Rental man­u­fac­turer awards pro­vide clues to car buy­ers

IN­DUS­TRY NEWS

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS - Mark Smyth

When you are look­ing for a new car, you might turn to var­i­ous peo­ple for ad­vice on what is the best car, or the best man­u­fac­turer. Hope­fully you rely on Mo­tor News for in­sight, but you might also ask your col­leagues, friends, fam­ily or that bloke in the pub who seems to know every­thing about every­thing.

But what about an or­gan­i­sa­tion that has more than 370,000 ve­hi­cles in the fleets of its mem­bers? Surely they must know a thing or two worth know­ing?

We are talk­ing about Savrala, the South­ern African Ve­hi­cle Rental and Leas­ing As­so­ci­a­tion. Its rental com­pany mem­bers in­clude Avis/Bud­get, Bid­vest and Hertz, man­ag­ing more than 70,000 ve­hi­cles, while there are 300,000 ve­hi­cles among its leas­ing mem­bers.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion has just an­nounced its an­nual Man­u­fac­turer of the Year awards and, for the first time since 2009, the over­all win­ner was not Volk­swa­gen. This year the top hon­our went to archri­val Toy­ota.

Toy­ota dom­i­nated the leas­ing sec­tion of the awards which helped it to the over­all ti­tle. VW took sec­ond over­all fol­lowed by Hyundai. VW took the top award in the rental sec­tion fol­lowed by Toy­ota and Hyundai, while in the leas­ing sec­tion Hyundai took the sec­ond spot be­hind Toy­ota with VW in third.

KEY CRI­TE­RIA

The com­pe­ti­tion has been in ex­is­tence for 22 years and Savrala sur­veys its 24 mem­ber com­pa­nies twice a year, as­sess­ing 38 key cri­te­ria. Th­ese in­clude value, main­te­nance, tech­ni­cal sup­port, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and dealer sup­port as well as broad-based black eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment com­pli­ance.

Savrala says that the sur­vey, which is con­ducted by Light­stone, is com­pleted by a num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als who all have re­spon­si­bil­ity for deal­ing with the var­i­ous man­u­fac­tur­ers.

The over­all scores did drop in 2017 in rental and leas­ing, show­ing there are ar­eas man­u­fac­tur­ers need to im­prove on to sat­isfy th­ese ex­tremely de­mand­ing mar­kets.

In other awards in the rental mar­ket VW won the award for Value, while Re­nault took the hon­our of be­ing the Most Im­proved Man­u­fac­turer. Iron­i­cally con­sid­er­ing per­cep­tions of the brand’s pres­ence in the rental mar­ket with prod­ucts such as the Almera and Ti­ida, Nis­san re­ceived the Tu­tuka award for be­ing a lower or niche vol­ume sup­plier to the in­dus­try.

It is no sur­prise Toy­ota and VW dom­i­nate the awards, but it is good to see other man­u­fac­tur­ers in the mix too. No doubt VW will be pulling out all the stops to try to get the top award back in 2018.

Toy­ota takes the Savrala Man­u­fac­turer of the Year award. From left: Win­ston Guriah, pres­i­dent of Savrala; Toy­ota rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jo­hannn Theart, Pa­trick Car­roll, Ra­matjitla Penyane, Michelle Schwartz and Chris­tine Kruger; and Savrala GM Sandile Nt­seoane.

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