Mahindra is piloting a concept store on Johannesburg’s East Rand with Warren Olsen, Managing Director of Mahindra East Rand Group.
Warren is the top Mahindra retailer in the country, and he has planned a concept store that uses images of the city scape and the bushveld to emphasise the new lifestyle focus of the Mahindra brand.
“I believe that one should not put pictures of cars on the wall, but rather put the cars on the dealer floor where they belong, thereby surrounding yourself with artworks of what your car brand represents,” Olsen told Dealerfloor during a recent visit to his new Mahindra Dealership in Edenvale.
Although the showroom has not yet been officially opened, Olsen confirmed that he is giving the dealership a South African flavour to reflect Mahindra’s vision to design and manufacture a car brand suitable for the South African market.
“I truly believe Mahindra is fast becoming an essential brand in the South African auto landscape, providing a cost-effective option with the best value for money a customer can ask for,” he said. “Our urban city versus South African bush image should make our customers feel right at home the moment they walk through the door.”
Olsen has proven his worth in the Mahindra family when he and Roy Obery bought the Mahindra East Rand Mall dealership out of bankruptcy in 2017, turning it around into the dealership selling the most Mahindra vehicles in the country. As an ABSA Golden Partner Dealer of the Year, Olsen aims to expand their Mahindra East Rand Group to eventually include Edenvale, Kempton Park and the East Rand Mall, all selling only Mahindras.
It is easy to see how this Harvard scholar is excelling in the auto industry. As a former Senior Marketing and Sales Manager for Honda SA, Renault SA and Mahindra SA, Olsen knows how to connect with customers, giving them more than what they bargain for.
“All our vehicles on the floor, as well as those in storage, are immediately equipped with a Tracker device, making it a convenient sell-on to customers, as well as protecting our and the customers’ assets,” he said.
According to Olsen, he is such a fan of the Mahindra brand that he decided to sell it exclusively in his dealerships. “I know that more and more dealerships today are expanding to include more than one brand, but the Mahindra customer is the one I understand and connect with best,” he said.
While he was the Head of Marketing and Sales Manager at Mahindra SA, Olsen headed up the team that was responsible for increasing Mahindra sales from 70 to 500 cars a month. “I currently have the number one Mahindra dealership in the country, and I aim to have the second best one as well,” he said. “I like to run my business differently to most and, with the best employees in the country, I am confident to achieve our goals.”
According to Olsen, he plans to celebrate the official opening of Mahindra Edenvale to coincide with the launch of the all new Mahindra Thar 4x4 early in 2021.
The Eastern Cape will benefit from a major expansion drive by Mahindra in the province with three new dealerships waiting in the wings.
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