If you’ve owned a car in South Africa, you’ll be conscious of the array of poor quality, over-priced and un-warranted auto parts and products that exist on the market. You’re probably also aware of the number of cars on our roads that are not road-worthy, because the truth of the matter is that maintaining a car can be a costly and exhausting exercise.
Johannesburg-based New Dimension Auto Parts (Auto Pride) has officially announced its presence on the local market and aims to address a big gap in the South African market: quality auto parts that haven’t been marked up several times before even reaching the consumer.
Founder and Managing Director, Jean du Plessis, has spent the last two years behind the scenes building the company’s brand as well as conducting extensive research to identify suitable manufacturers that comply with the appropriate SAE standards. His commitment to quality has paid off – the company has already grown tremendously in its short life and is now being noticed by big players in the industry.
“We focus on supplying our high quality private label brand at entry-level prices. Anyone who purchases a product from Auto Pride will be receiving a product on only a second level mark-up,” Jean explains.
The automotive industry is also one that runs through Jean’s veins. His father and grandfather were in the industry and many members of his family have either owned their own shops or worked for some of the biggest players in the industry. Having witnessed first-hand the lack of quality that exists on the market as well as the extensive mark-ups on products, Jean is very aware of the amount of South Africans who don’t replace car parts when they should. This directly impacts the country’s road conditions.
“It’s because of this that we never compromise on quality for price, ensuring that our partner customers and consumers will always be able to sell and use our branded products with confidence and peace-of-mind.”
With a goal to make Auto Pride the first choice brand through all levels of the distribution chain for quality, affordability and performance peace-of-mind, Jean regularly inspects the factories where the parts and automotive lubricants they supply come from. He doesn’t believe in short cuts.
He also believes in an open-door policy and welcomes customers and potential customers into his office no matter what time of day. He will personally make them a cup of coffee, walk them through the warehouse and answer any questions or concerns that they may have.
“This truly sets Auto Pride apart from other companies in the industry, because our customers deal with a face behind the phone, instead of a procedure-programmed agent” he says.
The company is also unique in that the team operates like a family, which Jean says only makes their work stronger, more transparent and more ethical.
While being in the industry comes with some challenges, including building up a brand against some of the biggest ones in the industry, the team are ready to sink their teeth into it no matter what time of the day. Service delivery is also a fundamental part of the company’s operations. A customer should never be left waiting for an order.
With quality products, entry-level prices and incredible service, Auto Pride is slowly but surely changing the auto parts trade.
As Jean says, “We want to get to a place where no one has an excuse to be driving a non-road-worthy vehicle on our roads.”