Friday 24 March 2017

Badly used space means this dealership lacks ‘lived-in’ feel

GARAGE WATCH: T Sheils & Co Ltd Main Ford dealer, Gort Road, Ennis, Co Clare

THE vehicles were lined up in almost military formation in the showroom as we got out of our car.

We felt a little more allure could have been built in to tempt people to enter and have a look around.

We were also disappointed to find the new cars were not priced and while there was a large display of cars, we noted the absence of a new Ford Ka and C-Max.

Those making up the display included a range of Fiesta, Focus, S-Max and Galaxy models.

We moved to the rear of this vast showroom to find a large selection of used cars all housed under one roof. These all carried prices and were immaculately displayed.

In terms of size, this outlet is up there with the largest retail outlets in the country. While this can be a benefit, we also appreciate that it can create its own problems especially in the current economic climate.

Even with all the new and used cars displayed on the day, there was still a sense of space not completely filled.

We suggest this could be addressed imaginatively and economically to create a warmer, more homely environment.

We were quite a while waiting to see someone when Eddie Rynne came over and said he would be with us shortly.

At this stage Eddie was a oneman show, trying to deal and talk with three other customers. It allowed us time to check the toilets. Situated at the extreme end of the used car showroom one would not want to be in a hurry to get there yet the ladies/gents and disabled units were very well-presented.

Temporary A4 paper signage was placed on each doorway to help find our way around.

We noticed the end office had a coffee machine. Outside there was seating, TV, but no papers or magazines.We felt this outlet had great potential yet we felt it lacked something.

More colour, pictures, light music, plants etc would help. A little bit of imagination would go a long way and create a ‘lived-in' atmosphere.

When we again met up with Eddie we asked about a used diesel.

Something relatively fresh, with low mileage.

On his used display, which highlighted the reduction on each car, he had nothing.

But he told us he had a nice ’08 Focus diesel with 40,000km coming in. It would cost €15,000.

He also had a Peugeot 407 diesel coming in, with 60,000km on the clock and it would cost €9,950.

Again Eddie spoke of the scarcity of good diesel cars, something we are noticing more and more these days.

RATINGS

Location/access . . . . . . . . . 9.0

Customer parking . . . . . . . 4.5

Signage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5.0

Showroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.0

Customer Facilities . . . . . . 7.0

Customer Service . . . . . . . 8.0

Models on display . . . . . . . 6.5

Deals offered . . . . . . . . . . . 8.0

We liked

The hard-working salesman, who despite being so busy took great time and care with us.

We disliked

Showroom presentation, customer waiting area and the overall general feeling.

Overall impression

A garage where a few touches would make a world of difference.

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