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'Why I love motoring and ballet – you have to stay on your toes to survive'

Name: Emma Toner.

Job title: Marketing manager Gowan Distributors, Peugeot importers for Ireland.

family: Mother, father, five siblings, one husband,

four-year old son. No pets, yet.

Hobbies: Avid reader, skiing, dancing (salsa/ballet/belly), walking, and of course lego.

Car: Peugeot 3008 Active 1.6 HDi.

What's your own background?

I have a BA Hons in European business studies and French from the University of Ulster. Two weeks after I graduated I moved to Dublin to a temporary position at Gallic Distributors, then Citroen Ireland.

I subsequently joined Peugeot as a marketing analyst and moved on to become communications manager and, earlier this year, marketing manager.

What does your job involve?

It is extremely varied. One minute I am working on a media advertising plan, the next writing a press release or booking press cars. I prepare the annual marketing plan, liaise with our creative agency and work with dealers to create local marketing plans.

Do current economic conditions make your job more difficult?

Yes, because budgets are squeezed and I am charged with getting more value out of suppliers. Yes, because we need to be creative to stand out but because budgets are so tight sometimes great ideas have to be parked. The economic climate has made us refocus on basic marketing principles that don't cost the earth. Sometimes simple ideas are best.

What are your top two selling models?

Our top selling model is the 508, followed by the 308 small family car.

How loyal are Peugeot customers?

Let me give you two examples. Dennis Brooks, Carlow town's postman, has been a Peugeot fan since 1989. He has bought 12 Peugeot models since. And Mayo man Michael Staunton first purchased a Peugeot in 1980 and has since bought 23 new cars from the stable.

What is the main pre-occupation of people buying new cars at the moment?

Value and cost effectiveness – competitive retail prices, low running costs, low road tax payments, good fuel consumption.

What's the most unusual thing you've had to do in your job?

Lead a group of 20 Irish motoring journalists home through Spain and France when we got stuck during the infamous ash cloud.

If you could work in another industry, what would it be?

A ballet dancer.

If you had a limitless budget what would be your dream car?

I'd order a new Peugeot for every member of my family but I'd have the cream of the crop – the ravishing Peugeot Onyx concept car unveiled at the Paris Motor Show this year.

Indo Motoring