‘ONE-on-ONE’ Interview with Craig Wilson, Dealer Principal at Honda Marine Durban
Over the next few months we’ll be conducting interviews with the key personnel who have helped to make Honda Marine the fastest growing outboard engine brand in South Africa. For their comments and insights into both current and future trends within the marine industry, check out the full interviews on the Honda Marine Blog.
1. Are you happy with your decision to open a Honda Marine Dealership?
I’m very happy that I’ve been able to tie up with a highly respected and proven brand such as Honda. The superior quality, reliability, performance and fuel efficiency of their outboard engines is phenomenal. It’s a great product and run by some great people who’ve assisted me a lot in getting my Honda Marine dealership up and running. The biggest problem to date is keeping my workshop busy because we never see the Honda engines unless it’s for a rigging installation or a routine service, they’re just too reliable!
2. What’s it like being involved in the Marine industry during these difficult economic times?
It’s obviously been very hard and difficult, certainly not the easiest time to start up any kind of new business, let alone one in the marine industry, however I firmly believe that my love and passion for boating will over time see us through and make us successful.
3. How do you see the Marine industry going forward? Where is your primary market focus going to be?
At the moment it’s all a bit of a lottery as many marine dealerships in SA are discounting heavily, with many competitive brands giving product away. However, what is interesting is that Honda potential customers are very discerning and would rather purchase the product that they want for long-term use as opposed to going for a quick fix with a cheaper inferior product.
I also believe that SA boat manufacturers should not be allowed to retail outboard engines at all, and should rather concentrate all their efforts on building quality boats and supporting the outboard engine dealers.
From our side we have something very exciting happening in 2013, so keep watching this space, all will be revealed soon…
4. What have proven to be the most popular Honda-powered boat packages in your area of operation?
At this stage the twin installation of Honda BF50HP to BF90HP outboards on offshore fishing boats have proven to be the most in demand overall packages.
5. What do Customers say about the Honda Marine outboards, is there a lot of product loyalty?
Honda outboard engines are still relatively new to SA, so in some cases there is a mindset that has been established over time to be overcome. Once the customer has realized the tremendous overall benefits of owning a Honda, he or she will never look at another brand and will seriously ask themselves as to why they didn’t get a Honda even earlier.
In terms of loyalty it’s just essential that you, your staff and your overall dealership supplies your customers with excellence service at all times, and constantly endeavours to improve upon these levels, the rest will then fall into place on its own.
6. Have you been able to establish key partnerships in your local area (eg. Local community involvements/ Angling Clubs/ NSRI/ other…)
In our short period of operation we’ve established some good relationships with key local concerns, however these will move into full swing next year, so keep watching this space…
7. ANY OTHER IMPORTANT AREAS THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS?
Certainly for anyone in the Durban area looking for reliability, performance and fuel efficiency, please pop into our showroom and come and discuss your outboard engine and overall boating needs, and we will strive to find you a solution to meet your individual application.
On a personal note, I’d just like to thank my gorgeous wife Lauren for believing in me and my dreams, and for all her support, especially when I go fishing with my fishing guru mate, Ross Leah.
Above all we look forward to welcoming you to our shop…
CONTACT DETAILS – Honda Marine Durban
Tel.: 031 305 8735