Buzzing with a capital B as sales show signs of recovery
After a good year and a half of visiting empty showrooms, Dermot Kelly's was alive. We counted 13 adults and one child all earnestly examining the array of new models on offer.
We are talking buzz here with a capital B. If we didn't know better we could have been forgiven for thinking they were all members of Equity, staging an act.
But this was no act. We saw people shaking hands on deals, signing order sheets and heard real business being done.
Have we turned the corner of the dreadful recession? It's sufficient to say that the motor industry has improved compared with last year.
With 11 cars and one commercial all parked in the warm, bright showroom, Kelly's looked in a position to deal well with the crowd. The three salesmen on duty worked like busy bees!
The Ford Ka, Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo, Galaxy, C-Max and Kuga were all displayed while we noticed an S-Max parked outside with the used models.
The well-stocked brochure stand included new and used price lists and a small accessories display.
There was a tidy customer waiting area, children's colouring books with crayons, LCD TV, coffee and reading material.
One wall at the back of the showroom was adorned with photographs of the company history, including a large photograph of Dermot Kelly and Henry Ford II when Kelly's was appointed as a Ford dealer in 1954.
So interesting was this history we felt it should be displayed proudly at the front of the showroom as high vehicles can blot it out in its current position.
A small bronze oil truck on show had been presented for 50 years of oil distribution, from 1955 to 2005.
While looking at the free diaries at the reception area a small pink 'Thank You' card positioned for the world to see, caught our eye. It said: "I'm delighted with the Ka. Thanks, Catherine."
When Peter Fahy came to us we enquired about a Ford Kuga. He showed us the Zetec model and offered us a test drive. Showing him our 03 Mercedes C180 trade-in, he invited us to his office. A two-litre Zetec Kuga with Bluetooth and metallic paint, which he recommended as optional, came to €29,480. He would allow us €7,480 on our car.
A visit to another franchise dealer, which we will shortly cover, showed Kelly's price to be €780 better. We asked for time to consider matters.
Mr Fahy walked us to the door and invited us to look at the used stock before we left. We counted 42 cars of a four-county mix -- Kildare, Meath, Dublin and Wicklow. There was also a Wexford Galaxy, two Transit Minibuses and four commercials. A selection of new tractors was parked opposite.