The FINANCIAL -- Interview with Dimitri Gozalishvili, Commercial Director of Tegeta Motors
Q. Can you describe Tegeta Motors’ green initiatives and practices?
A. In general, as a leader in the auto industry with a large share of the Georgian market, Tegeta Motors actively cares about and is working on this direction. The types of service we offer customers both prevent damage to their cars, but also result in a reduction in emissions. And this reduction in emissions, in turn, reduces the damage done to the environment through pollution.
Q. How does Tegeta Motors focus on environmental sustainability?
A. The products that we present to the market are medium or premium products and world leaders in their segments. Like MAN, JCB, Toyota, Mazda, Porsche, Bridgestone, Michelin, Pirelli, Motul, Shell, Varta, ZF, Bosch, and many others (we represent more than 300 brands in Georgian market mainly exclusive basis). On one hand, we are proud to represent those brands to Georgian market, but on another hand this is a big responsibility towards supplier as well as toward Georgian customer. As you know it is very difficult to sell premium product to the market, but on another hand selling the product of premium quality have less pollution impact on environment. And we are proud that with our more than 1,500 professional staff we can sell the products to Georgian market. And Georgian customer pay more attention to the quality of product rather than price only
In Georgia, there is a big problem with the import of second-hand tires.. Yearly basis secondary tires import reach 1.2-1.5 mln units. Normally, secondary tires serve less than twice vs new tires. It means, we as minimum consume twice or three times more tires. And as we do not have any factory to utilize those tires the damage to the environment is twice bigger due to secondary tires import only
There is always talk about emissions, but in Georgia, along with emissions, a significant problem lies in second-hand tires. We believe that second-hand tires should be prohibited, hence our campaigns are actively directed against second-hand tires, replacing them instead with new ones. We even try to offer new tire with the same price as secondary tires, but this we can only do in lower inch tires for smaller sedan cars.
Q. Can you tell us about the community engagement part of Tegeta Motors?
A. Our company is diversified from the user’s perspective, and one of the reasons for sustainable development is that we are not dependent on a retailer or state consumer. We work with 5 different channels – we serve more than 30,000 corporate and private customers all over Georgia.
We serve big number of retail customers, and we have more than 230,000 retail card holders. The number of which is growing on a daily/monthly basis. Most importantly, we also have a very large network of wholesale consumers, which buy from us for further sale and realization.
Q. As one of the main auto service providers, how would you evaluate the technical condition of cars in Georgia. What are the main problems?
A. In my opinion, the main problem is the low level of economic development in Georgia compared to in developed countries. It is this that determines the problems linked with low quality cars and auto fleet in Georgia.
Georgian customer like many in post-soviet countries prefer SUVs vs sedan. There are many arguments linked with SUV preference, but the main point is linked with road condition and infrastructure. The road condition in Georgia is considered as rough roads, and many small cities or rural area we even do not have roads at all. At the same time SUVs have higher CO emission as well as consume more and expensive car parts, including tires. Once roads are developed we are sure the preference of customers will switch more to smaller sedan cars, like in more developed European markets
Q. Does Tegeta Motors offer any special conditions for car owners who are keen to reduce air pollution?
A. We have been working on this direction since 2016. We purchased equipment designed to test emissions, and for 2 years already we have been checking cars within the framework of the ‘Argmbolo’ marketing/social campaign.
If the car meets the established norms (Euro 4, Euro 5 standards), we gift presents to customers linked with green products. While at the same time, for those who don’t pass the test, we offer a 50% discount to repair catalyst and/or other problems linked with emission. We have checked 3 000 cars in these two years.
Q. Does Tegeta Motors have other green plans it intends to carry out over the next few years?
A. As we are one of the biggest company in Georgia , we are aware of this responsibility. We have a vision of which directions we are going to develop.
We have planned different types of actions and public activities to be carried out by our staff. We cannot specifically say at this stage what these are, however we do feel our responsibility as a company and are going to be more active than we were before as a result.
Q. What advice would you give to organizations who are interested in going green?
A. From my point of view this is more commitment for all Georgian citizen, and this is a must for all of us. We Georgians have beautiful nature, and we should be proud of it. At the same time this is a big responsibility for all of us to take more care.
The best advertisement for a company today and for the next 10-15 years will be taking care of the green direction. So many good campaigns have already been implemented and in the future I think more and more campaigns will be introduced in this direction too.