Tackling the challenges head-on at New Vaal

Managing a dealership as well as a satellite dealership in another province is not an easy task, but this is exactly what Jose Menezes has been doing since August last year.

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Managing a dealership as well as a satellite dealership in another province is not an easy task, but this is exactly what Jose Menezes has been doing since August last year.

Jose is the new Dealer Principal at New Vaal Motors in Vereeniging, Gauteng, and at its satellite dealership, New Vaal Motors in Bethlehem in the Free State. The Vereeniging dealership is located next to the R59 Highway in Duncanville and is a well-known landmark for regular travellers on this route for many decades.

Asked about the new challenge taking over the reins during the first year of the pandemic, Jose says fortunately it was not completely new territory for him as he has been part of the dealership for many years.

Jose Menezes, Dealer Principal at MB New Vaal Motors in Vereeniging in Gauteng and Bethlehem in the Free State.

“I was the Financial Manager at the dealership for the last 19 years and before that worked for five years at the Hallmark Head Office in the financial department. Taking over is a challenge, and I am giving it my best go.”

“We are a Market Centre, handling new vehicles sales for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles and of course the servicing side. Our satellite branch in Bethlehem is not a sales outlet for new vehicles but we do sell used vehicles.

“All sales from Bethlehem go through the Vereeniging branch. Bethlehem has an After Sales Manager and a Sales Manager, who both report to me. They are, however, a service branch for both Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and our commercial vehicles,” he tells Dealerfloor.

The true size of New Vaal’s operation in Vereeniging and Bethlehem becomes clear when you look at the staff component at the two dealerships. Jose says that at this stage they have 90 people working in Vereeniging and 25 in Bethlehem.

Jose says they have a large area of responsibility, stretching from south of the N12 down towards Henley-on-Klip, Meyerton, basically the Midvaal region - to the Vaal Triangle crossing into the Free State between the N1 and the N3 all the way to Bethlehem.

The New Vaal dealership in Vereeniging is a well-known landmark in the region.

On the topic of business conditions during this time, Jose says although challenges with a supply of new stock remain throughout the industry, the flipside is with the commercial vehicles.

“Business on the commercial side seems to be more steadfast at this stage, which is a positive sign in terms of the economy. We can only hope that stock shortages will sooner rather than later become something of the past as the demand on the new side is on the increase.

“The situation also put the used side of the business under pressure as stock for this sector depends largely on new vehicles sales with trade-ins, and the demand saw prices rise steeply. We are putting in a huge effort to regain the success of the pre-COVID time,” Jose says.

One of the dream cars at New Vaal Motors.
  • The Mercedes-Benz dealerships are part of the New Vaal Group with a rich heritage in the automotive and transport sectors, dating back as a family business to 1935. New Vaal also has Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Kimberley and Upington. It is part of the larger Hallmark Motor Group in the country with a number of new vehicles dealerships in its portfolio.

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