The Business Year

Kanat Akishev

Director, Mercur Auto

Our clients pay a lot of attention to a car model’s year of production. In 2012, the 2011 model is already perceived as old. Furthermore, they are not interested in fuel consumption and engine specifications. What seems to have the biggest influence on their decision is word of mouth and the opinions of their peers. We use print media to educate the public and to inform them about what characteristics consumers should look for while buying their cars. Our message is simple; we are a good company with excellent products and service. We are building our maintenance capacity for hybrid cars, which requires a completely different skill set and facilities. We had five Porches with hybrid motors delivered to Kazakhstan, and only after that did we start working with such vehicles. At the moment, they are just expensive toys that a limited number of people can afford. We do not see a mass demand for hybrid vehicles. As the technology develops and hybrid styles become more affordable, we will see more demand for these vehicles.

Tamara Gvozdeva

Director, Renault

The relationships Renault has with its corporate clients are very well established. French companies, pharmaceutical companies, and food companies especially like our cars. Additionally, we are attracting more corporate clients from different sectors. Renault employs a very flexible pricing policy; corporate clients enjoy discounts. Our business, including our high-quality and favorable terms, is spread between existing and potential corporate clients as we enlarge our company. Our retail sales are also increasing year by year, which is very pleasing. We import cars upon receipt of an advance payment of 10%-15% of the value of the car. In terms of volumes, we are bringing in some 200 vehicles per month. As for price, our SUV is in the range of $18,000-$25,000, in which there are no competitors. In 2011 we sold about 300 cars, though in 2012 we are planning to sell 1,200 cars; 100 each month. Additional financing instruments like our deal with Nurbank will help us increase sales in 2012. In 2011, we had a limited range of models on sale, which we have increased over the past year.

Shingo Kato

President, Shingo Kato

Toyota’s strongest point is customer satisfaction and care. The product needs to be reliable, and it should provide customers with safety and comfort. If it doesn’t work it damages the brand. The second factor is to make customers feel comfortable during the selling process. Also, after-sales services are crucial to give our customers complete satisfaction. Thirdly, service quality, treatment, and transparency in prices contribute to customer trust. Another important aspect is marketing. In 2010, we didn’t do a lot of marketing as supply was limited and we did not need marketing to sell, as the demand was there. However, if we want to double our sales we will need more pro-active and customer-oriented marketing activities, not only through mediums such as billboards, the internet, and radio, but we need to perform more data-based marketing. Toyota likes to enjoy a very close relationship with its customers. While some brands focus only on sales, buying a Toyota means life-long service. This is our philosophy.

Mike Pease

Regional Director, RMA Kazakhstan

RMA is a global company with roots in Southeast Asia. We began life as a specialist company modifying vehicles, but are now active in a number of areas including automotive, heavy equipment, power generation products, financial services, and even food services. Today, RMA operates engineering and automotive modification centers in Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa, and Turkey, where we process vehicles directly from the manufacturers and engineer them to specific requirements. For example, in Turkey, we are making ambulances from the popular Transit platform. We are unique in that we are the only company certified globally by both Land Rover and Ford to convert their vehicles without voiding the warranty. However, modification is just one aspect of our business. Recently, we have expanded the company to distribute a variety of heavy equipment, from earth-movers to fire trucks, and we are also one of the largest global distributors for SDMO, a French power generation company. We also add value for our customers by offering additional services, such as leasing and financing.



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