In 2022, the Woodford Group has taken this offering to the next level, with a comprehensive suite of services based on the concept of mobility.
Mobility is more than just being about transport. It’s about the holistic approach to movement – not only on the road – but beyond it as well. Over the past three decades, the Woodford Group has made this shift in thinking, having begun as a car hire company, and then branching into logistics.
The company’s varied history has since seen the Woodford Group become the holding company for Woodford Car Hire (South Africa’s largest independent car rental company), Woodford Logistics, Woodford Bid, and WhyBuyCars – a fascinating alternative to finance that introduces the concept of car subscriptions.
Committing to unparalleled quality of service and renowned client satisfaction across multiple divisions and brands is no mean feat in a shifting dynamic like mobility, yet amazingly, the Woodford Group has managed to establish itself firmly in the landscape by completely reshaping the mould that has surrounded South Africa’s vehicle industry.
Woodford has done this by constantly thinking beyond what’s currently offered and staying ahead of the curve by being guided by a simple, yet far-reaching, question: “How do we keep people moving?”
As Group CEO, Owais Suleman explains: “We want to provide benefits to people in a way that not only gives them a product or service, but that gives them freedom to move forward in life. This means looking at the needs of people and coming up with mobility solutions that keep them moving.”
Woodford’s fleet sits at around 2500 vehicles and its operations extend to most of the country, but the real investment towards this endeavour has come in other avenues. Ease of access, logistics infrastructure, corporate welfare and structure, financial modelling, social responsibility and the latest in technology and systems are some of the areas that the Woodford Group has focused on to improve its service, and work toward the common goal of mobility.
“We’ve been guided by this vision of mobility in everything we do and everything we’ve implemented across our brands,” says Mr Suleman. “You’ll find that all our divisions have been geared toward providing convenience and freedom to their respective customers – we take the concept of customer experience and journey very seriously and you’ll see it in how all our brands operate.”
And this becomes apparent when looking at the brands themselves. Woodford Car Hire, for example, offers an industry-first all-inclusive waiver with zero excess, taking a weight off the shoulders of the renter. Woodford Bid allows people to list their vehicles for sale on an online auction site and forego the stress of dealing with buyers who may haggle and waste time. WhyBuyCars gives a very viable solution for having a car that doesn’t go the route of finance and caters for changes in your needs.
What’s more, each brand isn’t only inspired by the product or service it presents – multi-skilled teams, including in-house developers, marketers, and strategists have worked together to craft offerings that are constantly being turned around and looked at for any opportunities and potential for improvement or upgrade.
On an almost daily basis, the brands are challenged to consider how the vision of mobility fits in with the changing landscapes and context of the market. The experience of lockdown in 2020, looting and riots in 2021, and most recently, flash floods in KZN this year has revealed just how quickly the needs of customers can change and need to be catered to.
Woodford’s response to this has been: “We’ll keep you moving, no matter what.”
The idea is central to plans that are immediately on the horizon, including the introduction of electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles (with hybrid vehicles already part of the fleet), and partnering with global innovators for more tech-based solutions.
So, what else is next for the Woodford Group?
According to Mr Suleman, bringing it all together for the sake of the customer. “Mobility is such an expansive concept and there’s benefit in it for every South African. Our vision is to offer all these mobility solutions in one place - Woodford.
“From renting a car to leasing one, from selling your car to finding the right way to get around – we do it all for you in a way that is convenient and fits in with your needs and lifestyle.”
The Woodford Group is making waves in the industry with a focus on mobility. You can find out more about their solutions by visiting any of their divisions.