Each dealer and their respective OEM has a very important role to play in the preservation of the environment.
So, says Elmarie Grobler, Dealer Principal at Intertoy Toyota in Brits in the far eastern corner of the Northwest province. This independent Toyota dealership boasts the manufacturer’s ECO 3 Advanced certification, only one of a handful of dealerships that meet the requirements at this stage.
“Not only do we recycle everything - form oil to materials - but we follow through on the process ensuring the chain of recycling from us to the end destination stays intact. It is important to get this message out to the community with plans to implement a similar recycling systems at schools in our area.
“We have planted 150 Spekboom-trees at the dealership and are currently looking at ways to expand the tree-project to schools to show learners the importance of lowering our carbon footprint and ways to contribute to clean air,” she says.
Elmarie says the dealership has installed solar panels that already covers a third of their electricity bill per month and the project will be expand.
“Our community involvement stretches further that just the environmental outreach. We also provide clothes to orphans and children in need at certain schools and sponsor sport teams,” she tells Dealerfloor.
Turning to Elmarie self who has been the Dealer Principal at Intertoy for the last eight years, we asked her if it is still a relevant question to asked about a woman in what was once considered a “man’s world”?
“Not really. Sometimes a person might be surprised the DP is a woman, but I do not think it is an issue anymore. There is always some-one, thinking because of your gender, you are a pushover, but they quickly realise it is not the case. After my studies I started in the admin department, working my way up through the finance department and was appointed DP about 8 years ago.
“Our Workshop Manager is also run by a woman, Spokie Slabbert, who have a long track record with the Toyota brand with around 35 years of service between us and at her previous Toyota dealership. She also worked her way up through the ranks to reach her position,” Elmarie says.
Asked about current business conditions, the well-known answer by now is the dilemma the shortage of stock creates for dealers across the spectrum. And especially the limited amount of bakkies available plays havoc with orders for big and popular bakkie sellers like Toyota.
“We hope the issues around the stock shortages will still be resolved this year. In the meantime, we need to focus on what we can do rather on what we can’t do. We also focus on our used stock which is a challenge on its own. We are working hard getting back where we want to be and I am positive about the future,” Elmarie says.
She says Brits is close-by other bigger centres like Pretoria with numerous dealerships and they must be on top of their game all the time. The condition in Brits is like that in many other towns in cities in terms of challenges with infrastructure and the effects of the pandemic. The dealership is not directly in the big city environment that ensures a broader client base, including a large agriculture community in the region.
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