The gender gap – different things men and women look for in a car
How old is the dealership group? How many does it employ?
The group was established more 40 years ago and employs more than 70. It has three dealerships – on the Navan Road, the Merrion Road and in Dun Laoghaire.
What's your background?
I have a degree in journalism and media communications. However, my love of design drew me towards advertising. Combining both ultimately lead me into marketing. I've worked in a variety of areas from software to travel to entertainment but it was my love of cars that brought me into the motor industry where I started off working for Motor Distributors.
What does your job involve?
I'm responsible for the marketing of three dealerships and the promotion of five car brands. I am currently working on the redevelopment of the gowanmotors.ie website which hopefully should be live in the next week or two.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Ensuring all five brands are given equal time and energy
What age group are the main buyers at this time?
55+ for new cars while for used cars we are seeing a substantial number of couples with young families upgrading to seven-seaters.
Do men and women ask different questions when buying a new car?
As stereotypical as it may sound, men tend to look for the BHP of a car, fuel efficiency and driveability. Most women tend to look at the interior and want to know if it has Bluetooth, side curtain airbags and so on as standard.
In what respect do you feel car design still fails women and mums?
A-pillar blindness is a massive problem with all cars. Manufacturers have come up with a blind spot information system. However it's usually an optional extra. Other issues for mums are seat fabrics absorbing unwelcome substances which are nightmares to clean and most manufacturers have yet to crack truly flexible seat and interior configurations.
In the current recession what marketing initiatives work best to attract customers?
Initiatives such as a free fuel voucher may sway a person's decision, but ultimately it's down to value for money and brand loyalty is still very prominent in this country.
What are your three biggest selling models?
Peugeot 208, Kia Sportage,
What's the most unusual thing a customer has asked for in their new car?
I came across one gentleman back in the "good times" who ordered a red leather interior in a red car. I wish him the best of luck when he goes to sell it.
If you could work in another industry what would it be?
I would love to photograph for National Geographic.
If you had a limitless budget what would be your dream car?
I'd have two: a Jaguar XK140 roadster in gunmetal grey with a black interior and a Porsche 356 speedster in red with beige interior.
In interview with Olive Keogh