Robsmail ready for the future

Robsmail Motors in Lichtenburg is a third generation used vehicle dealership with its eyes firmly set on growth.


“My dream is to replicate the success of my grandfather in our family business by living to the high moral standards and values he set from humble beginnings. With the knowledge that the world is my oyster and that anything is possible, my goal is to take the business to the next level,” says Mohammed Ismail,

So says the young Mohammed Ismail, the 27-year-old member of this well-known family in Lichtenburg in the North West.

Mohammed is the third generation at Robsmail Motors, which was established in 1976 by his grandfather, Ismail Dada. This father, Mohammed, took over from Ismail and handed to his son in 2016.

“Our dealership has won many accolades over the years from Absa and more recently MFC. We were an ABSA Golden Dealer from 1990 up to 2003. My aim is to get back in the ABSA Golden circle as soon as possible,” he tells Dealerfloor.

Asked about the name of the dealership – Robsmail – Mohammed says that during the apartheid years, they could not get the necessary finance from banks or open a business. A good Afrikaans friend of his grandfather, Robbie Robbertson, helped to get the business up and running. They decided on the ‘Rob’ of Robbie and part of his grandfather’s name for the name of the business - Robsmail.

Father and son – Mohammed Anver Ismail and Mohammed at the dealership.

Robsmail first showroom was first located in the then Indian complex in Lichtenburg. In 1995 they moved into their current premises in Dr Nelson Mandela Drive, the main road in Lichtenburg where they house between 80 and 100 cars.

Mohammed says they specialise in medium and higher end models. “We sell newer cars with lower mileage and especially brands like Volkswagen and BMW are popular with our customers. Over the years we have established a solid foundation in Lichtenburg and the surrounding communities and with customers in the agriculture sector.

“These days we do business all over South Africa, thanks to serious digital marketing. We are firmly committed to get our name as brand out in the public space by doing a lot of exhibitions in places like shopping malls,” he tells Dealerfloor.

“The decline in new car sales has had a significant influence on the availability of used car stock. The COVID-19 pandemic brought economic hardship for many and in terms of the motor trade, the supply chain internationally has been seriously interrupted,” says Mohammed.

The man who started it all – Ismail Dada.

“But by the grace of God, Robsmail had some of its best months ever since the serious lockdown restrictions were lifted around the middle of last year.”

He says with Robsmail have good relations with several dealerships and they are sourcing vehicles for their clients if they have not got it available on their showroom floor.

Asked about his interest in the motor trade, Mohammed says he grew up in the dealership and learned a lot from his grandfather and dad about interactions with customers, about people skills and relations that is so important in this kind of business. “That is why I love spending time between people and enjoy time with my loved ones,” he says.

“We are optimistic and looking forward to the future and assist customers with the glamour and experience of buying and owning a great vehicle,” Mohammed concluded.

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