Seasoned DP on winning the top award

With a career in the motor trade spanning over decades, receiving the Dealer of the Year award in category E at the recent Ford Dealer of the Year ceremony, is a personal high for him as well as for the specific dealership and all its staff members.

23 Ford Modimole Ben N1

So says Ben Niemandt, Dealer Principal at Action Ford Modimolle (previously Nylstroom) in Limpopo about the top accolade the dealership scooped up for its success during 2022.

“I have been the DP at Action Ford Modimolle for the last four years, and receiving the award of being the best in our category, is the cherry on top of the cake for hard work and a dedicated team effort. Everyone knows what is expected of him or her and what our goals are. We all pull in the same direction.

Kay Har (President of the Ford International Markets Group), Ben Niemandt (DP Action Ford Modimolle) and Neale Hill (President of Ford Motor Company Africa).

“To be the best in what you do also means you get guidance and support of the structure or business to which you belong, in our case the CFAO Motor Group with excellent assistance. Probably the most important aspect is having a product range that captures the imagination of customers. And with the new next-generation Ford Ranger, this will ring true more than ever before.

“My experience over the years, in all the different departments that constitute a vehicle dealership, plays an important part in managing the dealership at the required level, meeting the high standards of the OEM and of the CFAO group,” Ben tells Dealerfloor.

Ben has a positive outlook on business conditions and the future, despite load-shedding and infrastructure problems owing to inadequate service delivery. “South Africans are able to make plans and overcome obstacles. Although conditions need to improve, in the meantime we have no alternative but to operate within those parameters, like it or not,” he says.

Action Ford Modimolle in Limpopo, winner of Ford’s category E Dealer of the Year award.

“At the dealership we do have water tanks and a generator. Although using a generator is expensive, at least it put us in a position to continue conducting business. And this is what it is all about – to be in a position to render a service to customers and to generate an income and provide for our staff, and of course to be profitable,” Ben says.

Although the stock problems of the past are fast disappearing in the rear-view mirror, the demand for the new locally manufactured Ranger and the new Everest is sometimes catching them off-side. “The previous Ranger was hugely popular, but the new version has pushed the game to a next level, and the interest and demand from the public are astonishing,” he tells Dealerfloor.

The winning certificate.

Ben, a qualified petrol & diesel motor mechanic, started his trade test back in 1974 and over the years worked at various dealerships dealing with different brands. “Being able to work in different capacities gave me a lot of experience.

“I also worked at Senwes when it still had a vehicle division, and I was regional manager till that part of the business was sold to one of the big motoring groups. I decided to stay in the retail side of the business and also did a stint for a couple of years at the well-known Speedy Cars Sales in Klerksdorp of Farouk Dangor.

“Later on, I went into sales at a Toyota dealership and became a Dealer Principal completing the cycle of working in all the different departments at a car dealership. Over the years, we moved to many towns and cities in different provinces.

“I lived by the principle of taking every opportunity that comes my way. Not only did a I see a lot of the country and its people, but I picked up valuable experience at every business I worked at. That enriched my life as well as the lives of my family members and for that I am very grateful and humbled,” Ben concludes.

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  • 23 July 2024