Toyota nails it

Backing up its performance last year, Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) dominated the 2018 Manufacturer of the Year (MOTY) Awards and even clinched the Leasing Category to become overall Gold Award winner by some margin.

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The Southern African Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (SAVRALA) whose car rental members manage more than 70 000 vehicles while leasing members account for over 68 000 Owned/Funded as well as 250 000 managed vehicles a year in South Africa, survey members twice during each year to establish the scores for the competition.

Now in its 23rd year, MOTY recognises motor manufacturers that have provided SAVRALA members with the best-possible support and assistance. These awards are based on the results of a continually improved industry-specific survey comprising 38 criteria reviewed twice annually among 31 of the largest Rental and Leasing companies in South Africa.

Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Calvyn Hamman, says: “We cannot thank our staff enough – including our strong dealer network, manufacturing plant and head office staff. We are particularly proud of this recognition as it shows our holistic approach in the way we do business.

“Toyota has won several awards in other sectors, including consumer, pre-owned, quality assurance as well as dealer network.The results from MOTY will also enable us to identify our strengths and work on areas that need improvement.”

Congratulating Toyota, SAVRALA President Winston Guriah says: “While the evolving needs of both the car rental and leasing fleet owners made it an exceptionally demanding business environment, the dedication and commitment of manufacturers, which continued to understand and address these needs, deserves recognition through the MOTY awards.”

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Questionnaires are completed by a panel of individuals who depend on and deal directly with each manufacturer. This results in obtaining an accurate, objective, unbiased and company-wide perspective of the service levels experienced.
Areas of evaluation scored by the Rental members include:
• Communication: Covering the timeous and accurate information on new models, pricing and vehicle delivery, as well as regular manufacturer contact – improved by 4,7%.
• Support: Assessing the quality of operational support and ability to accommodate industry specific requirements as well as timeous delivery of vehicles – improved by 2,6%.
• Maintenance: Rating the technical training, contact with the technical representatives, response to technical issues and warranty claims, dealer support, parts availability and flexibility on Goodwill and Policies – improved by 1,3%.
• Value: Covering the protection of residual value and pricing structures, under the current economic challenges – improved 1,3% above last year’s results.
• B-BBEE compliance: This area shows some modest improvement but remains an area of opportunity

The Overall Rental industry score this year improved by 2,6% from last year.

Areas of evaluation scored by the Leasing members, include:
• Communication / Marketing: Including regular visits, information on production issues, pre-launch and ongoing information – improved by 8,1%.
• Technical Support: Measuring the technical relationship as well as provision of technical information and parts availability – improved by 9,4%.
• Financial: Looking at fleet pricing structures and discounts and residual value – improved by almost 8% since last year.
• Dealer Support: Including delivery issues and aftersales service – improved by 7,6%.
• B-BBEE compliance – This area shows some modest improvement but remains an area of opportunity

The Leasing survey showed improvement in all criteria measured, hence the improvement of 8% in the Leasing Industry score since 2017.

While it is still well below the rental score, Guriah said: “It is clear the manufacturers have taken up the challenge to improve their focus on the Leasing members. It is only a matter of time before the current gap between the two section scores is eradicated.”
Rental Results for 2018:

Toyota moved up from their second position last year to take top honours this year, pushing Volkswagen into joint second with BMW, which proved to be the wildcard this year. Renault, which was the most improved manufacturer in 2017, took third position, breaking into the Top 3 position for the first time.

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Toyota also received the Value award, following their top score in this category on the Rental questionnaire.

BMW received the award for the Most Improved Manufacturer on the Rental side, while BMW won the Tutuka award, awarded to the automotive member who supplies lower and niche vehicle volumes to SAVRALA car rental members.

Leasing Results for 2018:

Toyota took the honours for the second year running by quite some margin, followed by Hyundai in second position and Volkswagen in third.

Toyota was also awarded the Value Award, having scored the best in the Financial Section of the Leasing questionnaire.

The award for the Most Improved Manufacturer in Leasing went to BMW, which managed to improve its Leasing score by 13.7% since 2017.

Best Representative Awards for 2018:

SAVRALA awarded BMW’s Queen Ramaliwa as its Best Rental Account Executive, while Ramatjitla Penyane from Toyota was voted the best Rental Technical Representative for 2018.

Best Leasing Account Executive was awarded to Jackie Grindrod from BMW, while Ramatjitla Penyane, from Toyota, was also voted the best Technical Representative to the Leasing Industry.

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Car ownership revamped

Volvo Cars South Africa is currently evaluating a new business model that could radically change the way in which cars are ‘owned’.

In conjunction with the launch of the new Volvo XC40, Volvo Cars is inventing a new model of having access to a car with the launch of the ‘Care by Volvo’ subscription service. This will make having a car as transparent, easy and hassle-free as having a mobile phone: a national, ready-negotiated monthly fee, combined with getting a new car every 24 months.

After ordering their car online, Care by Volvo customers will be able to drive away in a new Volvo without having to worry about traditional extras such as deposits, insurance, taxes, service fees and geographical –  or customer age-related differences. A flat monthly subscription fee will be their only expense.

In addition to making driving a new Volvo that much simpler, Care by Volvo will, depending on regional availability, offer a range of digital concierge services, such as fuelling, cleaning, service pick-up and e-commerce delivery to the car.

A new car sharing feature which is part of Care by Volvo as standard, will allow new Care by Volvo XC40 drivers to share their car with friends and family with new digital key technology.

Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO, says: “With Care by Volvo, we introduce new car accessibility for the modern age. In a time where consumers are used to transparent flat-fees for all sorts of services, the traditional process of buying and owning a car can be perceived to be rather complicated. Care by Volvo changes all of that.”

The new XC40, launched simultaneously in Milan, will be the first Volvo model with which Care by Volvo will be available. Other Volvo models will be included over time, as will new digital concierge services.

Care by Volvo is a concept that will develop and expand over time. The central focus is on offering customers convenient access to the sense of freedom a car is meant to deliver.

“Our aim with Care by Volvo is to provide our customers with a transparent, premium car user experience. With a fixed monthly payment, Volvo Cars provides a truly customer-focused alternative to the traditional purchase or leasing. Time is a luxury for our customers, and with this service we are able to free up time in their daily lives. This is simply making life easier for our customers,” says Thomas Andersson, Vice President Care by Volvo at Volvo Cars.

Earlier in September, Volvo announced the acquisition of the technology platform and key staff of  Luxe, a US-based premium valet and concierge service company. This acquisition is another example of Volvo’s ongoing development in the area of digital consumer experiences.

Care by Volvo will first be available for buyers of the new Volvo XC40 in Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, Norway, Poland and the United States. Other markets will follow at a later stage.

In South Africa, the Care by Volvo business model and related services are under scrutiny for local introduction.

Premium subscription versus leasing:

  • Care by Volvo is a new premium subscription service and differs from existing lease offers in a number of important ways.
  • Care by Volvo offers a convenient package of services allowing customers to enjoy their car whilst Volvo Cars handles everything else.
  • Private leasing is an entry level offer without any additional services included in the price, while even full service leasing covers only parts of the services available in Care by Volvo. For example, none of the digital services to be offered via Care by Volvo are currently part of existing leasing packages.
  • Care by Volvo will also encompass flexibility and customers will be allowed to switch cars temporarily depending on their needs (market-specific).
  • Care by Volvo also removes the practice of price negotiations. Customer research shows that this is one of the elements of the car-buying process that customers dislike the most.
  • Care by Volvo has no customer geographical – or age-related price differences.