‘Electrics will not spark much change’

Eight times -- this is how often the team led by Ritesh Sheosunker has won the Group Parts Manager Award in VW’s annual Grand Prix awards.

Ritesh Sheosunker, multiple award-winning parts managers at VW Barons

Sheosunker is quick to defer kudos for his consistent achievements. “I must give credit to my team, Nishan, Edmond, Rajesh, Avesh, Sbu and Ryan,” he said. “I just wish they could go with when we get these awards, for it is all the time and effort they put in that make the awards possible, he said.”

Sheosunker (44) has been with VW Barons for 26 years, starting in Durban before moving to Pietermaritzburg. With a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Unisa, he keeps a keen eye on changes and trends in the auto trade.

Asked what impact he thinks electric cars will have on the parts shop in dealerships, he predicts the EV parts will just go on the shelf alongside the fossil fuel parts. “The predictions are that we will see many more electric cars sold in the world as early as 2025, but I don’t see this changing our current business model for years to come. These cars will not replace ICE (internal combustion engines) overnight. Instead, future electric parts will either join the 3,000 line items we carry at the dealer or the 60,000 items VWSA stocks at the parts distribution warehouse in Centurion, and we will fit them to customers’ cars as required,” he said.

In his two decades maintaining and repairing cars, he has seen some weird damages, but none as mystifying as a line of deep holes in a Golf GTI’s dashboard. “We were told the holes were made by a woman’s stiletto heels, but as for the how or why, well, we can only speculate.”

With awards lining a shelf in his office and more at home, Sheosunker is clearly good at a job he enjoys, but should he win the Lotto, there is something else he’d start doing. “I love my hot rods and will spend the money on building the perfect hot rod -- a Ford Capri Perana,” he laughs.

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