India’s automobile major Mahindra won the Gold Award here for fairing on various indicators, including level of satisfaction among its network of dealers and the manner of allocation of vehicles to them.

Mahindra, which has been in South Africa for the past 16 years, received the award on Friday from the country’s National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA) which tests dealers’ satisfaction with the way a brand supports and communicates with them.

The automobile giant, which has more than 60 dealers in South Africa, secured the top position out of the 29 vehicle brands surveyed for the awards.

“We are very proud of our Gold Award as it is a direct indication of the health and happiness of our dealer network,” Rajesh Gupta, CEO of Mahindra South Africa, said.

“This Award is a welcome recognition of the team’s hard work to improve every aspect of our dealer support, knowing that a happy dealer ultimately leads to a happy customer,” he said.

According to NADA’s research, which was compiled with the help of Lightstone Automotive, Mahindra scored well above average on most metrics, including being open and honest in its communication with its network, being fair and responsive in the way it allocated vehicles and having a good corporate social investment programme.

“Many people do not realise that our dealers are independent businesses and not part of the Mahindra Group.

As such, we have to ensure that their businesses are healthy and their personnel are happy in order to ensure that they offer the best possible service to our customers,” Gupta said.