Garage watch: Blackstone Motors, Renault dealers
18A/18B, Dublin road, Drogheda, Co Louth
Blackstone Motors must have a huge passing trade. It was built in a different era than its modern neighbours across from Scotch Hall, a relatively-new shopping centre.
But more people would pass this on the Dublin Road every day than many industrial estates, where a lot of garages are now located.
It's a town garage not blessed with architectural beauty yet, as we were to find out, they are totally tuned in for business.
We parked across in the shopping complex and walked over to the garage. We may have been able to park in the garage yard, yet we saw no specific customer spaces.
Older garages were not designed for today's disabled requirements. Blackstone falls into this category.
On the day of our visit 14 cars were parked outside. Most were priced, while all were presented in nice condition.
Approaching the garage we did not know what to focus on, would it be the new Fluence, the Megane three-door or five-door, or the Scenic?
We settled on the Fluence, but shifted accordingly. Two new models were parked out front and, along with 29 used cars in the yard, another new Fluence was awaiting a home.
As we looked at the cars Donal Waters came to our assistance. He showed us the Fluence, its big boot, told us the engine size and said the road tax was only €104 per annum.
We sat into it and were offered a test drive. Enquiring about equipment levels, Donal invited us to see the top Tom Tom model which comes with climate control over air conditioning, larger alloys and, of course, standard sat nav.
He invited us into his office. At this stage we still had not set foot in the showroom.
Donal wrote down the prices of the three trim levels. He priced us for cash and was giving us €2,500 off the retail price. When we mentioned we had a 10-year-old car which could qualify for scrappage he offered us another €2,500 off the list price.
We could have a new Renault Fluence in August for €16,050, Dynamic for €17,050, and a top-of-the range Tom Tom for €18,850.
When we mentioned Megane we were invited to see a demo Coupe and a newly registered model in the busy workshop.
Before we left, Donal gave us four brochures and wrote the cash and scrappage prices on each. He gave us a new car price list and a used car list.
He said he could allow another €1,100 (total €6,100) scrappage on a Megane.
No wonder Renault's market share is increasing.
Location/access . . . . . . . . .6.5
Customer parking . . . . . . . . 5
Signage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Showroom . . . . . . . . . . . . .7.5
Customer Facilities . . . . . . . .7
Customer Service . . . . . . . .9.5
Models on display . . . . . . . . .9
Deals offered . . . . . . . . . . .9.5
The straightforward sales approach, product at hand and time allowed.
Age is not on the side of the premises.
A town garage which offers the chance to window shop. A salesman we would most definitely deal with