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Do they really want to sell cars?

On Saturday I drove past the Ford dealership out at Belconnen and saw a Ford GT in the lot. I decided I’d take it for a drive, just to see what it’s like.  However, it was a 2003 model, and the salesman correctly pointed out to me that it just wouldn’t be suitable for me to even take for a drive, as it wouldn’t even rate with the Ford XR6 Turbo that I currently drive.  I knew that, which is why I happily agreed with him.  So I asked him if he had an F6 Typhoon available.

fpv-f6After a quick phonecall to the Woden dealership (Belconnen and Woden are suburbs of Canberra, just in case you didn’t know), he confirmed that they had an F6 and it was available to drive. So I went to pick up my friend Ken, and we went off to Woden for a drive.  It was a beautiful sunny day, and the weather was just right for test driving an awesome car.

I guess I should tell you about the F6 Typhoon.  As pictured, the Typhoon – or ‘phoon, as they’re affectionately referred as – is even more of a performance vehicle than my XR6 Turbo.  It’s what I intend upgrading to within the next year or 2.  I’d like to quote from an article I read about driving it, just to give an idea of what it’s like:

One thing’s for certain, you’ve got to be on your best behavior when steering the ‘phoon. It’s got to be one of the liveliest cars on the road. With a set of 245-wide licorice strips at the rear, it constantly grapples for grip. Nail it from a standing start and watch as the traction control light flashes like mad until you back off the throttle. The noise this thing makes under full-throttle acceleration is enough to give any motoring tragic a hard-on. It sounds like a jet fighter gathering all its breath, right before slamming a tidal wave of torque into the driver and passenger’s chests.

I already have enough trouble with some of my friends already too scared of my car to get in it any more, and I haven’t even driven with them like I normally do.  With the Typhoon, I’ll have to have a supply of diapers for them to wear before they get in the car…

So anyway, I get to the dealership in Woden and enquire  about the Typhoon.

“Sorry mate,” says a salesman there.  “The boss has it for the weekend. But if you come back Monday, he’ll have it here.”

Right…  That’s fine, I think. I understand that the boss of a car dealership is going to want to drive the best car on the lot. So I tell the salesman I’ll be back on Monday, and he said he’d make sure it’s there for me.

Luckily Monday was a public holiday here in Canberra, so I went back about 2pm.  It wasn’t there.  I speak to the boss.

“Maaate,” he says.  “My wife needed to go shopping, so she’s got it.”  I looked at him incredulous, and he continued.  “And then she has to go drop the kid off at a birthday party.  She’ll be back in a couple of hours though, if you want to come back then.”

You’ve got to be kidding me, I think. I say, “You knew I was coming, and you give it to your wife?”

“Maaate, you weren’t here by lunchtime, and she needed a car,” he replied.

I looked around at the rest of the car yard, full of all kinds of different cars that would have been suitable for ‘going shopping’.  He continued.

“Maaate, when she gets back I can bring the car to you, wherever you are.”

I told him not to worry about it, and maybe I’ll come back another day sometime.  He wandered back to his office, and I left.  Annoyed.

Car dealers are having trouble selling cars in this economic climate, and they have this kind of attitude?  Makes me wonder if they’re having trouble selling cars because people don’t want to buy them, or if they just can’t be bothered with good customer service.

When I’m ready to buy, I really don’t think it’ll be local.  I’ll probably get it from Sydney, or somewhere that actually cares.

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