The old adage that those who race on the weekend, sell on the weekday, but for Elvéne Vonk of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) East Rand, it holds special significance.
Elvéne is the Sales Manager for JLR East Rand, but she also holds the distinction of being a three-time National Rally Champion navigator with Protea Colours. In 2020, Elvéne has been racing with double class T champ, Lance Woolridge, in their Ford Racing Ranger in the National Cross Country racing series, but she has shared the cabin with national champs at Toyota and Nissan as well.
“There is no doubt that motorsport people buy from motorsport people,” says Elvéne, who notched up two record months after returning to the showroom floor after lockdown. “It is one big family, and I have no qualms about mixing my Ford racing with my JLR day job.”
For Elvéne, selling Jaguar and Land Rover models offers the perfect mix of passion and practicality. Both brands are heavily focused on the SUV body shape, the most popular type of vehicle at the moment, while they cover different parts of the luxury spectrum.
“On the Jaguar side, luxury and performance are of the essence. We just sold two Jaguar F Pace SVR models in the week after the hard lockdown was lifted. For Land Rover, the focus is on practicality and all-round performance, which is why the new Defender is so popular. Heritage also plays a very important role for Land Rover customers.”
There is of course, says Elvéne, a nice overlap between the brands with models such as the Range Rover Evoque, while the F Type sportscar injects the Jaguar brand with another type of sex appeal and racing heritage.
Selling for JLR comes after a long and successful career at Volvo, a “completely different customer”, and it hasn’t been without its challenges.
“The lockdown has put brakes on our selling for much longer than we would have liked, but we used the time to whet our prospects’ appetite with info, pictures and videos of some of our most hotly anticipated products.
“When we were allowed to open up again, we had a nice and healthy sales pipeline, with some customers raring to go, especially on models such as the all-new Land Rover Defender.”
This, says Elvéne, has also introduced a new focus on social media marketing, which she intends to promote further in the coming months.
And on the question of what she finds appealing to a life of motoring, her answer is simple, “variety”.
“At the dealership, the different brands keep you on your toes, because your approach to selling a new Defender to a Discovery 4 customer is completely different to when you use an all-electric I-Pace to get a customer excited about buying a Jaguar F-Pace.
“In the South African Cross Country Series, the adrenalin and the challenge of an ever-changing track are enough to keep you coming back for more. I cannot imagine life without cars or racing.”
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.