NADA celebrates Lifetime Achievement at awards evening
Left to Right: Brandon Cohen, NADA Chairperson, Des Soutar, Gaynor Gordon, Thembinkosi Pantsi NADA Vice Chairperson

The National Automobile Dealers' Association (NADA) recently held its prestigious MSXi NADA Dealership of the Year Awards, an elegant evening filled with celebration and recognition.

The event, sponsored by MSXi and other esteemed partners, saw industry leaders, partners, sponsors and nominees gathered to honour excellence and dedication in the retail automotive sector.

One of the many highlights of the evening was the presentation of the 2024 NADA Lifetime Achievement Awards, bestowed upon individuals who have left an indelible mark on the automotive industry through their unwavering commitment and exceptional contributions.

The first recipient of this esteemed accolade was the late Trevor Gordon, whose profound impact on the industry was felt by colleagues and peers alike. Trevor's remarkable journey, from his early days at Continental Cars to his leadership roles in various industry bodies, was recounted with reverence by Gary McCraw, Director of NADA. Unfortunately, Trevor Gordon's unexpected passing in 2022 left a void in the industry, but his legacy of insightful contributions and calm leadership continues to inspire.

Accepting the award on Trevor's behalf were his wife, Gaynor Gordon, and business partner, Des Soutar, who graciously received the honour amidst heartfelt applause from the audience. Trevor's enduring dedication to improving the trading environment for motor vehicle dealers was acknowledged as his name was etched into the annals of the South African Motor Industry.

The evening also saw the celebration of Brand Pretorius, a business icon, who was also honoured with a NADA Lifetime Achievement Award. Renowned for his exceptional career trajectory and unparalleled dedication to the automotive sector, Brand Pretorius's legacy was celebrated by Brandon Cohen, NADA National Chairperson, who shared personal anecdotes highlighting Pretorius's humility and compassion.

Reflecting on a meeting with the esteemed executive during his tenure as CEO of McCarthy, Cohen recounted Pretorius's ability to set others at ease, even in the presence of his legendary status. His genuine concern for others, regardless of their position or experience, left an indelible impression on those fortunate enough to interact with him.

Addressing the audience, Cohen acknowledged Brand Pretorius's remarkable career trajectory. Highlighted by his exemplary achievements chronicled in his book, "In the Driving Seat," from academic accomplishments to corporate leadership roles, memberships, ambassadorships, and a multitude of awards, Pretorius's legacy stands as a testament to his unparalleled dedication and success in the automotive industry.

In his acceptance speech, Brand Pretorius expressed gratitude to his wife, Tillie, for her unwavering support throughout his illustrious career, underscoring the importance of a strong support system in achieving success.

As the evening drew to a close, attendees reflected on the remarkable achievements of both Trevor Gordon and Brand Pretorius, whose contributions have shaped the automotive industry in South Africa and beyond. Their legacies serve as an inspiration to future generations, reminding us of the profound impact that dedication, leadership, and excellence can have on an industry.