AutoTrader Convention inspires dealers to see things differently 


Dealers need to see things differently and view the industry through a fresh lens. That was the key message at this year’s AutoTrader Dealer Convention. Held recently in Sandton, the theme of the convention was #RethinkAuto – and the dealers present at this key industry event were encouraged to rethink strategy, technology and connection.

The convention – hosted by the largest motoring marketplace in South Africa – was also about encouraging and celebrating excellence. “Our objective this year was to inspire dealers to see things differently, ultimately equipping them with actionable tactics to implement in their dealerships. Furthermore, we wanted to acknowledge and celebrate their excellence in various categories,” explains George Mienie, CEO of AutoTrader.

The convention featured four prominent speakers: Stacy Jayne Saggers, Commercial Growth Director at Kantar, discussing consumer trends shaping growth; Dr. Alistair Mokoena, Google SA’s Country Director, on leveraging data for automotive shopping trends; Nuno Castel-Branco, General Manager at Standvirtual and OLX Portugal Motors, on stock velocity; and George Mienie, CEO of AutoTrader, on the importance of trust and transparency in dealerships. Two panels, hosted by Gareth Edwards of eNCA, which featured industry leaders like Mikel Mabasa, CEO, naamsa and Gary Scott, CEO, KIA South Africa, tackled topics surrounding the impact of illegal imports of used cars and the criticality of online reputation management.

Various awards were presented during the convention with 12 categories in the running. However, the five premier award categories were the South African Used Car of the Year Award, AutoTrader Dealer of the Year Award, AutoTrader Sustainability Award, AutoTrader Dealer Reputation Award and AutoTrader Woman of the Year Award. In keeping with the ever-improving standards within the automotive industry, competition for all of these industry-leading accolades was fierce.

The South African Used Car of the Year Award – presented to the model that captured South Africa’s hearts during the previous year – went to the Ford Ranger. This iconic bakkie – a firm favourite of South African motorists – outsold any other used passenger car model during 2023.

The AutoTrader Dealer of the Year Award is judged using several key criteria all based on data and data analytics. These include a dealer’s Stock Velocity Score, which measures the speed in which a dealership is able to cycle the cars on their floor taking into consideration various market factors, including Price to Market and Time to Sell, these represent the fine balance between operational efficiency and sales performance; and then finally, their Dealer Rating Score, which highlights exceptional after-sales service and consumer engagement. Together, these elements form the Trinity of Automotive Retailing, encapsulating the essential practices that define the best-used car dealership in South Africa. This year, Mit-Mak Motors – which epitomised these qualities – took home this award.

Sustainability is, of course, a topic that is aligned with the ethos of AutoTrader and it is also one of the buzzwords within the industry today. Nominees for the AutoTrader Sustainability Award were those dealers with the highest hybrid and electric vehicle (EV) sales. Furthermore, the dealers’ “green” practices (the adoption of solar power, for instance) were also taken into consideration. The winner of this award was Tom Campher Volvo Cars Johannesburg.

The AutoTrader Dealer Reputation Award is given to the dealership that not only achieves ratings significantly above the industry average but also secures the highest rating among its peers, thereby demonstrating an unparalleled commitment to customer satisfaction and service excellence. And the dealer that came up trumps this year was AT Laas Auto.

Finally, there is the AutoTrader Woman of the Year Award. Nominees for this award have demonstrated exceptional performance in two key areas which impact the automotive landscape and national economy at the highest level: sales excellence and also finance and insurance. Rounding off the accolades for the night, Hannelé Phillipson (from TX Auto) was adjudged the winner of this trophy for sales excellence.

Full List of Winners at the AutoTrader Dealer Convention 

Category Winner 
South African Used Car of the Year AwardFord Ranger
AutoTrader Dealer of the Year AwardMit-Mak Motors
AutoTrader Sustainability AwardTom Campher Volvo Cars Johannesburg
AutoTrader Dealer Reputation AwardAT Laas Auto
AutoTrader Woman of the Year AwardHannelé Phillipson
AutoTrader HDP Stock Velocity AwardConcept Auto Sales
AutoTrader SIBP Stock Velocity AwardLeon Geeringh Motors
AutoTrader Stock Velocity Award (National)Bidvest McCarthy Volkswagen Witbank
AutoTrader Market Days Supply Award (Small)Secunda Toyota
AutoTrader Market Days Supply Award (Medium)Sentra Motors
AutoTrader Market Days Supply Award (Mega)Barons N1 City
AutoTrader Stock Sourcing AwardTitan Auto


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