It does not take long to realise that the person on the other side of the telephone is a remarkable woman, someone who knows the motor trade by heart and defiantly not a pushover.
spoke to Priscilla Bhoola, the Dealer Principal at Volkswagen Klerksdorp, who also acts as a service agent for Audi in the North West town, as well as for Williams Hunt Opel where the new Opel Corsa is now available. She also oversees the used-cars divisions of Mastercars and United Motors.
She has been DP for the last year and a half but was previously the Sales Manager at the Mercedes-Benz side of Cargo Motors in the same town where she spent 12 years of her motoring career.
It is, however, her involvement in the community at a business level that assists her in being strong and focused in her day job.
“I am the deputy president of the Westvaal Chamber of Business in Klerksdorp, which looks after the whole region’s development. As such, I am involved in various activities on different levels, from getting investments to our area to assisting start-ups and motivating business leaders,” Priscilla says.
According to her, this opportunity allows for some serious networking that is particularly important for any modern-day business in creating contacts and identifying opportunities. Before joining the motor retail business, she took charge of Nedbank in the Klerksdorp, a career that played a major role in preparing her for her current position.
Asked if its still important to refer to woman in what was once considered “a man’s job”, Priscilla says projecting yourself strongly and directly without being overly forceful will expel any notion that a woman cannot do the job.
“There is job, and the job needs to be done, not by the best man for the job, but by the best person. Women by nature can create a sort of calmness that can only bode well in our industry. I experience little or no resistance as a woman in the top job,” she says.
Priscilla tells Dealerfloor she believes that one should reach as high as possible. “It is also part of my management style to motivate my colleagues to constantly reach for the stars, and very importantly, to never, ever give up.”
She says business is doing well, taking everything into account. “The Volkswagen side of the business benefits from people buying down, swopping premium brands for more affordable products in the VW range.
“Getting enough stock is currently a problem throughout the industry and even when all plants over the world are up and running, there is a back log that will take some time to wipe out. Lower sales on the new side, logically have an influence on the used-car market where good stock is also difficult to come by.
“It is challenging times that demand all hands on deck in our and other businesses,” she says.
Priscilla has interesting hobbies or ways of spending her free time. The mother of three kids (her husband is also a businessman in Klerksdorp), is a well-known judge at beauty pageants locally and nationally, like the internationally renowned Toddler & Tween of the World for boys and girls. She also has a keen interest in fashion design.
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.