FROM NICKY THORP: JOINT MANAGING DIRECTOR This year marks a milestone in the history of Thorp Motor Group. On the 10th of June we turn 20 years old. As I often say in the Dealer News, I cannot believe how fast the time moves on, and this last 20 years has been no different. It seems like only yesterday when Robert and I were appointed as the Delta dealer in the South Peninsula, and Thorp Delta, as it was known then, began. The current showroom was all that we started out with, and our workshop was situated away from the mother ship in Plumstead. Besides starting with no workshop on the premises, we also had virtually no stock. I remember looking at Robert and asking the question, “And now?’ At this time, much of our product was fairly old, with the Opel Rekord being our flag ship and the Opel Monza our bread and butter line up. Isuzu was strong though, so we had a good representation in the LCV market. Then along came the Opel Astra which was like a breath of fresh air in the market place. The top selling Astra 160ie was a dream come true, and we could not get enough of these extremely popular models. Shortly after this, Delta was the first company to launch a completely new concept into the market: The Isuzu KB double cab combined passenger car comfort and the ability to carry 4 passengers along with the load carrying capacity of a bakkie. These versatile bakkies are still extremely popular and have held one of the top sales positions in the market since introduction. The next exciting development was the building of the current workshop on Main Road. No longer did customers have to take their car to a workshop away from the main showroom. This immediately increased throughput in the workshop. Other exciting developments included the launch of the Opel Corsa - the first time that a Delta product could compete in the lucrative “A” segment of the market. The Corsa was immediately one of the most popular cars on the road. Although many pundits said that the cute little 2 door car would not be popular, it went on to be one of the most successful cars to be launched in the 90’s, carrying through into the late part of the first decade of the 2000’s. A 4 door sedan version was later launched and, even following the launch of the new Corsa Gamma in 2004, the original Corsa continued as the Corsa Lite. The Corsa Ute was also introduced and is still, to this day, the top selling LCV in the market. Other exciting new products, such as the New Generation Astra with a high performance OPC, continue to build the Opel brand. On the LCV front, the Isuzu increased in popularity with new models in the line-up including the Frontier SUV, which is still popular today as a second hand vehicle. In 2000 we decided to increase our footprint and opened our Fish Hoek branch. Many doomsday pundits said that no dealership had ever succeeded in Fish Hoek and gave us no chance of success. I am pleased to report that they were wrong and we were correct. Fish Hoek continues to grow and has become a landmark in the main street of the town. It now has a separate used car division across the road from the new car showroom. 2003 saw the purchase of Thorp Paarl which quickly became a force to be reckoned with in the Paarl market. This continues today as this branch celebrates its 10th anniversary. In 2006, GM returned to SA and re- introduced the Chevrolet brand which boasts five different product lines, including the Chev Cruze range which is GM’s top selling vehicle worldwide. This is now the backbone of our product offering. 2011 was a year of consolidation. We opened our Claremont branch as well as a PD and Parts centre in Ottery to support our growing parts customer base, and to provide a pre delivery service to all our branches. In line with our policy of continuous improvement and the changing face of our industry, we are instituting a few changes within the Thorp Group. I will be moving into the position of Franchise Director based at Plumstead, whilst Warren Thorp will be taking over as Dealer Principal at this, our flagship operation. William Billitt will replace Warren as General Manager at our Claremont Branch, and Nico Muller will continue as General Manager at Fish Hoek. We would like to wish the new team all of the best in the future, and look forward to exciting new initiatives. It has been an exciting 20 years in the Thorp family of dealerships which would not have been possible without the dedication of our staff, suppliers and, particularly, General Motors. Thank you to all of you, and especially our customers, who have supported us and who have shared the last 20 years with us. We look forward to your continued support in the future.
Brandon Harris has been appointed as New Car Sales Manager at Thorp Plumstead. Educated in Gauteng, he spent time working for the McCarthy Multi Franchise operation in Parow. Brandon is married to Althia and is a football fan.
Wayne Bennett, a new car Sales Executive at Plumstead, went to Kensington High and spent time at Velocity Car sales. He is married with a boy and a girl, aged 9 and 8 respectively. He is a keen golfer.
Juanita Libenberg has joined Thorp Plumstead as a Sales Executive in the Used Car division. Juanita, who is single, enjoys watersports such as wakeboarding and skiing. She completed her schooling at Stellenberg High School. Ilhaam Khan joined Thorp Plumstead as a Sales Executive in the new car division. Ilhaam worked at Protea Hotels. She also spent some time working at YDE at Canal Walk, as well as Plastiques at the Parow Centre. She is married with a son, Raaziq, who is 3yrs old. She enjoys running and netball ,when she is free, as well as spending time with her family. Moosa Toffor has been appointed at Thorp Claremont as a Hi Tech Specialist. He spent time at Audi Claremont before joining the Thorp Group. Moosa is married to Fairooz and has two children. He enjoys motorsport and the outdoors.
New Isuzu KB tailored locally for real tough South Africans The all-new Isuzu KB represents the pinnacle in a long series of robust and reliable KB bakkies. The all-new sixth-generation Isuzu KB is the culmination of years of experience, modern technologies, forward-thinking design and clever engineering. Built locally at the General Motors South Africa (GMSA) plant in Port Elizabeth as part of a one-billion rand investment project, and supported by the production of the Chevrolet Spark and the new Chevrolet Utility half-ton bakkie, the new Isuzu KB not only picks up the baton where the outgoing KB left off, but brings with it a unique and special attribute.
Opel’s Most Powerful Astra Ever Debuts In South Africa
GM Africa has added Opel’s top performance Astra OPC, the most powerful production Astra produced to date, to its passenger vehicle range. This latest offering from OPC (Opel Performance Centre) is powered by a 206 kW turbocharged direct injection 2,0 litre engine with maximum torque of 400 Nm. This enables the Astra OPC to sprint from 0-100 km/h in just 6 seconds with an electrically governed top speed of 250 km/h.
Named as the Top Large SUV in
Magazine’s Top 12 Best Buys
THORP PLUMSTEAD Dealer Principal-Warren Thorp
THORP PLUMSTEAD New Car Sales Manager-Brandon Harris
THORP CLAREMONT General Manager-William Billitt THORP PAARL Dealer Principal-Dirk Burger
THORP FISH HOEK
THORP PAARL Sales Manager-Andre Matthee THORP FISH HOEK Sales Manager: Nico Muller
WELL DONE! Twenty years on and going strong! From small beginnings, the Thorp Group has quietly gone about establishing itself as a major player in representing General Motors and its brand in the Western Cape. Headed by Nicky Thorp, who drives the business with a “hands on” approach, the group has accumulated many accolades over the years and Nicky has been relentless in making sure his passion for making customers happy is lived out in reality. Nicky and his team have not only served the brands and customers in a way that put them at the head of the pack, but he has championed the cause for the Franchise through his term as Chairman of the National Dealer Council. Strong on finding a “Win Win” in
everything he does, I can only say it is a pleasure and an honour to have Nicky and the Thorp Team as part of our Franchise. May the next 20 years challenge the next level of Greatness! Malcolm Gauld Vice President Sales Service and Marketing GMSA
Rene Cronje is retiring from the Thorp Group at the end of June. Rene, who comes from Natal originally, has been with the Thorp Group since 2005 and joined the company to head up the then Chevrolet division. He has held many positions within the group including Sales Manager at Plumstead and Branch Manager at Fish Hoek. We all wish him good luck and an enjoyable retirement.
Thorp Paarl celebrated its 10th anniversary in grand style at a function at Ashanti Estate in Paarl. The function for 300 guests included the dramatic launch of the all new Isuzu KB bakkie range. Thorp Paarl started life as a brandy distillery and still features the original entrance circa 1901. In those days, there was a pipe from the distillery to the pub over the road. The pub is now a guest house, and the original tap is still in place in the guest house (although it is now dry). Under the management of Dirk Burger and his team, Thorp Paarl is one of the best known car dealers in the area. “Thorp Paarl vier vanjaar sy 10 de verjaarsdag as besigheid in die pragtige Paarl. Die eerste dag van handel dryf in Januarie 2003 en die ongerief tydens aanbouings en verbeterings voel soos gister. Elkeen van ons by Thorp besef dis slegs GENADE VAN BO dat ons as besigheid oor die 10 jaar so geweldig geseend was. Ons is baie dankbaar teenoor elke klient wat ons gekies het as sy diensverskaffer omdat die opsies hiervoor deesdae legio is. Ook my opregte dank aan elke personeellid vir onselfsugtige harde werk en lojaliteit teenoor Thorp Paarl. Kom ons bly saam GROOT DROOM en “CREATE CUSTOMERS FOR LIFE”. Saam moet ons bly groei en by ons kliente se behoeftes bly aanpas. Ek weet ek beskik oor die regte span en ek sien saam met julle uit na nog meer “wow” herinneringe en verhoudings bou oor die volgende 10 jaar saam met julle ons kliente en verskaffers.” Dirk Burger Director THORP Paarl