Automotive Awards 2022

Best Franchise Japanese Vehicle Dealership - Southern Africa Action Auto Zambia, also known as Isuzu Zambia, is the sole Isuzu Motors South Africa Authorised Franchised Dealer in Zambia and specialises in selling all-new Isuzu pickups, SUVs, and trucks. In addition, the firm is an Approved Service, Maintenance, Warranty, Parts, and Fitment Centre for IMSAf and continues to provide full after-sales support for General Motors South Africa vehicles, incorporating the Chevrolet, Opel, And Hummer brands. “Our mission is to ‘Create Customers for Life’,” explains Lilia Samui, Head of Marketing, Sales and Business Development at Action Auto. “We pride ourselves on always putting the customer’s satisfaction, and their vehicle needs, at the forefront of everything we do, in order to meet customer vehicle requirements and strive to exceed their expectations. This, in turn, inspires loyalty through our brands, service delivery, and passion.” With three branches in Zambia, each Action Auto centre serves a different purpose. There is Leopards Hill Lusaka which caters for vehicles which require a quick-service, as well as housing the wellstocked showroom. There is the centre situated at Kitwe Industrial, which offers a service and parts, as well as repairs and upgrades, out of the state-of-the-art automotive workshop staffed by expertly Isuzu trained and certified technicians. And finally, there is the CBD Lusaka centre which is where the company headquarters are located, and where Lilia is based. Lilia herself has more than 10 years’ worth of experience within the corporate world – a passion which started in her childhood when her mother was a Senior Manager with Cadbury Schweppes Zambia and recognised her daughter’s eagerness and her flair for working with numbers. Apprenticing as an accounts clerk during every school holiday, she quickly learned about different industries and found that, when her time came to professionally enter the corporate world of work, she could easily integrate and adapt to any culture and environment. Lilia continues to tell us more about the automotive industry in Zambia, which is dominated by imports of 95% second-hand vehicles (known as ‘gray imports’) with only roughly 5% being new vehicles imported directly from the OEMs that each dealer represents. “In 2018, the sales of brand-new vehicles sold in Zambia peaked to more than 4,000 units,” she states. “However, due to economic challenges experienced in Zambia, further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the last two years’ average new vehicle sales dropped to a low 2,500 units.” Even in this tough environment, faced with numerous challenges and obstacles, Action Auto has still managed to maintain a 20% market share with Isuzu in the LCV segment, coming in as the Supplying only brand-new Isuzu vehicles from Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSAf), the Action Auto Zambia (Action Auto) brand is synonymous with excellent value, quality, and safety. We further explore the company and speak to a member of the management team to find out more, as it celebrates a well-deserved win in the Automotive Awards 2022. second-most driven new vehicle in Zambia three years running, and counting! But what is the secret to the company’s continued success? Lilia believes that years of brand development and strategic positioning of the business, plus with the support of the OEM, Isuzu Motors South Africa, as well as maintaining a consistent presence with focus on continuous customer service improvement, have been the key factors to Action Auto’s ongoing success on the Zambian market during the tough times it has seen. Last year, 2022, also proved to be a challenging year for all new vehicle dealerships with relation to stock availability from OEMs. This was due to a global shortfall of semiconductor microchips and Action Auto was not immune to this. “With the launch of the 7th generation all-new D-MAX pickups and 2nd generation MU-X SUV models, we managed to take advantage of better availability of stock of ISUZU vehicles,” Lilia enthuses. “With a rich heritage and reputation for vehicles that are durable, reliable, and capable, as well as offering them to the Zambian market at a competitive ‘value-for-money’ price, with a wide range of models to suite various comfort and use requirements, we are still staying ahead of the rest!” Having operated for more than 25 years in Zambia, the company is proud of its strong track record of providing superior quality vehicles, and the dedicated team is firmly committed to meeting, maintaining, and exceeding high customer expectations through its exceptional after-sales support. But it’s not simply the customers who receive star treatment. “We also pride ourselves on being a family-oriented business,” Lilia enthuses. “Whereby our employees, vendors and customers alike are made to feel a sense of ease and belonging to the Action Auto Family!” This refreshing approach makes Action Auto not only a firm favourite with its customers, but also a fantastic place for staff to work, learning and developing as they go. And this proactive attitude is, in part, the reason that Action Auto recently gained international recognition in the Automotive Awards 2022 and was crowned with the prestigious title of Best Franchise Japanese Vehicle Dealership - Southern Africa. “We are extremely proud of the achievements of our team,” exclaims Lilia. “They are the backbone of our company. It is through teamwork and customer centric culture that all members of staff develop and work hard to maintain, as the core reason of our success in Zambia, which is 25 years strong!” Indeed, this is not the only award that Action Auto has been bestowed with over the last 12 months, for 2022 was a year of