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'A buyer asked for pink leather trim'

Rowena Dooley and three of her brothers work with their father, Anthony, in Carlow-based Ford dealership Dooley Motors.

Anthony started work as a petrol pump attendant at age 14. He worked his way up the ranks and set up his own business in 1989.

Rowena joined the family firm in 2001 and will succeed her father as deal- er principal when he retires.

What's your background?

I studied business in Trinity and then did a H Dip in IT. I worked in the IT and financial services sectors in Ireland and spent a couple of years in Australia in a project management role in financial services.

Did you always expect to join the family business?

I always wanted to but I wasn't sure what my role would be, as I wouldn't be any good at selling. But with the business growing steadily there was an opportunity to bring it to the next level and I was able to play a role in that. In 2004 we moved from Carlow town to a four-acre greenfield site where we built a state-of-the-art dealership. That was exciting.

What do you most like about your job?

The early part of the year when the new cars are all lined up and there's a real buzz in the showroom with customers coming to collect their vehicles.

What's the most difficult part of your job?

Right now, it's dealing with the recession. Everyone is working harder than ever. Managing in this changed environment is certainly a big challenge.

Are you a car person?

Yes, I love cars. It's in the blood and I get a great kick out of seeing new models. If I have one reservation about the car industry it's that the whole process is still too male oriented, even though women usually have a big say in what car a family buys. If you could work in another industry what would it be?

Social media.

If you had a limitless budget, what would be your dream car?

It would have to be a Ford Kuga Titanium 4-wheel-drive in electric white. I love that colour.

What are the two most

frequently asked questions when people are buying a new car?

What kind of a deal can you do for me? What are the expected running costs -- ie, road tax, fuel consumption and servicing costs.

What are the strangest things people have asked for on their cars?

One was pink leather trim on a Ford Ka and the other was fitting a sunroof in a Ford Focus for the buyer's dog!

In an interview with

Olive Keogh

Indo Property