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HAILED as a landmark transformation deal of significance to the Isuzu dealer network country-wide, the sale of Bates Isuzu Shelly Beach on the South Coast is an exemplary model of transformation for the entire motor industry in South Africa.
Bates Isuzu Shelly Beach is making history by becoming the first Isuzu dealership to be 100% black-owned, in addition to being 65% woman-owned.
While Bates Isuzu Shelly Beach Dealer Principal Noel Allchin a year ago had no idea that he would be selling the third-generation, family-run business which had been operational since 1937 in Kwa-Zulu Natal, today he is extremely excited to be a part of the benchmark deal and even more so, by what this has meant for the future growth of the dealership.
"We have already experienced the value-add of our new ownership model with a 45-unit truck sale recently. Our new owners, Sipho and Fortunate Mdanda, have a genuine desire to succeed in the industry, with extensive knowledge of the fleet and body-building business and a remarkable amount of energy," said Allchin.
While the 100% transformation deal was a complete buy-out by Isipho Capital Holdings, Allchin said the Bates team of staff members and day-to-day operations of the dealership will remain unchanged, with him staying on in an advisory capacity for a transitional period. His successor will be Shaun Bartlett, current Bates Isuzu financial director.
"It has been an incredibly positive experience. Isipho Capital Holdings look for successful businesses with whom they share a synergy and enhance the business by opening up new markets and customers with their extensive business networks," said Allchin.
Negotiations started around August last year, and introductions were made by Isuzu Motors South Africa. Mdanda was looking for an Isuzu dealership and had previous business dealings with Allchin.
"The business wasn't even for sale, but we had long discussions and I made a formal expression of interest, which he (Allchin) took to his board. We eventually came to a mutual agreement and we are very excited," Mdanda said.
The Mdanda husband and wife team are at the forefront of South Africa's new wave of Black industrialists; consolidating their extensive banking and corporate management experience through various organic and acquisitional growth strategies.
"The sale also places a lot of pressure on us in terms of the responsibility that goes along with such a benchmark deal. It is exciting to show South Africa that it can be done," said Mdanda.
Isuzu Motors South Africa CEO and MD Michael Sacke said Isuzu is committed to making transformation a business priority.
"We all have a responsibility to help uplift and grow our economy. We should always remember that an economy cannot grow by excluding people and that an economy which is not growing, cannot integrate all of its citizens in a meaningful way. Transformation will impact the long-term sustainability and growth of our business and also that of the dealer network," said Sacke.
Isuzu Motors South Africa is allocating resources to its Dealer Development Department to assist dealers in achieving their unique transformation objectives.
"Transformation is a moral imperative of our country. Adjacent to this, it should be viewed as a pragmatic growth strategy geared at realising the country's full potential by bringing more South Africans into the economic mainstream," said Sacke.
Phase 2 of the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) includes transformation as applicable to all OEM's, as well as to the entire value chain of the automotive industry.
Isuzu Motors South Africa is aiming to be awarded a Level 4 B-BBEE Status by 2021.