These days dealership awards are about more than just recognising and celebrating success, says Gary Scott, CEO of KIA Motors South Africa.
“These are not the times that will allow average businesses to survive. In order to succeed, we must be inventive, creative, resolute and exceptional. The ‘new normal’ requires anything but ordinary,” he said during the digital awards ceremony for the brand’s dealership in the period June 2019 to July 2020.
The awards ceremony is centered on sales and service for all dealerships, divided into three categories – A, B and C – depending on the size of the dealership.
In each category, awards were bestowed for Parts Dealer of the Year and Customer Service (CSI) Dealer of the Year,
Service Operations Dealer of the Year, Fleet Sales Dealer of the Year, Sales Dealer of the Year and KIA SA’s 2020 Dealer of the Year with this top honour going to KIA Durban South in Amanzimtoti.
“This year’s winners are diverse, and each one in itsr own way has looked at the challenging circumstances, sought opportunities and applied ‘hustle’ to convert those opportunities into results.
“Time and again, it is instructive to see who goes forward and who goes backwards when times are tough. Sometimes its luck, sometimes its talent, but a positive mindset is always going to bring you closer to the action,” Gary concluded.
Dealerfloor also spoked to Christo Valentyn, General Manager Marketing at KIA Motors SA, about the importance of the awards in today’s business environment.
“The value is twofold. First of all, if a dealership can boast about being awarded as one of the top three in a category, maybe even in more than one category and above all, numerous times, it creates a sense of trust and peace of mind for the customer. It shows commitment from the dealer’s side that is very important to each and every customer.
“In the second instance, it serves as motivation for the dealership personnel to keep up the good work and aspire to do even better,” Christo says. “We have seen that dealerships do compete with each other, which is great. We are proud of this as there are our own dealerships, dealerships belonging to big groups, and smaller and privately owned groups involved with the brand.”
Asked about KIA’s road to recovery, Christo says they believe that by the end of 2020 their volumes would be back at pre-COVID-19 levels. “We are on average about 200 units short of where we were. We are proud that dealerships could remain profitable during this time, and hard work is being done to normalise sales volumes.”
On the question about new buying trends because of the lockdown and everything that has happened in the country, Christo says they see interesting developments in this regard. “You get customers buying down from a C segment SUV to a B segment one, instead of buying a Sportage some will rather opt for a Seltos. But you are also seeing interesting buying-up deals, with people going form a B segment Rio hatch to an SUV like the Seltos,” according to him.
Another fascinating trend is the fact that at the top end with the expensive KIAs like the Sedona and Sorento there is quite a lot of activity. “We find that with the current economic situation, buyers of luxury SUVs are looking at our vehicles because although expensive, they still cost way less than some luxury German brands, and the exceptional quality of our vehicles is well known.
“It is also interesting that KIA dealerships are popular choices for multi-franchising with premium German brands. We have KIA dealers in both Klerksdorp and Rustenburg that have recently been acquired and added to Maemo Mercedes-Benz in Rustenburg and Cargo Mercedes-Benz in Klerksdorp. We will have a similar situation soon in Bloemfontein, but with another luxury car brand, as well as in Port Elizabeth,” says Christo.
Click here to read more about the Kia Dealer Award winners for 2020.
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