Busy dealership banishes downturn blues
As we headed towards Stuarts we were overcome with a sense of sadness.
That's because there were garages along Airton Road and the Greenhills area. Places we once visited and reported on are no more than empty shells with 'To Let' and 'For Sale' signs attached.
We thought about the salesmen and women, the receptionists, mechanics etc. Where are they now? Are they working?
This recession is an awful thing.
As we approached Stuarts we knew we had to 'pull up our socks' so to speak, and get on with the job in hand.
So to cheer ourselves up we pretended we were going to look at a Range Rover Evoque, smell its leather and imagine our wallets were bursting at their seams.
We took a look outside, saw customer parking and a mouth-watering selection of new and used models. The used motors carried prices.
When we got into the showroom we saw a Land Rover Discovery HSE, seven-seater, a Freelander, Evoque Pure and an Evoque Coupe.
In the adjoining Mazda showroom there were two Mazda 3s, a Mazda 5 MPV, Mazda6 Sport and a Mazda2. All new cars were priced and full details were displayed.
We saw a comfortable customer waiting area with wicker chairs, coffee machine, water and new and used car detail lists neatly laid out on a table. There were brochures neatly displayed.
Out of one of the three glass sales offices came Sam Power.
We told him of our interest and were invited to look at each of the Evoques. Sam offered us a test drive but as traffic was building up outside, we declined it for the moment.
We were invited into Sam's office. There he told us prices started at €48,678 but we decided to push the boat out and we priced a Pure version with a Tech Pack (€3,835), panoramic roof (€1,312) and metallic paint (€1,003).
Sam told us about its 190bhp engine, auto box and explained his company collects and delivers free of charge when it comes to servicing the vehicle.
He talked us through all our requirements and like a good tailor got our measurements spot on.
The model that fitted us perfectly would retail at €54,826 and since we had no trade-in he would take €1,000 of the list price.
We walked back over to the car, to have another look as Sam was writing down the details. It was late afternoon, midweek and we were encouraged by the footfall at Stuarts.
As we went back to the office a lady was closing a deal on a Mazda with another salesman.
Sitting back down, Sam Power was gathering up brochures and details for us and attaching his business card. He asked for ours and a contact number.
We asked for time to think over his offer.
Sam walked along with us through the clean, bright and well-laid out showroom. As he shook hands with us at the door we asked had he the new Mazda CX-5. "I have a blue demo," he said.