“You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you”
– Desmond Tutu
What makes a true family business like Motorland successful?
Is it the trust, communication, the mutual respect? Or maybe the strong Christian values that binds the family together?
When talking about this to Frans and Wayne Strauss, it becomes clear that all the above and more gets thrown into a pot and what comes out is what makes it all worthwhile. It is difficult to pinpoint one aspect but Frans believes that good communication and mutual respect are the building blocks of Motorland. Of course, the Motorland family does not only refer to the Strauss family, but to each and every employee that walks through the doors.
Let’s go back one step and find out how this all started. In the early ‘70’s, Frans Strauss, partnered by Willie Botha, started the company. When Frans and Willie parted ways, Frans took on a new partner and friend in Johnny Reynders. Johnny was tasked to start and head up the Sun City Motors division but was, until his retirement in October 2009, actively involved in all the operational and strategic functions of the business. Wayne, Frans’s son, joined the company in 1993 after completing his B.Comm degree in Cape Town. Wayne joined the company as a salesman and had to prove his worth to Frans before moving into the role as a director and shareholder in 1999. Johnny’s son, Mark also joined the business in 1993. Over the years Nicky Strauss (Frans’s wife), Shorne Strauss (Wayne’s wife) and Carmen Strauss (daughter) all joined the company in various positions, further enhancing the beliefs of true family values.
But let’s get back to what makes this business’s heart beat. Apart from the strong family beliefs, basic and effective corporate governance based on sound business principles, plays an important role in the success of any organization. This is applied at Motorland when any decision, from the trivial to the strategically significant, are made. Being a family orientated business, collective decision making which not only includes direct family but also employees, is important. Employees feel that their views, opinions and expertise are valued and their input are always considered in the decision making process. It is also important that non-executive management is empowered to make decisions on their business. This team is led by Dean Sanders (Dealer Principal). A group of experienced and trained sales executive make up the frontline of the sales effort. This is backed up by well-equipped workshops with fully trained technical staff. We opened our own body shop recently and have all we need to provide an exceptional level of service, where all our customers’ requirements are under one “roof”!