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Giving women the space at the table that they deserve

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In March 2024, pivotal events converged, signalling a profound question: What does the future hold for dealerships, and how can women drive its evolution?

At the NADA Conference, a beacon of industry insight, the resounding message was clear: Success in dealership management hinges on mastering the fundamentals. From meticulous sales process understanding to continuous sales team empowerment, the path to enduring success is paved by a relentless commitment to excellence. Amidst the din of emerging trends like EVs and AI, the timeless wisdom of effective dealership management stands unwavering.

On International Women’s Day, we celebrated not just progress, but potential. As 20 women graduated from the Future Dealership Program, a collaboration between naamsa | The Automotive Business Council, TUT’s Institute of Future Work, Tshwane School of Business and Society, and the Automotive Industry Transformation Fund, we glimpsed the transformative power of education and empowerment. Now, the mantle falls upon us, the aftermarket, to nurture these entrepreneurs.

By offering them practical exposure across dealership domains, from the workshop floor to executive suites, we pave the way for their ascent as industry luminaries.

Imagine the possibilities if we forge robust partnerships with industry stakeholders, funders, accelerators, and academia. Together, we can sculpt a future where women not only thrive but lead in the automotive sector.

To paraphrase the words of Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to the United States Congress, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a camp chair.” These women have not only brought chairs but have set the table for future cohorts to follow. Let their courage and determination inspire generations yet to come.

Ipeleng Mabusela, CEO: Strategy and Corporate Support

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Ipeleng Mabusela, CEO: Strategy and Corporate Support