From Cheetah country through Blue Bull territory into Stormers’ land. That is the story of Henri Roux, born Namibian and the newly appointed Dealer Principal at Motus Toyota Capegate in Kraaifontein.
spoke to him about his career, experiences and vision for the future.
“I joined the motor industry in Windhoek, Namibia in 1992, and I’ve been with Motus since 2002. I came through the ranks in the various dealership departments and major brands represented and owned by our group during the 15 years I lived in Bloemfontein, home of the Toyota Cheetahs, as you rightfully remarked.
“I then took up the position of Group Dealer Principal at our Mercurius Motors operation, which is part of Cargo and a major player in the Mercedes-Benz dealer group. My predecessor was John White, the brother of the now Blue Bulls and former Springbok coach, Jake White.
“The Motus Toyota Capegate Dealer Principal opportunity or “Gate to the Cape”, opened up for me with South Africa’s leading motor vehicle brand, Toyota, Henri says.
This is your first stint with Toyota, so how does it differ from other brands you were associated with?
“I was fortunate to have served in other high-volume brands in the Motus stable as well as getting to know the luxury market during the last three and a bit years. This gave me the background and created the foundation to accept the challenge and join the ranks of Toyota.
Henri told Dealerfloor that after being exposed to the Toyota culture, he could see clearly and understand why the brand enjoys a 25% market share in South Africa. “Taking nothing away from the other OEMs I had the privilege of working with, Toyota has some proper systems and Business Intelligence in place that really impress me regularly.”
Tell us more about Motus Toyota Capegate. Where does your customer base come from?
“We are situated in the northern suburbs of Cape Town, and our area of responsibility is Durbanville, Kraaifontein and Brackenfell. Because of our location and accessibility, we do have customers from all areas in the Cape, and our Service Department , which is run by a very capable Lyzette Snyder makes it really easy for those who don’t want to sit in the notoriously Cape Town city traffic. Alta de Beer, Parts Manager, also supplies Genuine Toyota parts and accessories to our service and walk-in customers as well as panel shops and other business right through the Western Cape.”
In terms of awards, Henri says the dealership was the proud recipient of Toyota’s prestigious Pyramid of Excellence Dealer of the Year award in our category a few years ago. Motus Toyota Capegate is also classified as a Lighthouse Customer Experience Dealer, which reflects customer service delivery offered across all departments – with the objective to provide service beyond customers’ expectations and create customer smiles along the way.
And in light of what happened during this year with the pandemic, how does he foresee the vehicle industry in the future?
“I think that we were reminded that the basic rules and principles of business and economy must always be treated with respect to be more prepared and react/adapt to change fast. This, in turn, makes us more open and acceptable to other ideas and opportunities, which will stimulate growth in various areas of the economy not previously looked at or seen as an option.
To get back to Toyota’s product range. Do Toyotas sell themselves or do you have to put in an effort to clinch a deal?
He says Toyota does carry the title of being a reliable and tough brand, which has been proven without a doubt over decades. However, he says, customers know what they want and demand great service and a great product. Henri emphasises that the sales team needs to work hard on a daily basis to reaffirm the choice customers make when considering a Toyota.
And when not at work what do you do to relax?
“As a newcomer to the Cape, I am sure I will enjoy the beautiful Cape, and I look forward to hit the mountain bike tracks, explore the mountains, streams and trails with my three Rhodesian Ridgebacks and to take the family to the beaches, winelands and countryside,” Henri says.
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