Motoring maestro to steer Market Square Volkswagen

2018-10-18 06:04
Martin Barnard, dealer principal at Market Square Volkswagen Uitenhage.             Photo:heilie combrinck

Martin Barnard, dealer principal at Market Square Volkswagen Uitenhage. Photo:heilie combrinck

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THE newly appointed dealer principal at Market Square Volkswagen Uitenhage, Martin Barnard, is a people’s person with a passion for the people’s car brand, Volkswagen.

Barnard is an experienced dealer principal and has been employed around the country at various dealerships. He has won numerous awards in the motoring industry which is proof that he ensures maximum efficiency and customer satisfaction.

With his appointment nearly four months ago as dealer principal at Market Square VW, which is part of the Kelston Motor Group, he has actually returned “home”.

Not only is the dealership neighbouring the Volkswagen of South Africa manufacturing plant, but Barnard was born and bred in Uitenhage. He was schooled at Uitenhage Convent Primary, Muir College and matriculated at Daniel Pienaar THS.

“It is good to be back. Change is all over the town since I left, but the heart of the community is still the same,” said Barnard.

According to him, the driving force in buying a vehicle is basic and all about needs and wants.

“A person needs a vehicle to get you to a destination. Then there are the wants, the specific things that appeal to a person and suit your lifestyle.”

Barnard said there is a market shift with regard to vehicle sales stemming from the increase in the “needs”.

“The Premium segments are taking strain at the moment in our present economic state whilst the more affordable hatch backs and SUVs are leading the market. It is also our emerging markets who are purchasing vehicles and now dominate the sales.

“We also find that the private, fleet and corporate vehicle owners are tending to hold on to their vehicles for longer period of time and rather focus on the maintenance and upkeep of their vehicles.

“This phenomenon has also resulted in us, the dealer network, and the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) shifting a lot of focus on more affordable parts and labour for those vehicles where the maintenance, service plans and warranties have expired or lapsed.

“Let’s face it,” said Barnard, “genuine parts that are supplied by the OEM to the dealer network and carry a manufacturer’s warranty, fitted by technicians that are regularly trained on constantly changing and upgraded vehicle technologies is vital for more reliable, longer mileage and safety of you and your family.”

Barnard previously was the dealer principal of Audi Centre in East London and before that he was with Volkswagen in Stellenbosch. His long list of groups he was employed at include McCarthy Motor Holdings, Barons Motors, NTT group as well as the Swartland Volkswagen Motor Group in Malmesbury.

Barnard is a maestro in the Volkswagen family and will continue his expertise here in Uitenhage.

“We at Market Square VW Uitenhage, wish to support our community. In a renewed effort, we are already involved at local schools and other institutions and would like, as a team, to expand our relationships.

“I live by one motto and that is to place my trust in the Lord God Almighty which in turn brings honesty, integrity and good ethics to my business practices. I believe in the Big Man and that’s who I am.”

He points to his parked VW Amarok, “There is my vehicle which suits me and my family’s needs and wants best. The Amarok offers us the driving pleasure to what we are enjoying in life. There is enough space for our dogs too. And I being a keen fisherman, it tows my boat. It is another edition of a true people’s car.

“Put me and my team to the test to find the car that best suit your needs too,” said Barnard.

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