It takes a team effort second to none to turn a business around, setting it on an award-winning path.
This is exactly what happened at Penta Suzuki Rustenburg, which was recently awarded the top spot in the category for a dealership with the Most Improved Performance in the MSX NADA Business of the Year 2020 Awards.
The judging cycle of this award stretches over a calendar year where the continuous improvement on its return on assets is measured.
Dealerfloor asked Anzo Ashcroft, who took over as Dealer Principal during March 2020, what brought this change about and what it means for the dealership.
“Soon after I arrived, a complete lockdown was announced owing to the pandemic. We did not sit still but started actively to look at all aspects of the business, our approach to business and in the process changing the culture of how we do business.
“We put new emphasis on the value system of the Penta Motor Group, which includes principles like integrity, motivation, innovation and the will to win, to mention some key aspects. Even working from home, we followed up every single lead, contacted clients and possible clients, conducted sales, getting all the paperwork done and was ready to deliver once normality returned,” says Anzo.
He says what also helped to get the dealership on track again was the assistance from “behind the scenes”, like the marketing campaigns and training provided by the Penta Group to the staff.
“Their involvement and the assistance of Peet Hoffman, one of the Group Directors, overseeing operations in the North West, helped to change the setting from survival to that of growing and winning and aiming for new heights,” according to Anzo.
“Although stock shortages are a reality, we managed to navigate with reasonable success through that problem up to now. It does, however, have a big influence, especially on the used car market with high prices because of the shortage of good stock.”
Asked about the future, Anzo says the next couple of months will be a challenge for all the obvious reasons. “Our dealership is aiming to become a member of the prestigious club of Elite Suzuki Dealerships, which generates even more trust and status. Winning awards is the result of not only doing the basics right, but exceeding the prescribed requirements.”
He also sees opportunities in the new Right to Repair legislation that will allow servicing and repairs dealerships and service centres that are not necessarily linked to a specific brand. It could create opportunities for multi-franchises and even stand-alone dealerships within specific motor groups.
Before his appointment as DP in Rustenburg, Anzo spent four years at another award-winning Suzuki dealership, Penta Klerksdorp, a multi-franchise Dealership with Suzuki, Renault and Mahindra under one roof.
Anzo told Dealerfloor that in their core business, roughly 70% comes from Rustenburg with the remaining 30% from elsewhere as far afield as coastal towns and cities.
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.