By the time this article goes to print in the first issue I will have attended the funeral at Te Rapa Racecourse of the late Herbie Dyke, founder and owner of those dealerships within the Dyke Motor Group.
Herbie was one of those larger than life characters of the retail motor industry and possessed unique leadership qualities that saw him build over 49 years a very successful new vehicle franchise group spanning the provinces of Wanganui, Waikato and Bay of Plenty.
My first contact with Herbie was in 1972 as a young Ford territory manager. One first meeting moment that has lived with me till this day is how Herbie when asked about current trading activities confidently pulled open the top right hand drawer of his huge desk and laid open his "financial bible" in the form of his latest Ford dealership monthly P & L statement (DA60) and asked bluntly "what do you want to know?"
What I recognised in Herbie as attributes befitting a retail dealer legend were:
* A passion for the industry
* The ability to select, develop and retain a loyal and dedicated dealer team to support his extended operations
* Knowing how to rigorously adopt and apply proven business processes and systems
* A forthright style, he could tell you exactly what he thought
* Understanding the basic principles of retail marketing and the importance of maintaining enduring customer relationships
* A canny ability to effectively manage franchisor/franchisee communication
Herbie continuously applied the essentials of dealer business 101 throughout his years in dealer business with a panache few could emulate, he will be missed.