Audi Centre Arcadia makes it three successive Dealer of the Year titles
Audi Centre Arcadia have done it not once, not twice, but three times in succession, winning Dealer of the Year, the top accolade of the Silver Arrow Awards, the crème de la crème of Audi South Africa’s honours.
This year’s awards were a first-of-a-kind virtual experience due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bidvest McCarthy Audi Group Divisional Executive and Audi Centre Arcadia Dealer Principal, Phillip Clough, was agog in sharing the nitty gritty of facing the camera instead of being up on stage with all the razzmatazz and glitz that normally accompany such events.
“It’s actually a personal accomplishment. We sit and we say we want to achieve this and with the management team and staff we embark on a journey. It’s about setting ourselves personal goals and benchmarks,” he enthused, in the afterglow of the dealership’s achievements at the prestigious awards.
Clough had every reason to be upbeat about the occasion as he also walked away with the Avus Award for Dealer Principals, taking first place in category one.
Up to 40 managers and executives within the Audi Dealer Network received awards in the areas of sales, service, parts, accessories and Audi Financial Services, across eight categories.
Bidvest McCarthy Audi shone again on the franchise level. To his delight and those in the extended family, Bidvest McCarthy Audi, comprising a network of five Bidvest McCarthy Audi dealerships: Audi Centre Arcadia, Audi Centre Durban, Audi Centre Menlyn, Audi Centre Middelburg and Audi Centre West Rand, were named Macro Dealer Group of The Year – also for the third successive year.
“You can take a positive stance or a negative stance. Those who take a positive view tend to do better in the market,” states Clough, explaining that in the current highly competitive market his advice to Audi Centre Arcadia staff has been for them to go find those segments of the market that have remained unscathed by a sub-par market, made worse by the pandemic.
“Not everyone has been badly affected; some people are actually doing well,” he states.
It is salutary that the two buzzwords foregrounding most of Clough’s statements are positivity and focus. As he puts it, what ultimately separates the top achievers from the rest is the ability to remain focused and to pursue opportunities not matter how challenging the circumstances.
It must be noted that the pandemic was the agony to an already existing misery: before its onset, the automotive industry was facing enormous hurdles.
SUCCESS IS PLANNED FOR
Clough’s proclamation on the importance of finding those doors still open is therefore apt and well said but still, behind every victory hurrah, behind each and every triumph and trophy, is a trail that leads to the moment, a game plan that harmonises all the hard work and tireless effort. What is that secret for Audi Centre Arcadia, the juggernaut of the Silver Arrow Awards?
Ever alert to one or other sporting metaphor, Clough cites the aphorism of the Personal Best (PB) time in describing his personal success and that of his management and staff. At the end of the day, he points out, what matters most in an athletics race is that an individual has put in a personal best performance despite coming in outside of a podium finish.
Thanks to such hard-nosed professionalism, in two or three years down the line, who knows, such a performer may emerge as a gold medalist. “It’s when you go work like a demon, like there’s no tomorrow that you find the reward of success," he says.
The convergence of a winning team spirit, focus and determination are therefore the collective enabler powering Audi Centre Arcadia up the ladder of success; achievements are not accidental but planned, they’re something you work at and perfect over time, Clough highlights.
“A dealer’s performance is the sum of the efforts of its team members,” he says. “We feel like we’re the champions. We just carry on with the winning formula. We don’t try to re-invent the wheel. We must keep getting the basics right and we’re true to ourselves in this regard."
He also notes, “What makes us successful is that we’re focused on the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). We implicitly know the rules of the competition; we play to the rules, we play hard.”
Added to this are the staff incentives such as monthly prize-giving occasions to acknowledge and encourage outstanding performance and keep staff motivated, with a floating trophy adorning the desk of a current top achiever, be they in vehicles sales, parts sales or workshop.
“You have to be consistent over the 12 months,” says Clough. “In the real world, is your bad month such a bad month, relative to your good month?”
Audi Centre Arcadia is also renowned for its low staff turnover. For his part, Clough has been a proud ambassador of the Audi brand for more than three decades while the rest of the team boast similarly long track records with Audi and the dealership.
It is thus noteworthy that the dealership is not only armed with a superior brand; most importantly, it is in the hands of people who know what to do with it, who are adept at shifting units in the showroom and at dispensing all-round excellent service the customer will always come back for.
To their credit, Audi Centre Arcadia staff have long heeded this sage advice: they know their top performers amongst which are the Audi A3, Audi A1, Audi Q2, Audi Q4 and Audi Q5. SUVs meanwhile remain a strong favourite of consumers for reasons including the fashionable status symbols they are taken to be and the fact that they offer the driver a rarefied view thanks to the ample ground clearance, observes Clough.
Such institutional heritage always pays dividends and the raft of the dealership’s successes at the Silver Arrow Awards in recent years is testament to that.
AUDI CENTRE ARCADIA SILVER ARROW AWARDS ACHIEVEMENTS:
Overall Audi Dealer of the Year – Audi Centre Arcadia
Avus Awards: Dealer Principals – Phillip Clough, first place, category one
New Vehicle Sales Managers – Paul Spruyt, first place
Business Managers – Musa Soko, second place
MACRO DEALER GROUP OF THE YEAR ACHIEVEMENT
Bidvest McCarthy Audi