Notwithstanding the severe drought in large parts of the Northern Cape, business is better than expected. So says Hannes Joubert, Dealer Principal at Motus Isuzu & Honda in Kimberley, capital city of the Northern Cape province.
“Although Kimberley and some surrounding districts received good rains so far, large parts of the province remain dry and this has a negative influence on bakkie and truck sales. We are grateful business shows positive signs despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the drought,” Hannes told Dealerfloor.
“As a dealership, in conjunction with our head office and Isuzu as the manufacturer, we are involved with drought relief efforts across provincial borders and as far afield as Merweville, Pofadder and north of Vanwyksvlei, delivering animal feed to farmers in need. It is heartbreaking to see a 60-year-old farmer crying when we deliver a few bales of hay for his animals.”
Hannes, a part-time farmer himself, says the drought has a serious effect on livestock farmers, but that business is much better for irrigation farmers along the Orange River and that helps to stimulate bakkie and trucks sales.
“It does not rain grass or pasture. Even with good rainfall now, it wil still take farmers at least two to three years to build their herds up again. Also keep in mind that there are districts with no or little rainfall so far that will take even longer to recover.
“It is simple. I believe when circumstances normalise, farmers will also remember us when considering buying a new bakkie of truck. If customers in our area of business suffer, we suffer. If they thrive, we thrive,” Hannes says.
Hannes, born and bred in Kimberley, has been with the Motus group since 2004, and he is very loyal and passionate about the two brands he manages, namely Isuzu and Honda.
He did once leave the Isuzu brand for a short stint with BMW and then as a Used Car Manager, but he returned to what he described as his passion – Isuzu. In 2018, Honda was added, and Hannes says he quickly became passionate about the passenger car brand which has a strong following in the Northern Cape.
The two brands share premises in Kimberley, but with separate showrooms.
On the Isuzu side, the entry-level workhorses with their excellent ground clearance and the well-known 2.5 litre diesel mills are still hugely popular, especially because of all the farming activities in the region,” says Hannes.
“Our X-Raider-variants with about R70 000 worth of extras that in fact cost you less than R40 000 more, are highly sought after. In fact, talking about sought after – we also have a huge demand for used bakkies and it is difficult to find stock.
“We eagerly await the arrival of the brand-new Isuzu, which in all probability will only arrive here in 2022. In the meantime, the current range still has enough ammunition to soldier on.
“Honda has had a strong presence in Kimberley for many years when it was still part of the Mercedes-Benz set-up in the country. The brand has a loyal following, and we added it to our portfolio in 2018,” Hannes tells Dealerfloor.
“On the Honda side, the BR-V, HR-V and the Amaze are trendy. Our Honda Plus outlet for used vehicles is popular, and the cars we sell here go through a strict protocol to ensure customers are happy with their purchase,” says Hannes.
“You know, without loyal and dedicated staff, no achievements or successes would be possible. I passionately believe in the retention of our workforce, and creating positive energy through mentorship and training is crucial,” he says.
And what does Hannes do when he is not selling Isuzus and Hondas or assisting farmers in need?
“I am a part-time farmer with livestock and that keeps my busy. I also love endurance racing on my quad,” he concludes.
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