There is a lot of turbulence in the used vehicle market, and a wrong purchase can end up costing a dealership dearly.
spoke to Emile Streicher of Bakkie World in Klerksdorp about his reading of the used vehicle market, especially at a dealership that focuses mainly on South Africans’ preferred way of transport – bakkies.
“It is a fine art to find the right product at the right price, especially bakkies that are in constant demand. The circumstances with lockdown and the subsequent stock shortages had us shifting our focus away from ‘only bakkies’, and we are now selling any kind of vehicle for the foreseeable future.
“The lockdown has seen used stock dry up, especially after some factories had to close and have since been slow to supply parts and fully built-up vehicles. This has seen the price of used vehicles shoot up, with some dealers paying more than retail for their used stock.
“It creates all sorts of problems making used cars very expensive, eating away at profitability and forcing salespeople to stretch finance options to make a deal happen. The uncertainty around when the situation will stabilise may have caught some dealers of guard. It could leave them with expensive stock that will be more difficult to move,” says Emile.
Emile reckons normality is still months away, with some sense of normality only expected in 2022.
“Any other crisis limiting stock will have serious consequences. We are however thankful and optimistic about business, and local conditions in North West seem to be heading in the right direction.”
“At this stage, our bakkie ratio to other vehicles does not reflect our name, but like I mentioned early on, we have to do what it takes to make business work. These days you have to run your used vehicle dealership like a tight ship. At Bakkie World we have a total staff complement of eight people and everyone helps where help is needed.
“We are now in our ninth year of business and it took hard work to build up a business through all its highs and lows. Arriving at work at 7 am and only locking up after 7 pm is nothing new to me. Our motto is ‘enter as a stranger, leave as a friend’. The truth of this motto is, do everything to retain customers. Each transaction counts, and client satisfaction and customer service will lead to repeat business,” Emile tells Dealerfloor.
Asked about the original intention of focusing on bakkies, Emile says South Africans’ love affair with bakkies is for everyone to see. “Bakkies’ popularity has been on the rise for years now. Our road conditions are a sure contributing factor as well as the practicality and the outdoor lifestyle. The same goes for SUVs that have replaced the traditional family sedan, according to him.”
“Hopefully not too long before we can put the bakkie back into Bakkie World, in the meantime we soldier on,” he concluded.
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.