From washing bay to owning car dealership
Ivan Zhakata Herald Correspondent
A little progress each day adds to results.
This was the story of 34-year-old Victor Matiyenga of Harare who started with washing cars at his father’s car sale, but now owns a top-notch vehicle dealership.
When he narrated his story, one would wonder how Victor managed to establish his brand, but as the old saying goes “patience pays” he had serenity and Exquisite Cars was the result.
The new motor vehicle dealership is set to service the upper ends of the market with brand new and exclusive cars.
The award-winning businessman has a stunning track record in the industry, having scooped the Businessman of the Year (Automotive Services) in 2020, while his company was honoured as the Company of the Year (Automotive Services).
Victor’s expeditions in the vehicle industry is a story of a young man who had an enthusiasm to be a successful man.
Without any professional qualification, Victor had to follow in the footprints of his father Washington in the car sales industry.
He said he used to wash cars at his father’s car sale after school when he was in high school, but was not allowed to talk to clients.
“After my O Levels, my father then said ‘you are not going forward, let’s go and work’ and I said let me continue,” he said. “So, I started by washing cars. That was my job. My job was to get into the office in the morning, take a bucket and wash cars.
“I was not allowed near customers or to sell cars because the old man thought I knew nothing about the automobile industry. He said I needed to learn the ropes from scratch and that meant joining the guys who were responsible for car washing. So, from 2007 to 2011, I was washing cars at my father’s car sale.”
Victor said his dream only came true in 2012 when he started accompanying his father to South Africa to buy cars.
“I travelled with my dad to Durban, South Africa, to buy cars,” he said. “He used to buy used Japanese cars for resale here in Zimbabwe. So, we used to fly to Durban to buy cars and we would visit different dealers to look carefully for cars with low mileage.”
In 2014, his father gave him money to buy a car for resale and that was the birth of Exquisite Cars.
Victor said the first car he sold was a Toyota Altezza before establishing a car sale in Kensington, Harare, where he would operate from.
He said as he found more clients, he then rented an office where he would meet with his clients for business.
“In 2017, when l was driving along Josiah Tongogara Avenue, I saw a place (corner Mazowe Street and Josiah Tongogara Avenue) and enquired if I could rent the place for a car sale and the owner agreed,” he said.
“It took us six months to establish a car sale and we started selling cars there.
“As the passion grew, in 2020, I started working on building a showroom because the vehicles I was selling were not qualified to be on a car sale. So, we started building the showroom which resulted in the birth of Exquisite Cars. That is my journey from 2007 to where I am now.”
Exquisite Cars is one of the car dealerships in Zimbabwe that sells top of the range vehicles under one roof. It has reinforced its commitment to bringing iconic vehicle brands into the local market with the official launch of its state-of-the-art showroom along Josiah Tongogara Avenue in Harare.
Victor said he was looking forward to establishing a double story showroom which encompasses a service centre so that his clients could get all the services under one roof.
“We thought of having a different style from the usual car dealerships in the country and came up with this unique design where one can buy different types of cars under one roof,” he said.
“The next stage is to establish a double story showroom and a service centre to provide servicing for these top-of-the-range vehicles.
“We want to have a service centre in the next few years so we do not sub-contract other players to do the servicing of our cars for our clients.”
Exquisite Car Sales is one of the leading automotive industry players in the country, which prides itself in top of the range vehicle sales and valuations.
With its high glass enclosure providing a view of top-of-the-range vehicles showcasing their grandeur inside the showroom, the lush green lawn outside curving along the carefully constructed concrete pathways are a befitting match which creates the ideal ambiance for a modern-day car dealership.