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Had recently purchased my Treg from VW in Oswestry (small local garage).

Just had a letter saying that after 7 years of being in the town they are now closing. I assume this is totally credit crunch related, but a new show room in Shrewsbury may also have played a part.
 

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So many of the dealers have been forced into the corporate identity lark at a cost of, in some cases, millions. And for what?

Dolly birds on reception who probably don't even know how to check the oil.

Service Receptionists who can't translate problems properly to the mechanics behind the glass wall so you keep having to go back.

Mechanics who aren't - they're just fitters who can't repair a duff alternator only flog and fit a new one.

Business managers who aren't - they just fix up the loans.

Salesmen and some women who couldn't sell a glass of iced water in the Sahara Desert, but think they're God's gift to you on a Saturday afternoon and try to call you by your first name and become your best mate within 10 seconds of meeting.

Polished floors, stainless steels, greys and blacks, a big flat screen telly and a coffee machine, none of which actually sell or service the car other than to add overheads so the labour rate is ?100 plus plus per hour when all you really want to pay is 40 quid.

I remember buying a new SAAB 900 in Oxford in the early '80's from the then SAAB dealer, Belsyre Garage, which was a lovely Georgian coach house with a three car showroom at the bottom of the garden and a four car workshop alongside it. They were selling 80-90 new cars a year and the owner, Old Man Broughton, was as rude as they come - I'm convinced people went there just to be royally insulted! And the bog was a disgusting old ouside Khazee by the original Thomas Crapper! And coffee? "Oh, **** off!"

I loved it and bought 3 cars there!!

Then along came the new SAAB UK sales director - ex BMW - and after a couple of years he took the franchise away and gave it to a smart new garage - yes, stainless steel, grey, black and all the gubbins - on Cumnor Hill.

After a couple of weeks, the mechanics on Cumnor Hill were bringing SAABs with warranty problems on little test runs that happened to stop at Belsyre Garage where there was nearly 100 years of knowledge to sort them out!

And Belsyre had SAAB dealers all over the country still supplying them with brand new cars.

SAAB UK tried to put a stop to it all until they realised these sales were in addition to the new dealer so they were selling twice as many cars as before with the diehards still going to the original and former dealer whilst newbies went and got ripped off at the new stealer!

So with millions of debt around their necks and dying car sales, many more dealers are going to go to the wall and the manufacturers only have themsleves to blame for their ridiculous contractual conditions.
 
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