In the days of many stories about emigrating business people, it is rare to find someone who had done that many years ago, became successful overseas, but then decided to return – for better business opportunities.
Schelton Daniels, a young father of two, came back to South Africa from the UK and established a used-car business with a very South African name – Cars4Africa.
Chatting to this sales executive cum businessman quickly reveals his secret for success, and that has nothing to do with various awards over the years or their plans for the “new normal”, an expansion and upgrade of their existing showroom in Blaauwberg or their new approach to their online presence.
“I started my journey in the motor industry at the tender age of 15 – washing cars for extra pocket money. Later I progressed to driver and then into sales,” says the outdoor-loving Cars4Africa owner and Dealer Principal.
In his mid-twenties, Daniels, who at the time of his 25th birthday had spent years expanding his sales skills, moved to the UK with this wife. “After a year in sales [there] I partnered up with a colleague and we set up a successful wholesale business that continued for six years before my wife and I decided to venture back to South Africa, where we established Cars4Africa in 2005. We started up with a trendy dealership in Woodstock, but after a few years decided to relocate our premises to Blaauwberg as it was closer to where we lived. Our current premises have been our home for the past six years.”
The couple have been married for 19 years and they have two children, a 14-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy.
“My wife, Ursula, is a partner in Cars4Africa and we work together,” says Daniels, adding he enjoys cycling, practising flying his drone and plays “the occasional round of golf”.
“I also enjoy the freedom of the open road on my Harley Davidson...”
Cars4Africa recently achieved the top number of sales as an Absa Bank client and won the coveted Golden Partner Award.
Asked about their plans for the dealership, Daniels says they are always looking at ways to improve their dealership. “Currently, we are looking at doing some upgrades to our indoor showroom that we will use for our exclusive vintage and sports car ranges. We are also working on a new website that will be more interactive and consumer friendly.”
As a family business with him and his wife working together all the time, Daniels says keeping up with technology keeps things interesting. “Evolving our business-selling model to encapsulate a more online and virtual shopping experience, is part of the challenge.”
Cars4Africa is part of the growing JAC Motors dealer franchise in South Africa, and offers a 1 500 km or 1-month warranty if anything seems to be wrong.
With Schelton Daniels as DP and his wife, Ursula, looking after Finance and Administration, Cars4Africa is supported by Kirsty Jeacocks (Finance & Insurance agent), Wezley Crawley, Devon Oeschger and Jason Kettle (Sales) and Shawn Ryklief (Driver).
Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA) kept the wheels rolling this year with the opening of five new dealerships in four provinces.
The latest addition to the Stellantis dealer network is a large, new Super Group multi-franchise facility in Jacaranda Street, Hennopspark, Centurion, for Jeep, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Alfa Romeo, Peugeot and Citroën.
We can overcome all the hurdles placed in front of us if we recognise our biggest asset in business is our people, says Rob Downs the Dealer Principal at CMH Nissan and Mitsubishi Pinetown.