A time of transition as we go back to the future
A major investment is under way here to transform this into a state-of-the art Renault/Dacia dealership.
We know this because a large sign on a tripod within the side showroom told us so.
This, some may argue, should have been sufficient for us to walk away and wait for another day.
But we persevered -- and not always with the best results.
Today's customer is every bit as important as the one a month or two down the road. Once a garage has its doors open to the public for business Garage Watch will always see it as an invitation to report on such.
We called to this Belgard garage in search of a used car.
After a quick look at the stock outside we went into the showroom and asked a man who was sitting at his open plan desk for a used-car list.
He told us he had none; cutbacks, you know, said he. If an explanation such as 'sorry, we are undergoing a major transformation' was given we would accept, but the excuse of cutbacks, we simply don't think is sufficient. After all it's only a few sheets of paper we are talking about.
We went outside to see was there anything among the 40 odd used cars to whet our appetite.
We marked out three used cars, an 11 D diesel Golf, an 11- D petrol Golf and an 11 -- D Ford Focus.
On our way back to the showroom we saw three Renaults all priced like the rest of the cars, parked on three disabled parking bays. We saw no customer parking.
We report this simply because we feel that it is good practice to always observe disabled parking.
Back inside the showroom we found another customer with our salesman, so we took a look around the place.
We found that, other than a wall-mounted TV, there was no customer waiting area. This we can understand and expect it will develop in due course as Renault usually does customer facilities exceptionally well. We really look forward to that because this is a prime setting to sell cars.
We saw a selection of eight Renault cars, all priced and all carrying full details, brochure stands and a few accessories. In an adjoining side showroom we met what we presume was an architect as he carried a map of the outlet and studied details closely.
We saw the electric Fluence and an example of a charge point. The future beckons. Two other cars were on display.
With our original man still busy, we turned to a younger Pauric Peoples.
We asked what his best price was considering we had no trade-in. He told us the cars were priced at straight deal levels.
We asked about owners; all had only one previous. The diesel Golf with 49K on its clock was priced at €17,450, the petrol €16,950, only €500 less. We asked why the small difference and Pauric said the car was incorrectly priced. "It should read €15,000," he said.
The Focus was also €15,000 and like the petrol Golf, mileage was also in the 40-50Km range.
He wrote all this on his business card but didn't take our details. We left after asking for a Megane brochure and getting the €21,260 price from Pauric.