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South African Dealerships of the Future

News - 23 October 2019

Vehicle technology is facing a global evolution from which South Africa and Supa Quick will develop and emerge triumphant.

Science fiction has become science fact and this is causing a revolution in the traditional and non-traditional transport market.

Here are a few recent examples of vehicle technology innovations in the last five years:

  • After decades of endeavour, inventor Richard Browning became the first man to travel from Britain to France using a jet pack during August 2019.
  • Thanks to today’s digital revolution, environmentally damaging combustion engines are set to be replaced by cleaner hybrid and electric vehicles.
  • Today’s cars contain computers which are more sophisticated than those used in the Boeing 747.
  • A growth trend in the hiring of e-hailing type transport instead of vehicle ownership.

Tyres play a crucial role in the transport market and are also evolving. The MOBOX has been successfully introduced into the European market by Bridgestone. The subscription service offers customers an all-in-one approach to buying tyres and vehicle maintenance for a flat monthly fee. It demonstrates a shift in emphasis from products to services and also shows how data and information can be turned into money.

As MOBOX functionality evolves, it will provide customers with increasing levels of information. This may be used by fitment centres to provide more proactive, enhanced levels of maintenance, for example, alerting customers to faulty or wearing parts in their vehicles, and programming routine vehicle checks.

How Will South Africa Cope with Vehicle Industry Changes?

Although Europe is currently ahead of South Africa in terms of recent vehicle developments, Brett Lovell Green, Manager of Franchise Development at Supa Quick believes we have what it takes to remain current. He says: “South Africa has a history of raising and training people who are highly competent technologically, one example is the world-renowned, Pretoria-born Elon Musk.

When DSTV and cell phones were introduced into the market they were quickly embraced in South Africa, further proving we are a nation of early adopters. At Supa Quick we believe South Africa will swiftly adapt to new vehicle technology as it becomes financially viable – and Supa Quick is preparing for this.”

How is Supa Quick’s Role in the Automotive Aftermarket Evolving?

Supa Quick is re- aligning and stabilising its franchise business to ensure its 220 dealerships become increasingly profitable. Part of this strategy involves helping franchisees become less reliant on the sales of tyres and to evolve into sustainable fitment centres of the future. This involves introducing them to a greater number of value-add suppliers who provide more profitable products.  

These strategic business shifts are being made to counteract local economic difficulties and other business and technological challenges which have put a strain on Supa Quick. These changes will make Supa Quick more robust and better able to meet future challenges, an automotive aftermarket vision shared by Bridgestone and leading consulting firm McKinseys.

Bridgestone, a highly sophisticated global player in the tyre manufacturing industry, passes insightful environmental surveys to group member, Supa Quick. Critical research variables are fed into Supa Quick’s business model.  Says Brett Lovell Greene:       “ Although we monitor trends to remain ahead of the fitment centre pack, we experience a lag as changes in the new vehicle market take three to five years to impact the aftermarket, giving us time to adapt.”

The following are recent developments undertaken by Supa Quick to future-proof and enhance its service to customers:

  • Developing and testing a prototype fitment centre with automated wheel changing and wheel alignment machines. This centre can change four tyres on four cars in an hour, which gives Supa Quick an ideal opportunity to provide customers with quicker, more efficient service.
  • Increasingly developing diagnostic equipment to assist dealers in the servicing and repair of cars. By using scanners, franchise outlets will be able to identify and fix problems more quickly and efficiently.
  • An increased use of data and information collected from vehicle telematics stored in its tracking device will be used to aid vehicle maintenance, one of which is fitment centres providing accurate maintenance schedules for customers to follow. However, even more proactive maintenance will be possible as the technology becomes available to monitor a car and send messages to the driver regarding a broken or worn part. Drivers would be able to fix or replace the part before it becomes a problem. This information would be available to both drivers and fitment centres enabling sophisticated, accurate, and timely vehicle maintenance. 

“Dynamics in the motor vehicle industry make this business exciting and inspiring. However, changes unfold predictably over time making it possible to integrate systematically into our business,” concludes Greene.

Brett Lovell Greene - Supa Quick Franchise Development Manager standing next to a tyre scanner.
Static Fitment Centre Equipment Featuring a Tyre Scanner

Disclaimer: This information is for educational, or entertainment purposes only. It must not be construed as advice, legal, financial, or otherwise. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability, and accuracy of this information.

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