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Report: National e-CAR Indaba 2014

The highly successful e-CAR 2014 Indaba, held at the Wanderers Club, Illovo, Johannesburg, on Saturday 15 March 2014, attracted 130 delegates who were treated to a series of inspiring topics. The message of the Indaba was all about being different, and becoming an aspirational brand.

Set Yourselves Apart
Rolf Krull, CEO of Desamark, set the tone with a call to arms. Citing a consumer study, he says that consumers want added value, and that just as supermarket customers want affordable but aspirational products, and inviting stores; these requirements could also describe automotive workshop customers. The “added ingredients” that set e-CAR apart, and easily accessible to e-CAR members, are:

• World class training
• World leading brands
• World class quotation system
• World class advertising
• Unique e-CAR club card
• National deals
• AA and RMI standards

e-CAR Covers the Country
Wilfried Langenbach, general manager of e-CAR, welcomed the new members to the growing e-CAR family. He says that more and more applications are being received by e-CAR, and that the e-CAR national footprint is growing, with the gaps in the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape being filled.

Tune into e-CAR
Tsholo Sebobe from Ultimate Media detailed the radio campaign to be flighted during April 2014, across the country. Stations such as Jacaranda FM, 94.7 Highveld, East Coast Radio, OFM and Heart 104.9 FM, will be carrying the e-CAR message.

e-CAR Club
Sven Jurgensen, managing director of Youngfolk, says that the e-CAR club is growing, with some 7 000 members. The major objective of the club is to reward the e-CAR customer, with the other objectives being engagement with the customer, the creation of a unique customer database, repeat business, and the promotion of BRAND integrity.

Get Involved and Lead by Example
Gavin Sharples, the well-known motivational speaker, expanded on the three things that an entrepreneur can do to help the business:

D = Differentiate yourself and STAND OUT
eN = Enthusiasm and Attitude
A = Awareness and Awake to opportunities

Leverage off the Benefits
Wayne Kreunen, development manager, e-CAR, expanded on the benefits accruing to those members who commit themselves to product support and technical training. He also identified the incentive bonus opportunities.

e-CAR’s Helping Hand
Alwyn Goldschagg from Phalaborwa Auto Electrical, told a rapt audience how Phalaborwa Auto Electrical has grown since acquiring e-CAR membership, and how the company has become an institution in the town through its advertising and community projects. Alwyn also painted the wonderful picture of how a loyal customer base has been developed by only using quality products from e-CAR’s preferred suppliers.

Simply the Best Car Servicing Available
True to form, Hamish Kiddle from Car & Truck Auto, and chairman of e-CAR’s national representative council, explained how he has come to “own” Sasolburg through enthusiasm, training, commitment and teamwork. A 99% customer retention rate has been achieved through “simply the best car servicing available”.

Keeping the World Moving
Valvoline has been keeping the world moving since 1866, and Jackie Reymann, brand manager for Valvoline at e-CAR, shared her passion for this world class brand. Valvoline is exclusive to Diesel-Electric in South Africa, and this iconic American brand cannot have a more passionate brand ambassador than Reymann. She commits to the best deal, trolley for trolley, and she challenges all the e-CAR members to match her passion for this product.

Staying Abreast of Technology
Ewald Faulstich, director of Automotive Aftermarket RBSA; and Dave Stalker, general manager of Technical Services & Support RBSA, emphasised the growing importance of electronics in the modern motor vehicle, and the need for workshops to plan, train staff, secure parts supply and control profitability, as the future of independent workshops will be largely determined by these factors.

To B-BBEE or not to B-BBEE
Jan Schoeman of the RMI outlined the benefits and ins and outs of the RMI4SURE insurance available to RMI members, as well as the Master Technician Training Programme. He also discussed the new B-BBEE requirements.

Summary and Closing
Andy Roth, a Diesel-Electric owner and chairman of DESAMARK, summarised the presentations and ended with some pithy advice: “Use the opportunity to make money and don’t do a disservice to your customers by not doing a thorough check of their cars.”

e-CAR Workshop of the Year Awards
Best Results in Bosch Training: Tomson Motors Stellenbosch

Top Technician: Willem Brand, Tomson Motors Stellenbosch

Workshop of the Year: Rustenburg Auto Elec

1st Runner Up: Tomson Motors Stellenbosch

2nd Runner Up: Car & Truck Auto Sasolburg