I've had two telephone calls from people claiming to be in Italy but speaking very good English, both in response to a query I sent through the UK Alfa Romeo website a week ago. The first confirmed that the only two current sales outlets were Linwood and Inverness and wasn't much help at all. The second, just this afternoon, confirmed that AC in Edinburgh were service only, but said that AC would be opening an Alfa franchise in Aberdeen in June/July. He said there was nothing in the pipeline for Edinburgh beyond AC with the servicing.
My previous experience with AC in Edinburgh was many years ago, when they tried to overcharge me for a standard service on my old diesel GT. The service was all menu-priced, a big board above the service desk showing all the different prices for the different models. When I was given the bill, for about £150 more than I'd been expecting, I asked what had been done above the menu price, to which the bemused fellow at the desk said 'Is there a menu price for servicing this car? I didn't know.' He was even more surprised when I pointed at the big board behind him, but knocked the price back to what it should have been pretty sharpish. It was only as I was driving away, having vowed already never to darken their door again, that I noticed they'd slapped one of those massive yellow 'Arnold Clark' stickers in the back window too. Cheeky sods.
I would really like to buy a new Alfa sometime soon. My newest one is currently 13 years old and I really quite like the Stelvio. I won't buy one from Arnold Clark though. If they do open a franchise in Perth or Edinburgh, at least I'll be able to test drive one before buying it elsewhere.
Just the two Alfas now...