Be better tomorrow than today and be better today than yesterday. This is the motto he adheres to in his day-to-day running of the dealership he has been put in charge off.
Dealerfloor had a chat to Leon de Meyer, the Dealer Principal of Westvaal Potchefstroom, the Isuzu dealership and service dealership for Honda. Leon took over the reins at the dealership during August last year.
“Business conditions are difficult but the effort we put in will determine the outcome. For this reason, we are committed to establish a next level of customer service. Also, with new legislation in terms of the right to repair, we walk the extra mile by opening the service department on Saturdays to assist customers who have difficulty in getting their vehicles to us during the week,” says Leon.
Asked about business conditions in the North-West student town, Leon says the absence of students is a negative factor in terms of the used car sales to the younger crowd. On the Isuzu side, which is more commercially driven, it is business as usual notwithstanding stock shortages of especially, single cab work horse variants.
“Our used car division is an extremely important part of our business. Because of the problems in the worldwide supply chain with new vehicles, it also affects the used side. We do, however, find good stock, pay good prices on trade-ins and even buy stock out for clients if they want something specific.
“Although larger businesses seem to function at a good level now, many people across various industries lost their jobs. We do get people trading in their new, more expensive vehicles for cheaper ones and that also creates activity on the used side.
“In our area of responsibility, we have a large agriculture sector, and farmers do love their Isuzus. We also have some smaller business fleets in our fold. With a good season in terms of rainfall behind us, things look up on this front.
“Our workshop is busy, and we do make sure with follow-up contacts that clients bring their vehicles in for regular services and, if necessary, sooner rather than later within the time limits provided,” says Leon.
Leon says they are waiting in anticipation for the brand-new Isuzu but that a release date has not yet been conformed. It could still be a year and in the meantime the current range is still highly competitive to soldier on. We have also sold three of the Artic Truck Isuzu’s through this branch in recent years.
“Talking about trucks, our truck sales and servicing go through our branch in Klerksdorp, which is also a fully fletched truck dealership.”
Leon has been Dealer Principal at various dealerships of the Westvaal Group, first at its Mokopane dealership, then in Klerksdorp and since last year, in Potchefstroom.
“It is nice to be back in Potchefstroom as I obtained my B Comm Marketing degree at the Potchefstroom University. I am currently busy with a Diploma in Business Management at the university,” he tells Dealerfloor.
Before venturing into the motor retail business, Leon had a career with SAB. “Look, it is easier to sell ten cases of beer than ten cars, but the principle of marketing and selling stays the same. Keep your clients happy and their needs in mind,” Leon says.
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.