At Halfway Toyota in Howick, workshop foreman Devesh Saamcharan stole a march on his Japanese colleagues in the Toyota Motor Corporation when he assembled a few foot-operated, hand-sanitiser dispensers back in May 2020.
The dispenser proved to be a novelty in May, before it became commonplace in dealers across South Africa.
Toyota announced recently that its Kamigo Parts Centre in Japan will be making up to 2 500 sanitiser stands a month, which are to be sold or leased to dealers in Japan from December onwards.
Saamcharan told Dealerfloor he built his stands as strong but as cheaply as possible, using wood and old clutch housings that he salvaged at the dealership. To this he added only a few new bolts, making it a very cost-effective solution for the dealership.
The sturdy stands are in daily use at the busy Halfway dealership, but despite being stepped on many times a day, are still cleaning hands as fast as the bottles can squirt.
Since their launch in 2017, rent-to-own company Planet42 (which started out as CarGet), has quietly grown into one of the single biggest clients for used car dealers in South Africa, having bought well over 2,000 cars from over 300 dealers.
Maemo Motors in Rustenburg is now a fully fledged four-brand dealership with Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, Mitsubishi and the recently acquired Kia, all under one roof.
“You can describe me as a no-cost-to-company salesman,” Alec Harris told Dealerfloor.