Busy dealer makes time but drives the numbers down
LIKE a previous Ford garage we reported on, Murphy & Gunn had a lot of visitors on the day we called. That suggests there may be a bit of an upturn.
Inside we counted 11 people talking to or waiting for salesmen. We joined those waiting and made ourselves a cup of tea. The whole customer waiting area is first class. We have found coffee shops in main shopping streets that could not match the comfort levels. There was tea, coffee, biscuits, cold drinks, TV, papers and comfortable seating.
Before we examined the eight new BMWs on display, all of which carried in-depth details, we visited the toilets. Again standards were high.
We asked the lady at reception for a used-car list. She stapled together nine pages which included details of 37 cars. The data was comprehensive -- but we're not so sure they should cover the number plates with those of BMW.
We chatted with a member of staff who told us they nearly sold as many cars up to that day in 2010 as they did in all of 2009.
Then David Donoher introduced himself and invited us to his desk. We told him of our initial interest in an '09 318d auto and possibly the new X1.
He asked about our trade-in which was an '03 Mercedes C180 auto with extras and 66,000 miles on the clock. He asked for our keys and spent some time outside examining the car. He also looked at its service history.
Then he showed us an '09 318D ES on his computer. With only 9,854km on the clock, he confirmed it was an Irish car.
He asked if we were prepared to deal shortly. We said "early spring".
He initially hesitated in giving a price and set about phoning someone, we presume a dealer, to discuss our car. With the BMW priced at €34,950 he would give us €6,700 for our Mercedes. That would mean parting with €28,250 to change up.
We asked why were were getting so little for the Merc. Was it anything to do with the fact that our car did not have a Dublin registration?
Yes, we were told, but not a great amount. We were taken aback.
We thanked him. He walked us to the door and told us he was a country man himself. We examined the manual diesel which, like all the used models, was priced and presented immaculately.
Shortly afterwards, he phoned us to say he was sorry he had not more time to give us but spoke to another dealer and would be interested in our car. He said they work on an appointment basis, adding that he felt we should have been allowed more time.
If we were interested in calling back, we could make an appointment and he'd try to do a deal?
Since then David phoned again to say they had a large selection of used cars at their Rathgar branch and if we saw anything on their website we should contact him. We'll see.