SAC Automotive Workshops – Car services, repairs, maintenance & performance chip enhancement
Steve’s Auto Clinic has grown in leaps and bounds since its humble beginnings in a corner shop in Vanderbijlpark in 1983.
Steve Fischer founded what was essentially a one man operation tuning Alfa Romeos. As business expanded, he teamed up with Henk Viljoen and together the partners set about turning their dream into reality. They realised that innovation equaled growth, and thus innovation became a way of life at SAC.
By employing highly skilled personnel, installing state-of-the-art tuning and diagnostic equipment and offering top-notch customer service they were able to set new benchmarks in the tuning and service sector.
By the mid-80s – in the boom time of the “pocket rocket” or “hot hatch” à la Golf GTi in South Africa – Steve’s Auto Clinic was no longer just another corner garage,
but had evolved into a multi-skilled operation which offered levels of technical expertise and service that were in demand in areas as diverse as the agricultural sector and motor racing arena.
Part of its innovative strategic planning was the acquisition of SAC’s first in-house dynamometer during this era.
In 1987 the SAC operation was expanded to include a new exhaust shop that specialised in manufacturing and repairs, followed in 1989 by the establishment of a cylinder head remanufacturing and engineering division.
Optimisation of 2,1-litre VW Kombi engines became especially popular in this era.As the SAC reputation for service excellence grew, so too did the demand for its magic motoring touch.
A decision to further expand the business led to the opening of a second branch at Kyalami Business Park in Kyalami in 1995, and with it came a new partner in the form of Heinrich Lategan, who brought a wealth of engineering and race driving experience to the business.
SAC had now successfully spread its wings from the northern to the southern tip of Gauteng.
In 1996, a specialised diesel optimisation and tuning shop opened, and SAC also became the sole importer and specialised fitment center for a range of turbo chargers and intercoolers from Australia.
The establishment of branches in Cape Town and Bloemfontein followed in 1997 and, thanks to its innovative franchising concept, SAC won the runner-up award that year in the SA Entrepreneur of the Year competition.
Separate diesel and petrol shops in Kyalami followed in 1998.
With five SAC shops up and running, supported by SAC Holdings and SAC Engineering, international suppliers have found the group to be an excellent distribution cog for their products.
This has led to the establishment of a formal SAC Distribution division.SAC Manufacturing joined the support infrastructure in 1999 and SAC started developing and producing a unique range of products, including in-house developed intercoolers, for essentially the South African market – and eventually one day the world.
Specialised diesel cylinder head development followed in 2000, in the light of strong indications that off-road and leisure vehicles were fast becoming a way of life for automotive consumers.
The group therefore teamed up with the Gerotek Vehicle Test Centre and formed what is essentially a unique “experiencial” venture, the SAC Outdoor Experience, in association with Gerotek and Jurgens / CI Caravans.
A natural outflow from this remarkable growth was a decision to establish SAC Trucks, thereby allowing the owners of heavy commercial vehicles to benefit from SAC’s unsurpassed levels of service and technology and ongoing research and development in the power enhancement arena.
SAC Trucks was the obvious way forward for Heinrich Lategan, who had gathered extensive and valuable knowledge while at the head of diesel development at SAC.
A scoop came when well-known performance exhaust manufacturer Wildcat was wholly acquired by Marinus Kuyl of the SAC Kyalami Petrol branch and earlier this year another milestone was reached with the launch of a formal Development Division.
Current SAC branches include SAC Vanderbijlpark (petrol and diesel), SAC Kyalami Petrol, SAC Kyalami Diesel, SAC Cape Town (petrol and diesel). SAC Bloemfontein (petrol and diesel), SAC Trucks (Commercial, Gauteng), SAC Outdoor Experience at Gerotek, SAC East London (petrol and diesel), SAC Polokwane (petrol and diesel) and lastly SAC Nelspruit (petrol and diesel).