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30 minutes with Annalie + Lionel Lewis of LA Sport

Words and pictures by Andrew Middleton.

SA4x4: What does LA Sport stand for?
Annalie: They are our initials, Lionel and Annalie. We started this business together and we’re 50/50 partners in the business.

SA4x4: How did you get involved in the 4×4 industry?
Annalie: Well, Lionel has been involved for many years. He used to build monster trucks over 20 years ago when the company was still called V8 & 4×4 Performance. His dad was brought up around cars and now that we have kids, the dynasty continues. Two of our children work for the business and are fully-fledged 4×4 fanatics.

SA4x4: How do you integrate 4x4ing into your downtime?
Annalie: We like to go travelling as much as we can. It’s all about family, nature and quality time. The 4×4 is a means of accessing these and creating lasting memories with our family.

SA4x4: What are some of your favourite places to go 4x4ing?
Annalie: Our last trip was up to the Kalahari, and we also love Botswana – it’s beautiful there. One of our favourite places is Namibia. We go there with the kids and their friends and families.

SA4x4: What’s your secret of success in the industry?
Annalie & Lionel: Passion is vital. If you’re not passionate about what you do, you won’t be successful. This is why we continue to thrive even when times are tough. We also try to stay closely in tune with our customers by attending events, and showcasing our products with our truck and mobile shop.

SA4x4: How many stores do you have? And would you consider branching overseas?
Annalie: At the moment, we have ten stores and are very preoccupied with our new line of suspension and bumpers. For now, we must focus on providing the best products to South Africa, so there is no need to create new stores overseas. We do use suppliers from other countries, though.

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