloor.

“Not only do we not make use of any municipal water, but we have our own complete sewerage plant at the dealership. We have two strong boreholes and a water purification system that provides clean water for our use. This water is stored in two 10 000 litre tanks and a water reservoir with a capacity of 140 000 litres when filled to the brim. Our grey water at the dealership is used to irrigate our gardens and lawns.

“In terms of electricity, the roof of the workshop at NTT Potchefstroom is covered with solar panels, and we use an inverter to provide all our electricity needs on sunny days. Seeing that the power is not stored yet, municipal power is used on cloudy or rainy days,” Bennie says.

The new dealership has its own sewerage and water purification system and a 140 000-litre water reservoir.

The dealership, right next to the N12 coming from Gauteng, is a completely new facility that cost the NTT Motor Group some R43 million. The decision to move was made owing to the age and size of the old dealership in town, which became impractical for the vision and operational requirements of the group.

Bennie says the location of the new VW dealership is still close enough to town, and it has the advantage of being seen by all the traffic going into Potchefstroom from the economic hub in Gauteng.

The back entrance to the service bays of the dealership.

“Our customer base is a broad one with the main contributors coming from the university, local business and industries, the South African Defence Force as well the agricultural sector in the region. It is great to have a brand-new premises with enough space and good security for our customers and a modern facility.

“During these challenging times for business and especially the ones in the motor industry, it is not only the facility that counts, but your team that gets the job done by selling cars, servicing them and rendering a high standard of customer care. Our management staff form a solid team with a lot of experience. Our staff members also buy into the NTT values and concept of conducting business,” he tells Dealerfloor.

He says although the challenges and sporadic supply of new stock remain challenging, it seems that the situation is moving towards a more stable one and the next few months will be crucial to get a sense of a return to a more normal business environment.

The neat and modern waiting area at NTT Potchefstroom.

“As you know, one of the effects of the downturn in new vehicles sales is mainly because of stock constraints, and the situation this created on the used car side where stock became scarcer and extremely expensive. Paying extra or sometimes too much in terms of the true value of a used car, became more than just the exception to the rule.

“You have to be careful of what you buy in terms of financing those vehicles and then selling them when the market returns to more stable and normal conditions. We source our used vehicles from private customers, trade ins and from within the NTT Group, where we have good stock levels to assist customers looking for a good used vehicle. Even in the used market, you can see that prices are slowly but surely becoming more reasonable, and this is a positive indicator for the future,” according to Bennie.

Inside the dealership’s new service centre.

On the product side, he says they are looking forward to the arrival of the new Volkswagen Amarok, which will be built locally and will also include more affordable double-cab as well as single cabs versions. “This will immediately give the new Amarok a foothold in both the leisure and commercial markets,” he says.

Bennie has been with the NTT Motor Group for 20 years. He has been New Vehicle Manager at NTT Groblersdal and DP at NTT Nissan Potchefstroom and since 2014 the DP at NTT VW Potchefstroom.

“We are involved in our community in different capacities and would like to thank our customers for their loyal and devoted support over the years.”

Bennie says he is a devoted family-orientated person and also loves to play golf when time permits.pp

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