The route to a successful dealership

Creating a more successful route for a business is no easy task, but one that is right down Charl Duvenhage’s alley.

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Charl was appointed as Dealer Principal at Westvaal Brits during January, after a two year-stint at the company’s truck division in Polokwane. He started his career many years ago with Hyundai and then spent 18 years at various Toyota dealerships in different capacities.

“It is a challenge taking any business or dealership to the next level and one I enjoy very much,” Charl says. “At Westvaal Brits, the team and I managed to turn the ship around during these challenging times, and we were blessed with good financial results so far.

Charl Duvenage (Dealer Principal), Johan van der Schyff (Parts Manager), Nico Mati (Sales Manager) and Tshepo Mabaso (Workshop Manager).

“We established a new leadership team with the recent appointment of managers for our parts division (Johan van der Schyff), the workshop (Tshepo Mabaso) and for sales (Nico Mathi). Our main focus is still customer care, and we continue to go out of our way to ensure this. A great effort was made by channelling our energy into retrieving our customers and building our dealership’s brand and reputation.

“I like to be involved in all aspects of our business and often move around between the different departments. It makes a difference that a DP can also help and assist clients, and many of our customers have my cell-phone number. My promise as DP is a 24/7 availability to assist any customer when the need arises,” Charl tells Dealerfloor.

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Asked about the current trade conditions, Charl says they eagerly await the arrival of the new SUV called the MU-X. The big news, of course, is the arrival of the brand-new Isuzu bakkie in the first quarter of 2022.

“The current single cab versions will, for the time being, soldier on next to the new double cab before the range is completed with the addition of the new single cabs. In the meantime, the stock shortage is manageable, and it seems the situation is at least not worsening.

“Notwithstanding all the well-known obstacles, we managed to grow our business and have a healthy market share in our traditional area of responsibility, namely Brits. Our client base consists of a mixture of the mining sector, business as well as the agricultural sector in the area.

“We do a lot of marketing on social media and deliver vehicles from Cape Town to Beitbridge. With the Right to Repair legislation, we do get more vehicles from different brands in our workshop, which is a serious boost for the business and our reputation. Customers from the big cities often make use of our dealership for servicing, as our rates are competitive.”

He says customer service revolves around how a client is received when he or she enters a dealership, the kind of assistance and the attention to their needs and how a problem is handled. “Our team is dedicated to serve customers as this is the foundation on which good business is built,” Charl concludes.

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