Ford Oudtshoorn is undergoing a massive revamp that will see it in top form and fighting fit in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Not only has the dealership exceeded its pre-pandemic goals, but it has been fortunate to be able to appoint new staff during this time. The new-look of Oudtshoorn Ford will be in accordance with the OEM’s specifications that will give customers a welcome feel and portray a more professional image of the dealership located in the Ostrich Capital of the World.
According to the new Dealer Principal, Charl Whatley, the “new” dealership boasts a completely new frontal view and re-make, which will be more beneficial for both customers and employees. “Modernising a dealership benefits the customers’ experience and it contributes to good business.
“We are privileged to be doing good business, but the shortage of stock, especially bakkies, is hampering us. Oudtshoorn is surrounded by a large agricultural community from the well-known ostrich industry to fruit and sheep farming, and bakkies are big business, and especially the more well-equipped Super Cabs are immensely popular within the farming community.
“Although we had rain, some regions in our area of responsibility remain dry. We cover quite a large geographical footprint up to Ladismith and Laingsburg in the west and Joubertina in the east, while we’re only about 60 to 70 kilometres away from our own competition in George and Mossel Bay towards the south,” says Charl.
Asked about the situation with the stock shortages dealers are experiencing countrywide, Charl says they put renewed emphasis on the used side. “Used stock is expensive but there is good stock available, and you must just be price conscious when buying. You need to be pro-active, find good stock, pay a good price and still make a profit when selling, he tells Dealerfloor.
Charl says they brace themselves for a longer period of shortages on the bakkie side when the Ranger plant in Pretoria is expanded and the production line might be shut down for a short period.
“This could see the backlog grow. We are, however, optimistic once the plant is up and running and on the international side, the supply chain is firing on all cylinders again so to speak, so normality will return.
“I must say, we have a super team at the dealership. We literally walk the extra mile. For example, it is our saleslady, Xaviera von Molendorff, who documents the complete buying experience from the moment the client orders a vehicle up to its delivery, with pictures and a story. This is the kind of dedication that makes us successful,” says Charl.
Charl has been Dealer Principal for the last three months. Previously, he was a Director and DP of Hyundai and Renault in Welkom in the Free State before relocating to the Western Cape. He grew up in a household that was deeply involved in the motor retail business with his dad and uncle who started Ultra Motors, a used car dealership in Welkom and later expanding it to include new car dealerships.
A family business dating back to the 1940s in the Karoo town of Victoria West led to the establishment of two Ford dealerships in the town and neighbouring De Aar.
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