Customer buys from same car salesman for 45 years
Philip plays the loyalty card: he has bought 30 new cars in 45 years from the same salesman
HE must be one of the most loyal car buyers in the world. Philip Lewis (80), of Midleton, Cork, has bought 30 Fords – no other brand – over the course of his 45 years of driving.
He bought them all from the same garage/dealership.
And he has dealt with the same salesman for each and every one of them.
That same salesman was there recently when Philip collected his 30th car – this time a new 141-reg Ford Focus .
Martin Condon, dealer principal at Cavanagh's of Charleville, has known, and sold cars to, Philip since 1969. He says: "It is truly rare to see such devotion to one brand." It certainly is these days where people pick, choose and change regularly.
The cars Philip has bought down the years read like a litany of famous motoring names and, in their way, they chronicle a life and times of both buyer and seller.
The models include a Ford Escort, Cortina, Capri, Orion, Sierra, Fiesta and Focus.
Mr Lewis believes the single biggest difference between cars today and those of yesteryear is "how technology has transformed motoring since when I started driving".
Looking back now he can clearly remember his first buy. It was a red Escort (reg number GZT 307 to be precise). But his favourite was the Capri. That's not surprising because it was one of those affordable large sports cars that just chimed with the times that were in it.
He remembers the three Capris he owned with a special fondness.
"I had one of the very first Capris on the road in Cork. The registration was UZT 857, and with its black vinyl roof it really looked the part. That was only one of three Capris I owned including one that was lilac and another that was canary yellow."
He recalls: "They were really exciting cars from a time when there were very few exciting cars on our roads."
And yet it is a modern car that comes in at Number 1 in his Top 30. He finds the Focus a "great car to drive".
So why so loyal for so long?
Well, he says he never had any real trouble with any of the cars and he was always looked after well by the dealership so he never saw any point in changing to another brand. As he says himself: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".
Now there's a recipe for loyalty.