Wednesday, 22 September 2010


When Unitrans’ Automotive Division (UAD) made the decision to include Renault in its franchise fold and open three new dealerships in March this year, little did they anticipate that all three would rank among Renault South Africa’s top four performing dealerships within weeks of their openings. The Gauteng-based sales (new and pre-owned) and service dealerships are situated in Clearwater (Roodepoort), Kempton Park and Benoni.

Bernie du Plessis, Divisional Chief Executive Officer responsible for all UAD-owned Renault (and Nissan) franchise operations throughout South Africa, explains his company’s rationale: “Unitrans Automotive is a well–known and respected company and our decision to include Renault in our leading brand franchise line-up was based on several factors.

“Renault is a young and dynamic company boasting the best and most comprehensive product line-up available in South Africa market right now. The operation is headed up by Xavier Gobille who - dynamic in his role as Managing Director - is backed by a seasoned management team each of whom clearly wants to succeed. “This is tangible in the nice, disciplined yet energetic manner in which they carry out business at every level and I am particularly impressed by their commitment to parts and after-sales service and support,” he adds. “The proven Renault-Nissan Alliance was also a consideration as it has facilitated great cost efficiencies through the use of common parts and technology across the two brands.”

According to Du Plessis, this is just start of UAD’s relationship with the Renault brand. “Our market lies in major metropolitan areas and when the timing is right and major points become open in Cape Town and Durban for example, we’ll certainly look at expanding our Renault operations.”

Renault South Africa currently has a 47-strong national dealership network. While major urban centres have traditionally been Renault’s location focus, three of these dealerships have recently opened in semi-rural locations.
De Aar, in the Northern Cape, is South Africa’s second-most important railway junctions and became even more of a landmark when Renault steamed into town last September. In March this year, Renault sales and service dealerships also opened in Aliwal North (Eastern Cape) and Bethal (Mpumalanga).

“This widespread expansion of Renault’s footprint is a vote of confidence in the investment potential and long-term appeal of the Renault brand and we are very upbeat about further increasing our presence and market share as we head into 2011,” says Leslie Ramsoomar, Renault’s Vice President of Sales and Operations.


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