'More than ever, car buyers are looking for value and economy'
What's your own background?
Tom Walsh Motors was founded by my parents, Molly and Tom, in 1972 and I worked in the business after school and at weekends from a very young age.
I now run the dealership with my sister, Paula, and brother, Alan. The dealership has grown substantially over the years and we now have 20 employees. Our services include sales, service, car and van rentals and a parts division.
On finishing school I went to secretarial college. I have completed a number of motor industry management courses with the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) and I am currently on the SIMI franchise committee.
What do you most like about your job?
Reinventing our business as this is vital to attracting new customers. That said, we don't want to alienate loyal clients, some of whom have been with us for 40 years.
Maintaining that balance between our traditional high service standards and the implementation of new, innovative practices is an enjoyable challenge. I also love to see customers going away happy.
What's the most difficult part of your job?
Dealing with the banks, reducing overheads and implementing cutbacks.
What are the challenges of managing a multi-franchise dealership?
Dealing with different importers and knowing each of the brands inside out.
Is it easier to nail a sale because you can offer different makes?
Absolutely. With three diverse brands we have something to suit most customers' needs.
What was your first car?
A Toyota Corolla with the registration 700 YIK. It was brown and I got it sprayed black, put on spoilers, a body kit, alloy wheels and an air horn.
If you could work in another industry what would it be?
Architecture or something in that line.
If you had a limitless budget what would be your dream car?
A Jaguar XKR in red.
What are the two most frequently asked questions when people are buying a new car?
What is the price and does it come in diesel.
More than ever, people are looking for value and economy.
What models are selling well for you at the moment?
The new Kia Sportage is really popular, as are all new Kia models with a seven-year warranty.
The Citroen Picasso seven-seater is also selling well and the C3 series is great value and comes with a five-year warranty. The Honda Civic is also a fantastic seller in its segment.