ROSSLYN, South Africa – Nissan has recognised its top performing dealers in South Africa during the 2014 financial year at its annual 'Nissan Ignition Awards' event.

Winning the coveted 'Dealer of the Year Award' for any vehicle brand takes a lot of hard work, but winning it in a network of 119 dealers and one that's known for its attention to customer service is exceptional.

That is one of the reasons why the Nissan Ignition Awards, which were held at the Theatre on the Track in Midrand on Friday, 8 May, are considered a highlight for independent dealers and dealer groups in the national Nissan network.

Given the size and reach of the Nissan network, four dealers and one dealer group shared the stage for the overall 'Dealer of the Year' and 'Dealer Group of the Year' awards. The winning dealer principals will soon jet off to the Sainte Anne Resort and Spa in the Seychelles to celebrate their achievements.

Speaking at the awards, Nissan South Africa Group Managing Director, Mike Whitfield, applauded the winning dealers for their hard work during a challenging year: "Last year, Nissan surprised many market commentators with its robust sales performance and it is in no small part thanks to the hard work of dealers such as the ones who have won an award tonight. We look forward to another year in which all our dealers innovate the way in which they deliver exciting customers experiences."

The overall 'Dealer of the Year Award' is divided into four categories, with Nissan South Africa recognising the best dealer in a Smaller Town; Larger Town; Metropolitan Area and Major Metropolitan Area. Nissan also awards the Best Dealer Group owning and operating more than one Nissan dealership.

Jaen van Aardt of Datnis Nissan received the award as the best Nissan dealer in a Smaller Town, followed by Annelie Viljoen of John du Toit Motors as the best dealer in a Larger Town.

In Metropolitan Areas Johan Rheeder of the BB Silverton group was recognised as the best performer, while the large Mike Grobler (on behalf of Ryan Holmer) dealer of Melrose Nissan in Gauteng province took home the honours as the best performing dealer in a Major Metropolitan area.

"Nissan has introduced great new products in 2014, but without knowledgeable and friendly dealers, this would have little effect on our sales performance. Judging by our strong sales growth in the last year, it is safe to say that the Nissan brand is in good hands and that our national dealer network is something to be very proud of," said Stuart Norman, Managing Director of Sales and Marketing at Nissan South Africa.

Joffrey Carbonari of IC Auto Nissan – a dealer group in the Nissan network with 4 Nissan dealerships, took home the award as the best dealer group.

The awards were preceded with a focused Dealer conference, in which Nissan and the Dealer body discussed strategies to build on the momentum of a successful 2014 financial year.

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