Mahindra and Haval South Africa joined the ranks of the elite at the recent National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) Dealer Satisfaction Index (DSI) Awards, each winning maiden Gold Awards while Toyota South Africa and Hino South Africa both achieved platinum awards.
Mahindra’s maiden Gold Award follows two years in which it received Silver and it places the company in the top half of the 29 vehicle brands that were surveyed for the NADA Awards.
“We are very proud of our Gold Award as it is a direct indication of the health and happiness of our dealer network,” says Rajesh Gupta, CEO of Mahindra South Africa. “This Award is a welcome recognition of the team’s hard work to improve every aspect of our dealer support, knowing a happy dealer ultimately leads to a happy customer.”
Mahindra’s overall DSI score was 77.1%, which is a significant improvement on its final score of 70.8% in 2018.
According to NADA’s research, which was compiled with the help of Lightstone Automotive, Mahindra scored well above average on most metrics, which include being open and honest in its communication with its network, being fair and responsive in the way it allocated vehicles and having a good corporate social investment programme.
“Many people do not realise our dealers are independent businesses and not part of the Mahindra Group. As such, we have to ensure their businesses are healthy and their personnel are happy in order to ensure they offer the best possible service to our customers,” says Gupta.
Both brands imported by Haval Motors SA received praise for their efforts during the 2019 awards – GWM, the bakkie brand of the Chinese manufacturer in fact received two awards in the form of Most Improved Award.
This award is in recognition of the GWM franchise achieving the most improvement in the 2019 NADA Dealer Satisfaction Survey in the Passenger and Light Commercial vehicle Category, a category with some stiff competition. GWM also achieved a Silver Award in the same Survey.
Haval, the SUV arm of the same company walked away with a Gold award.
While both Toyota and Hino retained their number one spots from last year, they made history for Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) this year as it is the first time that a manufacturer has won Platinum in both Passenger/Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) as well as commercial categories in the same year.
All the TSAM brands showed improvement in the scoreboard compared to last year. In 2018, Toyota scored 82,7 points and improved by 2,9 this year to attain a total of 85,6. Hino moved from 83,8 points in 2018 to 86,1 this year, improving by 2,3 points.
Lexus made the most significant strides, growing from 74,4 points in 2018 to 81 in 2019 – improving by 6,6 points.
Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TSAM Calvyn Hamman says it is also in the spirit of Toyota, Hino and Lexus to keep improving, and that the brands will continue to keep the customer in mind throughout its endeavours to be the best vehicle brands in South Africa.
“The TSAM Dealer Advisory Councils as well as all the Toyota, Hino and Lexus management and staff would like to express their gratitude to all the dealers for the vote of confidence in our brands. We also thank all those serving on dealer councils, and field staff who ensure our dealers’ satisfaction index remains healthy.”
NADA is one of 13 Constituent Associations of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) and has affiliations with a number of similar organisations worldwide. The RMI is the largest employers’ and business representative organisation in the South African retail motor industry.
So when a Manufacturer gains praise for their efforts during this awards evening, it is a big thing to say the least.
Suzuki also received a coveted Gold Award, the third Gold Award from NADA on the trot, and it recognises the company’s hard work in building and maintaining a strong dealer network.
“Over the last couple of years, our dealers have seen their trust and investment in the Suzuki brand bear fruit. Today we are a member of the 1 000-unit a month club and every month our dealers welcome many new customers to the Suzuki family,” says André Venter, divisional manager for sales and marketing at Suzuki South Africa.
The dealer network certainly agrees and scored Suzuki well above the industry average for its commitment to win-win solutions (82,8%), the hard work that “sets the standard for excellence in its industry” (86,4%) and its effective brand support (90,4%).
Suzuki also received a perfect score for the simplicity and effectiveness of its warranty process (100%) and was hailed for its effective training (90%) and after-sales support (87.4%).
“At Suzuki South Africa, we are responsible for our brand, the products we import, our after-sales and parts support and for ensuring that our cars remain affordable. Our dealer network, in turn, is responsible for our customers, and we want to make sure the dealer network has everything it needs to deliver affordable vehicles with a service level not unlike that of more expensive luxury brands. We believe our NADA Gold shows that our hard work is paying off,” says Venter.
Mazda retained its position as the fourth highest ranked South African motor brand in overall dealer satisfaction. The company was awarded a third consecutive Gold for achieving a benchmark score of 82% in the Passenger and Light Commercial Vehicle Category.
Mazda SA’s NADA DSI scores increased by 2,1% from 2018 and by over 16% from when the company started operating independently in 2014.