Bank Windhoek's Head of Specialist Finance, Saara Shivute, said that increasing the use of alternative fuels for vehicles will help reduce consumers' fuel costs, minimize pollution, and increase the nation's energy security. She said this at the Bank's Vehicle and Asset Finance (VAF) Northern Selekt Sales Awards event, which took place on Wednesday, 9 March 2022, in Oshakati.
With the ever-increasing fuel prices, Shivute added that there would come a time when motor vehicles would no longer run on fuel derived from fossil fuels. “Bank Windhoek believes in such a future to the extent that we registered the very first Green and Sustainable Bonds in southern Africa," she said. “We were also well-represented at the twenty-sixth Conference of Parties held in Glasgow, Scotland, towards the end of last year and are committed to being connectors of positive change in the Namibian economy."
In its second year, the Bank's VAF Northern Selekt Sales Awards event recognises dealerships and salespeople in the automotive industry for their commitment and loyalty to the Bank. Indongo Toyota Ongwediva was announced as the winning dealership followed by Indongo Ford Ongwediva and Pupkewitz Toyota Oshakati. Nikanor Shindombo and Asheel Ramjit were announced as the top two salespeople.
Turning challenges into opportunities
Shivute added that for the first time, between 2020 and 2021, the motoring industry experienced a severe shortage of vehicles in the market. “Customers' demands could not be met, even though the buying power was there. We navigated through these headwinds, and the unique relationships that we have with dealerships enabled us to see this through. As with any situation, it also presented itself with opportunities that saw the growth in the second-hand vehicles market."
Shindombo and Ramjit added to Shivute's sentiments regarding shortages in the market. They shared that, to make it, they had to improvise and treat their customers as best they could. “The secret to making sales is nothing but taking care of your customers and any other person, treating them with respect," said Shindombo. Ramjit said he had to think outside the box and meet the customers where they were. “We had to go to the customers and work out how they could best afford their vehicles, especially with interests being low," said Ramjit.
In her concluding remarks, Shivute said that in all its business relationships in northern Namibia, Bank Windhoek is proud to be the partner of choice to the winners and other dealers in the motoring industry. “I am pleased to say that the resilience of everyone in this sector was not only tested, but it stood the test of time. From here, we can only look forward to what 2022 has installed for us," she said.
Shindombo and Ramjit thanked Bank Windhoek for the recognition and professional service delivery. “I appreciate Bank Windhoek's service delivery through the tough times. The Bank kept customers and us positive, and I do not doubt the service being delivered," said Shindombo. Ramjit noted that during the past challenging years, Bank Windhoek were flexible and gave its customers more options for financing. “Thank you to Bank Windhoek for recognising us," he said. “It is not every day that a bank recognises a salesperson, especially during challenging times. The Bank went the extra mile, and we are grateful," said Ramjit.