Woman of the Month:
A Long Service Award Feature
Who is She?
Lavonne Davis is the Dealer Principal for Imperial Ford Kempton Park; A dynamic lady with an impressive personality who exudes confidence and a straight-forward, driven temperament, Lavonne admits that even at a Dealer Principal level, she learns something new every day, especially because there are no two days that presents the same challenges and opportunities, she is a woman who loves the motoring industry, and is excited about the future of motoring in South Africa. She takes special pride in identifying the potential of making a difference in someone’s life, be it a colleague or customer.
More about Lavonne
Born in Virginia, in the Orange Free State, Lavonne later had the opportunity to live and complete her matric in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, when her dad was transferred for work purposes. She attended Steelcrest High and her early leadership capability was recognized as she was chosen for the position of Head girl. Having spent time in Pretoria, studying architecture, her adventurous nature had her “floating about” in the early years of her career. Coincidentally, she ventured into the motoring world where she found herself working with General Motors as a used car sales manager. After a successful 5 years with the company, Lavonne joined Imperial Ford Kempton Park where she was subsequently offered a more senior position. Whilst this speaks volumes about her determination and hard-working ethic, Lavonne labels herself as an eager learner who draws energy from being able to constantly learn and grow within herself. She affectionately shares what she learnt over the years with her staff and colleagues as she enjoys seeing people grow, develop and learn. She prides herself in her consistency and resilience which inevitably is the cornerstone to her success. Lavonne says, “I believe in honesty and loyalty in business. We become what we love doing, and this filters through to our customers, hence, I don’t sell cars, I sell trust, loyalty and transparency”
Women in Motoring According to Lavonne
Recently at a Women Empowerment Workshop, Lavonne spoke candidly about the challenges she faced when coming into the motoring industry. Noting that originally the thought hadn’t even crossed her mind that being female would be seen by some as a threat or a nuisance, she soon realised that in reality she had to work a lot harder to be taken seriously, and to prove her worth. Subsequent to being told that she would always remain an ordinary person, Lavonne adopted the will to succeed. This was a driving force of which I believe made Lavonne the extraordinary women of which we at Women Torque have grown to love and adore. She admits that her mistakes makes her that much more human but also inspires her to set future goals. She delights in surrounding herself with people that have achieved and confirms that their life’s experiences and success stories becomes her own lessons to learn.
She is both thankful and proud of the fact that she was able to earn the respect of her colleagues by her work ethic and commitment to the industry as a whole, and notes that through hard work, positive attitude and being transparent at all times, she feels she has the opportunity to constantly better herself. She credits her son of whom is 23 years old, in being instrumental in equipping Lavonne to excel – and be passionate – about every facet of her career or life.
Why We Love Lavonne
Women who love the industry are always an inspiration to us and our readers, and Lavonne is one of those ladies who simply exudes a truthful and honest passion for motoring. She enjoys the fact that there are challenges in the industry – and even more so for women – and revels in the ever-changing, dynamic nature of motoring. Lavonne brims with enthusiasm as I notice that selling a vehicle is something really unique to her that pushes Lavonne to remain on her toes at all times, and that it requires one to maintain touch points with clients over a longer period of time: after all, buying a car can be a lifetime commitment, and thus, I recognize that for her, trust relationships are essential.
Multi-skilled in terms of Sales and Change Management, Lavonne has very good insight into the industry. In the past, the motoring field has often been seen in a bad light, with clients easily mistrusting dealerships based on negative past experiences. In my personal observation of this dynamite women, I believe that this aspect of selling and maintaining cars is what excites Lavonne the most, because she feels we are moving into a different trend of the motoring world where the customer’s voice has to be heard. This means her challenge is to remain objective in terms of selling cars on the right platform, in the right way, and based on the right relationships which inspire trust. Her fresh, vibrant perspective is contagious, and it is clear to see why she thrives in the fast-paced South African motoring landscape.
Our Ford Ambassador
Ford Dealerships has a global reach, and have most notably gained massive followings. In South Africa, Lavonne takes care of the Kempton Park Ford, where she as Dealer Principal, has an overarching sense of pride in providing clients with a full package when it comes to vehicle purchases: financing, new and used vehicles and a fully-fledged after care department that exists to cater to client needs. With strong interpersonal skills, this makes her an asset to the Ford brand as she speaks very openly of her desire to only better herself in her service to her company; as earlier mentioned her ambitions pertain to being the best at what she does, and thus she focuses her energy on growing and excelling as an ambassador to her brand of passion.
Having thoroughly enjoyed all of my time with this passionate Harley Davidson Owner, who admits that she doesn’t have much time for her love of riding, I conclude that a woman of this calibre – with high standards of work excellence and the drive to improve her industry by listening to the client’s needs – is not only a benefit to a dynamic, influential company such as Imperial Auto, but also to the face of the women in the motoring industry. Lavonne is a wonderful ambassador for both causes.
A Torque Queen Special –
By: Desh Bechan