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The Lazarus Motor Company, one of South Africa’s most successful multi-franchise motor groups, is to celebrate its 60th anniversary with a huge presence at this year’s CARS in The PARK at Zwartkops Raceway on August 6, 2017.
The Centurion-based company will be displaying a host of classic cars to celebrate its anniversary, as well as new models, ranging from a Ford Model T to Jaguar E-Types, and a range of the best-selling Ford Mustang and stunningly fast Roush Mustang models.
“Heritage is something that cannot be under-estimated in terms of today’s motoring climate,” says Colin Lazarus, CEO of the landmark Lazarus Motor Company which is located overlooking the N1 Highway off the John Vorster Drive off-ramp in Centurion.
“I have been attending Cars in the Park for many years, and the Pretoria Old Motor Club, which organises the event, taps into the very core of our motoring heritage. The fact that the CARS in the PARK now enjoys the status of Africa’s biggest car show is just astounding to those of us who have seen this annual show grow into the wonderful celebration it is today.”
The Lazarus Motor Company had its beginnings in the small town of Bronkhorstspruit, located some 60 km east of Pretoria.
“The company was founded in 1957, known as R. Lazarus and Son, my late father being the ‘son’ in that title”, explains Colin. “In those days it was a Mercedes dealership, but in 1961 the company was awarded a Ford franchise, to sell cars as well as tractors to the farmers in that area.”
In 1980, Colin’s father passed away suddenly on the bowling green, and Colin, then in his early 20s, was suddenly required to take over a motor dealership with very little experience.
“That’s when I learned the value of surrounding yourself with good people on your staff,” says Colin. The young motor man soon realised that a move to the Pretoria area was vital to the company’s future, and in 1987 they established a Ford dealership in what was then known as Verwoerdburg, followed soon afterwards by a Mazda franchise. A Jaguar dealership followed in 1996 and soon afterwards the ambitious decision was made to establish the huge multi-franchise dealership just off the N1 highway in Centurion.
Today Lazarus Motor Company has Ford, Mazda, Jaguar, Land Rover and Kia dealerships all operating side-by-side in the same giant complex that has become a landmark in Centurion. In addition to these franchises, Lazarus has recently established the Roush Performance Centre in this complex, which offers a range of Ford performance upgrades, as well as a range of very special high performance versions of the iconic Ford Mustang.
“The secret of our success is that we operate these dealerships as completely separate entities. A Ford salesman is a dedicated salesman, and the same applies to all aspects of each operation, including servicing and parts back-up,” explains Colin. “The back-room synergies extend to wash-bays and admin, but the interface with customers is bespoke for each franchise.”
However, Lazarus is proud of the fact that it is not unusual to have a customer buy a Land Rover for himself, a Jaguar for his wife, a Ford performance hatchback for his son and a Kia for his student daughter. This is the obvious advantage of having the competing franchises operating alongside each other.
*This year’s Cars in the Park will see the 38th running of South Africa’s biggest car show. Over 2 500 classic and performance cars are expected at the Zwartkops Raceway from just after 6 am on August 6, 2017. And there will be up to 150 special-interest stalls and food outlets at this spectacular one-day event.
For more information on POMS CARS in the PARK 2017, visit the Pretoria Old Motor Club website on www.pomccitp.co.za. Or go to the Cars in the Park Facebook page, on https://web.facebook.com/POMCclub/ or https://web.facebook.com/POMC-Cars-in-the-Park
For information on securing stall space at the event, contact Frik Kraamwinkel on 082 444 2954 or via e-mail on email@example.com