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Renault South Africa’s dealer network has been central to the car-maker’s distribution strategy since its return to local shores 15 years ago. With 48 dealerships now covering 88% of the market, the company’s flagship dealer, a real contender and 2010 winner in its Dealer of the Year Awards, is the recently relocated Renault Fountains, Pretoria owned by Associated Motor Holdings (AMH).
Renault Fountains has an extensive and quite extraordinary history with Renault dating back to 1972 and its unwavering loyalty and commitment to the French brand over almost 40 years, together with its flagship status, was underlined by the attendance of Mr Katsumi Nakamura, Executive Vice President of the Asia Africa Region for the Renault Group at its official re-launch.
“Since commencing the restructure of our network in late 2008, we have reduced the number of Renault-owned dealerships and these have been enthusiastically taken up by blue chip motor conglomerates including AMH, Unitrans, the Imperial and McCarthy Groups, as well as smaller groups like DTM, Seamans, Automall and several highly professional independent operators,” says Leslie Ramsoomar, Vice President of Sales and Operations at Renault SA.
With 48 hand-picked outlets located in each of the nine provinces as well as in Namibia and Botswana he says that “the increase in the number of dealers is in response to widespread customer demand for our products and their ongoing service and support.” It is Renault’s intention to have 55 dealerships in place by 2014.
Renault sales escalated by 45.5% during 2010, well ahead of the market, and midway through the third quarter of 2011, the trend continues. “Year-to-date we have grown by 23.1% compared to a market that has expanded by 19.7% so we are still well ahead,” he adds.
“Dealer quality has also been a core focus over the past three years and the recommendation rate across sales and service has shown significant improvement over the last 12 months.” The recommendation rate is an internal measure of how a Renault dealership is performance whereby customers are asked whether they would recommend a particular dealer.
“During 2010, we also re-launched and re-named the used car division of our operation and all Renault Pre-owned vehicles now come with specific customer promise points which afford buyers considerable peace of mind,” concludes Ramsoomar.
“These include 2-year roadside assistance, full service history, 101-point vehicle check, vehicle integrity check as well as a 30-day exchange agreement.”