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B eekman S u p e r C an o p i es l ea v es t h e c o m p et i t i o n

For the past 39 years the name Beekman has been synonymous with the production of high quality and reliable canopies in South Africa.

By Marie Toms


Beekman Super Canopies focus automotive


s one of the most trusted brands in the leisure market Beekman is “more than just a canopy,” says Kobus Stander, managing director, who describes the business as a lifestyle enhancer and family institution which “allows you to experience life with style”. It is an industry giant, one of three major canopy producers in South Africa. Beekman Super Canopies started modestly in 1972, as a family business in the Western Cape. It has grown steadily in the decades since. In 2008, the company was bought by Imperial Automotive Retail, a venture that has widened Beekman’s impact in the market by providing financial stability and ensuring longterm relationships. According to Chief Executive Officer of Imperial Automotive Retail, Philip Michaux, the company is “a good fit” in his portfolio of manufacturing operations which include 90 franchised motor dealerships supporting 27 brands. “Beekman offers one of the widest ranges of fiberglass canopies and accessories in the market, a total of more than 145 products,” says Mr Stander, adding that more than 21,600 canopies, including canopies for the older model bakkies, are sold annually. “With 50 agents and a number of fitment centres throughout South Africa in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia , Beekman can cater to each client’s specific needs.” Most of the products are produced at Beekman’s plant in Stikland, near Cape Town and the facility can produce up to 2,000 units per month.

Middle: Kobus Stander Right : Vanessa Lester Left : Michael Crocker

Beekman offers one of the widest ranges of fiberglass canopies and accessories in the market, a total of more than 145 products


Beekman Super Canopies focus automotive

GABRIEL SHOCK ABSORBER’S PROUD RELATIONSHIP WITH BEEKMAN Gabriel, a premium shock absorber brand of Control Instruments Automotive, is proud of its long-standing relationship with Beekman Canopies in supplying its Gabriel’s Gaslift range. Gabriel has supplied Beekman for over 25 years and looks forward to a continued and strong relationship. This year Gabriel celebrates its 77th year in South Africa and its 50th year of manufacturing shock absorbers in South Africa. Website:

“A new concept of in-house fitment centres is allowing customers an opportunity to have canopies fitted at the same time of a vehicle pre-delivery service, or when the model was booked in for a maintenance at a dealership,” says Stander. The Canopies are fitted by trained personnel. Among the in house fitment centres to have been established are, Malelane Toyota in Malelane, Imperial Ford in Kroonstad, Bates GM in Port Shepstone, Imperial GM innIsando.” Quality standards are particularly high and Beekman is registered and approved by major vehicle manufacturers and distributors. It uses state-ofthe-art computer systems 4

Beekman are particularly proud of their subsidiary training, upskills and upliftment programmes

to design new products and among its recent development is an increased range of top quality executive fiberglass canopies. “We aim to remain at the leading edge of technology as we grow Beekman business,” says Vanessa Lester, the firm’s marketing manager. Beekman operates independently, with its own management and production team. There are currently about 450 employees in the various operations. The company places a high priority on training and development to ensure consistent levels of quality. “Beekman are particularly proud of their subsidiary training, upskills

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2012/08/03 and upliftment programmes. These include putting 20 unemployed people through Merseta-approved training courses at our facility in Stikland twice a year, with 70 present of them later being employed at our factories,” adds Stander. Beekman Super Canopies is a level five contributor and recently acquired ISO 9001 accreditation, emphasising the fact that all of its manufacturing processes and quality control meet internal standards. The company has received a supplier of the year award from General Motors South Africa and been awarded the “Best Customer Service Operation” by Ford Motor Company as well as 2012 Readers choice Gear Award from Getaway Magazine. Beekman Super Canopies was also awarded the Best Employer for 2011/2012 award. The future is challenging but the team at Beekman Super Canopies is positive about the prospects it holds. END

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