Today, 29 March Volkswagen South Africa achieved another milestone when Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe officially opened the Volkswagen dealership in Soweto, Soweto Volkswagen.
The R30-million Soweto Volkswagen is a joint venture between Barloworld Automotive and Maponya Group. The dealership is located on 8 000m2 motor retail site in the heart of the Soweto in the proximity of the township’s struggle landmark streets and monuments.
David Powels, Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa, said: “The opening of Soweto Volkswagen is one of the key milestones in the history of Volkswagen Brand in South Africa that spans over 60 years. Over that time Volkswagen has invested heavily through infrastructure, production facilities, employment, training and people development, and in Corporate Social Responsibility.
The Volkswagen Group South Africa was the first local automotive company to achieve a level 4 BBBEE rating. Through this process the Volkswagen brand has become very much part of the fabric of South Africa and we are fortunate today that Volkswagen is the passenger market leader in South Africa.”
The process to build a Volkswagen dealership in Soweto began many years ago and was formalised by merging three great brands – Dr Richard Maponya, Volkswagen and Barloworld. Volkswagen is extremely proud to be associated with these brands in the form of Soweto Volkswagen.”
“At Volkswagen, we have always viewed our Brand as the most human of all car brands with people as our core focus. It is with this in mind that we think Soweto is the rightful place for the Volkswagen Brand. We look forward to a successful business partnership with Dr Maponya and Barloworld, and most importantly to serving the community of Soweto,” concluded Powels.
Soweto Volkswagen is one of the first greenfield Volkswagen modular concept designs in the South African dealer operation. The design concept’s distinguishing element is the white frame as a “snapshot” design principle. The new design brings the various aspects of the Volkswagen Brand into focus and directs the viewer’s attention to the contents of the frame. The many different ways it can be used allows it to display new contents as they change, making it an unmistakable symbol of Volkswagen in all media.
The 2 900m2 dealership has been in operation since December 2011 and offers fully fledged operation that includes new and used car sales, service and parts retail.
Gary Berndt, General Manager of Soweto Volkswagen said: “The dealership has enormous potential once more people of Soweto become aware of its existence and location. To date, we have achieved our sales targets and our service business is gradually picking up speed. In future, we plan to open our service facility on weekends and public holidays to allow customers to have their vehicles serviced on their work-free days.”