Suzuki opens its 92nd dealership in South Africa

The latest Suzuki dealership to open its doors, is in one of the fastest-growing towns and areas in the country, namely Mossel Bay in the southern part of the Western Cape.

23 Suz Mosselbaai Chris1 30

The Suzuki dealership, number 92 for the manufacturer, started doing business on 1 March as part of the Tavcor motor group’s expansion into this area. Tavcor has Volkswagen, Audi, BAIC, Suzuki and JAC dealerships in Port Elizabeth, George and now in Mossel Bay together with the Renault dealership they bought last year in Mossel Bay.

“The brand-new Suzuki dealership and the Renault dealership share a premises what was updated and expanded to a top-notch facility,” says Chris Koen, General Manager, looking after both dealerships.

Chris Koen, looking after the newest Suzuki dealership in the country as well as the Renault dealership.

“The Renault dealership was small and rendered a limited service. It has been expanded to a full-fletched dealership. Although both the dealerships are categorised as small dealerships, we expect an upgrade to a bigger category after establishing ourselves as a going concern.

“Mossel Bay is growing at a rapid pace, and neighbouring Hartenbos, better known as a premier holiday destination, is fast becoming one with Mossel Bay. We service customers primarily in Mossel Bay but also in Stilbaai and Riversdale, in the southern Cape area,” Chris tells Dealerfloor.

Inside the new Suzuki dealership.

“It is important to us that we employee local inhabitants of Mossel Bay to show that we are part of a community and to assist supporting the local economy. Being on the same grid as PetroSA, we are currently spared the inconvenience, problems and financial burden of load-shedding.

“We did, however, instal a generator as a precautionary measure should the situation here change. We have also installed water tanks to save and re-use water,” Chris says.

Asked about the typical customer in Mossel Bay, Chris says, they range from people who retired there to working class and businesspeople. “On the Suzuki side, the Swift and Jimny SUV are extremely popular in the region, while on the Renault side, the Duster and the new Kiger are finding good acceptance with new car buyers. The stock situation improved, and we have enough stock available of most model ranges.”

The Renault dealership.

“Our used car division is split into two separate entities with each manufacturer having its own pre-owned sections. To boost the used car business, we brought in stock from our other dealerships in the group, bought stock and had a good number of demo models available for customers,” he says.

Chris, who has a career in the motor retail sector in various positions ranging from after-sales to new car sales, started his career in Lichtenburg in North West in 1995. He then moved to George where, at a later stage, he started with the Tavcor group at their Volkswagen and Audi dealerships before being transferred to Mossel Bay as General Manager in the new Suzuki and updated Renault dealerships.

“Our group is strongly principled in how we conduct business. I believe in an open door-policy, and employees must take the initiative to achieve their goals and also take responsibility for the decisions they make.

“We have a great challenge ahead, expanding the two brands in this fast-growing environment. We might even consider bringing more brands to this neck of the woods in the near future, but time will tell,” Chris says to Dealerfloor.

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