This footballing salesman scores for his dealership
In the back of our minds, we remembered that the last time we visited Des D'Arcy Motors they were big into SUVs.
So considering that we had an SUV on our hands and that it was almost seven years since we last visited (how time flies) we decided to call again. This garage, positioned on the northern side of Swords, Co Dublin, is part of the North Street landscape and fits in nicely.
Little has changed externally other than that the Suzuki signs, which were fixed on the newer showroom, have been replaced with those of Hyundai.
The first impression is of high standards. The forecourt was immaculate, customer parking was on one side and there was good signage.
And yet we were to find that only some of the suggestions recommended back in 2005 had been adhered to. Ah, sure who passes any remarks on us?
Well, to be honest, you'd be surprised. Anyway, we parked up and took a stroll around to the yard at the back, which had a fine mix of used cars. This in itself is a healthy sign. All were priced and well presented.
On entering the Hyundai showroom, we saw six models on display. Again, all were priced and carried details.
This showroom, which still lacks something, is interlinked to the Honda one via a small hallway.
We found five Hondas on display against a backdrop of a mirrored wall, which helps create a bigger effect.
Again, the cars were priced and the place was spotless.
It was no time before salesman David Dolan introduced himself.
We stalled and asked did he play soccer because we thought we'd heard the name somewhere before. He smiled and said yes, he should have been playing that day as they were in the semi-final.
Nevertheless, as we were to find, to David's credit, his focus was on us and the beautiful game had to take a back seat for the day.
We told him we had a 10-registered Nissan Quashqai to trade in, preferably against a Hyundai iX35.
He showed us the one on display, explained the different trim levels available and asked if he could see our car.
When he was away on a short test-run, it gave us the opportunity to take a used-car list and take in this dealership more seriously.
We saw that the tidy, well-equipped customer area had received a TV since our last visit. It may have had the look of an old, hand-me-down unit but nevertheless it did the job.
Back in 2005, Des D'Arcy's price list had 67 used cars, 24 of which were SUVs.
On the day of our recent visit, the figure had only fallen to 57 -- 13 of which were SUVs. Included in that was an 11-registered Nissan Quashqai, with only 14K on its speedo, for €22,000.
The fact that this garage maintains such stock in this economic climate is no mean achievement, considering that most garages are limiting stock to around 50pc of that of the good times.
Despite reporting in the past on the absence of disabled facilities within, we failed to find this criticism rectified.
But the toilets we did locate were maintained to high standards.
David Dolan returned and invited us to his desk, where he explained that it would be after the weekend before he could price our car.
He took our details and presented us with a brochure, price list and business card. True to his word, he phoned on Monday morning, saying he would allow €15,500 against the iX35, which carried a price of €26,900.
Since we were being allowed €16,500 two hours previously at Bill Cullen's garage in Airside, we asked if that was his best.
The higher-than-average mileage, something Mr Cullen's outlet did not comment on, was David's reason for not going higher. This we respect absolutely.
Before he finished his call, we enquired if his team had won. Unfortunately not, came the reply.
Since then, David called once again to see if we had considered further.
We came away thinking to ourselves that if this young man is as good a footballer as he is a salesman, then in his absence it's no wonder his team lost on the day.