Fiat Chrysler Group SA recently bestowed their first awards on newly opened dealerships in SA. Fury Amanzimtoti – where Dealer Principal Dean Lawson added Fiat and Jeep to his stable in December 2020 – won third place among Rural Dealers for vehicle sales.
Dealerfloor visited the busy multi-franchise dealership on the Dolphin Coast where Lawson gave all credit to his staff, adding “the secret sauce” was in the parts department.
Lawson is no stranger to awards, having won the Fury Dealer of the year award three years running up to 2018, while at Suzuki Fourways; and the WesBank Dealer of the year award for Gauteng in 2016 and 2017.
He said while new cars sales are still finding their “new normal” as more people work from home and keep their cars longer after lockdown, servicing levels have returned to almost normal and demand for quality used cars is outstripping supply nationwide.
“The parts department is the secret sauce in any dealership’s success, and the staff deserves all the credit for helping our dealerships survive with prompt service,” he said.
Dealerfloor met with two of the parts room staff members, Thokozani Jele and Sandile Makhanya, who kept interrupting our attempt to take a quick photo to answer calls. (Note the two took their masks off for the photo opportunity.)
Jele, who started at Fury in January, has been selling Jeep parts at NMI-DSM for 13 years, while Makhanya has been with Fury ’Toti for four years. They said their monthly numbers are still recovering, but business was picking up.
Asked what they rate the most important part in a vehicle, both agreed that oil is paramount in any engine. Jele added that while “the nut that holds the wheel” is also an important component when it comes to brakes and transmissions, lubrication is what keeps everything working smoothly.
Makhanya said: “You will keep the engine happy if you keep the oil fresh and air filters clean – these two are like the blood and lungs of your vehicle.”
Despite the severe drought in large parts of the Karoo, the motor business in Graaff-Reinet is stepping up with more brands being represented in this part of the world.
If a pandemic and stock issues aren’t enough of a challenge, why not add a building project/dealership revamp/moving of facilities and getting a second dealership to full independent dealership status to a DP’s list of tasks.
Scott Auto Mazda in Bethlehem has a proud history that stretches back nearly 50 years, which makes them one of the best-known Mazda dealers in the Free State.