Suzuki Helderberg outshines the rest

For the Trust Auto Group’s two Suzuki dealerships in the Western Cape, Christmas comes early this year with a bag full of accolades received at the Dealer Conference held by the manufacturer.

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Both dealerships are managed by André Swart. He has more than 15 years’ experience in the motor retail sector across different groups and brands.

The top honour as the overall Suzuki Dealer of the Year for 2021 was won by Suzuki Helderberg. Add to this, the Helderberg dealership also won the category for best Medium Dealer of the Year, while the Cape Town dealership walked away with the title of Small Dealership of the Year. Grant Saunders from the Cape Town dealership was rewarded as the Top Parts Manager.

Yukio Sato (Suzuki Auto South Africa Managing Director) and André Swart (DP at Suzuki Helderberg and Suzuki Cape Town).

Both dealerships additionally received Elite Dealership status, the highest honour in the Suzuki dealership ranking system with only seven branches on this list.

Last year, Suzuki Helderberg also won the Best Medium Dealer award while the new Cape Town dealership was highlighted as the “Dealership to Watch”.

“This achievement is amazing and is a result of an effort second to none by a group of highly motivated and skilled staff at both dealerships,” André tells Dealerfloor.

“It shows what can be done when you have the right people in the right positions. Our team members are dedicated and apply themselves as if it were each and every one’s own business. I said it before, and it still holds true – a satisfied customer is good for business – and I might add this can only be achieved by a dedicated team.”

André says although the running of business across all departments is monitored on a regular basis, which gives them a good idea where they are heading, being awarded the title as overall Dealer of the Year still comes as a surprise. “It is heart-warming to know the effort we put in is seen and recognised by our head office.

Here are Yukio Sato (Suzuki Auto South Africa Managing Director), Taishi Oba (VT Holdings), Anton van Rensburg (Trust Auto Group) André Swart (Suzuki Helderberg), Naeem Essop (Trust Auto Group), Wayne Simmonds (Trust Auto Group) and Berto van der Lith (Suzuki Auto South Africa Vice President).

“I am very proud of Helderberg winning the Medium category for the second consecutive year and off course the big one – Dealer of the Year. We will most certainly do everything possible to retain the overall title, something that I believe only happened once before in the Suzuki awards’ history.”

He is also very pleased with the tremendous progress of Suzuki Cape Town, which is only two years old and which has already achieved the prestigious Elite Dealership status. “Suzuki Cape Town is doing exceptionally well and having a dealership in the heart of the central business district proved to be a winning recipe.”

André Swart, DP at Suzuki Helderberg and Suzuki Cape Town

Asked about the customer base of both dealerships, André says they could not be more different. “Suzuki Cape Town attracts a higher LSM customer, and a vehicle like the Jimny is a big hit among city dwellers. The cuteness factor and on the practical side, the fact that it is easier to get parking with a Jimny in the city, make it immensely popular.

At the Helderberg dealership it is more family-orientated buyers and students with vehicles such as the Brezza, Swift, Baleno and S-Presso that are well liked. It is a more evenly spread across the different Suzuki ranges that appeal to customers here,” he says.

  • The Trust Auto Group’s other two Suzuki dealerships in Gauteng also did well with Suzuki Bryanston receiving its Elite status and Suzuki Northcliff its status as a Platinum dealership.

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