It started innocently enough – ‘wouldn’t it be nice to have more cargo space?’ – seemed to dominate the conversation for a while. Well, you don’t suggest things to an Aries Tiger. Unless you want action, you keep your mouth shut. I’ll never learn.
We already owned an Elantra, and were happy with it, except that we both thought that more room for ‘stuff’ would be nice. We’re thinking about taking a cross-Canada trip, and need room for luggage and one toy poodle. Hmm...
First our Tiger (or is it Tigger?) spent hours on the net doing the initial research. Perhaps a cross-over, or maybe a hatchback, would be good? Then we lined up trips to the car dealers. (There are lots of choices around here.) We planned that our final destination would be the dealership where we bought our last car.
Over the next couple of days, we test drove a few cars in a few different places. One of us is a fairly petite individual, so the cross-overs were rejected; she felt like an inexperienced bus driver in them. (She likes to be able to see the road in front of the car - this is a good thing!) Next, we investigated the hatchbacks; there were several good ones that might meet our needs.
A word here about car salesmen – there’s a look that some guys get in their eyes when they see two ‘mature’ (debateable in one case) females approaching them. You can almost hear them thinking – okay, this should be easy; they won’t know anything much. I hate to stereotype here, but, they are often young, male, and keen to make a sale, which is totally understandable, but, it does not impress us, especially if they don’t give us the respect we deserve. It’s hard for them to disguise their real attitude towards us, no matter how ‘smooth’ they think they are. We get the feeling that some guys just don’t want to negotiate with women. Well, too bad...we are women, hear us roar, (and I think the next part is... in numbers too big to ignore)! We are polite, but there is also a tendency within us to want to chew these guys up and spit them out. The upshot of this – even though the Tiger managed to negotiate some pretty good deals – was that we walked away.
We went back to our ‘old’ dealership, and decided to ask for the salesman we had dealt with three years ago – Mark Molleken. We liked him the first time around, and remembered him as above-board and fair, and he treated us with respect. We were pleased to learn that, in the interim, our favourite sales person had become a manager, but he remembered us, and still took the time to talk to us – it was like meeting an old friend. He then introduced us to another sales person, Sillin Canegan, whom he felt would give us the level of sales service we were looking for. Good choice! Sillin spent a lot of time listening to us, and didn’t push in any way. She was obviously going to do her best for us.
The test car was a red (‘Oh joy!’ said the Tiger) GT-S hatchback – it looked and felt good, but that’s not what sold the car. The final sale really came down to the level of customer service – that’s what sold it to us. The Tiger and Sillin, and finally, Mark negotiated a deal which was do-able for all concerned. Both Mark and Sillin were so professional. Even when we had to do the boring old paper work, the youthful and charming Christoph Haddad was a pleasure to deal with. All in all, considering how stressful a major purchase can be, the car adventure was a very satisfactory experience. Bravo Mark, Sillin, and Christoph. Hyundai should be proud to have you representing them.
I know we’ll be happy with the new car.