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(Post Link) post #1 of 31 Old 10-11-16 Thread Starter
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Meet your new Edinburgh dealer....

...or is it!!!?

[Original post]Wondering what was happening regarding Edinburgh dealerships, I contacted Alfa Info and was told, "you have a dealership on Bankhead Drive". Getting a little excited that it might be in the John Martin Group complex with Lotus, Aston, Rolls, Volvo etc
I did some online poking around and....

Arnold Clark Alfa Romeo | Find Your Alfa Romeo at Arnold Clark Edinburgh

Oh boy! Not to cast aspersions, but...

https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.arnoldclark.com

Such a shame. Western, despite other people's experiences, were actually really good for me. Always helpful, courteous and they actually held my corner when dealing with Alfa UK. I can't imagine that'll be the case here. I've been in a couple of times to talk about the 124 Spider and it wasn't what I'd call a premium experience. Given the competition Alfa is up against, this really doesn't smack of being a clever move. Last time AC had the Edinburgh franchise, I avoided buying an Alfa for 15 years. Do I really want to give them £60,000 of my hard earned money?


[Edit]

Well, this just gets stranger and stranger. I decided I'd go in and speak to AC in Sighthill to suss them out. I ended up speaking to the manager and he had no clue as to what I was talking about. Never heard anything about selling Alfas or any new showroom! I then contacted Alfa Info again and now they're saying Arnold Clark is only a service centre (despite me specifically asking about sales and the Giulia QF). Amazing! A complete shambles! Yet that AC website has it emblazoned all over it that this is the Alfa dealer for Edinburgh so I can only think that it's in early planning stages and that the website shouldn't have gone live yet. We'll see, but in the meantime I've decided to go test drive everyone elses cars. I'm getting fed up waiting for Alfa to sort out arses from elbows.

Current: Giulia Quadrifoglio
Previous:Giulietta QV TCT, Evo X FQ330, WRX STI 330S, RX8 PZ, RX8, Civic Type R, Civic SR VTEC, Civic ESi, Alfa 33 Permanent 4, Civic VTI, Metro 1.3GS

Last edited by Ali_; 10-11-16 at 17:20.
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I think they have been an Alfa dealer for a long time. I have never visited their showroom but I did take my old 147 there about 5 or so years ago when I needed a proxy alignment for new clocks.

I have been using McLennans (Loanhead) for my 159 so had no reason to go near AC since. They do have a pretty awful reputation and I wouldn't use them if I had a better option.
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Not good news.
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(Post Link) post #4 of 31 Old 11-11-16 Thread Starter
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Now they're telling me I need to use Arnold for servicing but Inverness for sales. Edinburgh to Inverness? Me thinks they don't know Scotland well! I'm tempted to just use Pentland Jaguar for both...

What a shambles!
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Can't you just use an independent specialist rather than AC for servicing? There are 2 or 3 in Edinburgh.
i don't think warranty's can tie you to dealerships anymore, you just need to find an approved garage. Cheaper and almost definitely better service than AC.
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I would only ever take my car to Mclennans when I was in Edinburgh.
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The saga goes on. I contacted Alfa UK again and they promised the dealer development team would be in touch ASAP. Still not heard anything! Meanwhile my Jaguar dealer has a lovely 2 year old XKR that's screaming out for a test drive...
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Finally got a reply from Alfa UK Customer Services but not exactly very informative. I'll reprint it here:

"Subject: Alfa Romeo Dealership Availability

Dear Mr Taylor,

Thank you for contacting Alfa Romeo.

Further to your request, we have sinced liaised with the relevant departments, and we can confirm that Alfa Romeo sales requests in the Edinburgh area are currently being referred to Arnold Clark in Linwood. Alfa Romeo, however, is continuing to look for a dealership to cover the Edinburgh area, though there is no confirmation of which dealership as of yet.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Should you have any other requests or enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Relations department on 00800 2532 0000 choosing option number 2, from Monday to Friday between 09:00 and 18:00 and Saturday from 08:00 until 17:00.

Yours sincerely,

Dominic Wood
Customer Care Alfa Romeo"

So it's currently Linwood or nothing! Servicing is being deferred to AC in Sighthill. More news as it comes my way....or I'll just buy something else.
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I went into the Perth Jeep dealership today to ask if they knew what was happening. One of the salesmen seemed to thing they were getting Alfa but it "wasn't set in stone", the other knew nothing. Neither of them knew about the announcement on the AC Website.

To be fair to the 2 guys they both seemed pretty excited about the prospect of getting the Alfa franchise.
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Arnold Clark are useless I would never buy a car from them, Alfa must be off their heads they are trying to move the brand upmarket, but using Arnold Clark for its sales outlet. A big mistake, they are not learning from past mistakes.

No dealership in Aberdeen! None in Edinburgh... hopeless. They should set up an option to buy your Alfa direct from the factory, that would be better than dealing with "Arnold"
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Phoned customer services up last week and....still no dealership for Edinburgh in sight. They're still "negotiating". FFS!
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classic stuff

yes, I knew things were going sideways when Hyundai (no offence to them) came on board at the Craiglochart Garage.

I went through a similar adventure years ago when I considered an Abarth. I was 'bemused' to discover that the prestige and gravity of the brand was funnelled down to the public through.... AC Sighthill.

I made an appointment for a test drive, went out there (on time), sat for 45 minutes in the showroom (they knew I was there), got up, took some pictures, and left.

I was on an Abarth forum at the time and they said there's a better dealer in, Stirling..(??) Can't remember now. But it pretty much finished it for me.

Hey Ali- if you are really considering the XKR over the Giulia; you should just go for it.
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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.
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Just the two Alfas now...
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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.
Arnold Clark is awful in my experience... though the Dundee branch were OK when we bought a Punto from them. But in general their staff are not well trained and have zero in depth product or car knowledge. They are box shifters and the showrooms dont match up to Jaguar or Land Rover, Ive not been in a BMW or Mercedes dealership for many years so cant comment on them.
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I found,

In my dealings with AC FIAT & Alfa Romeo, at Sighthill some years ago (to reflect Stoneystu's experience) that the Sales guys were alright.

Once in the workshops, with the guys on the tools, (I always try to meet the guys who actually touch my car) that THEY were alright too.

The problem, was the people behind the counter, who seemed to be bananas.

I remember one of the last times I was in there, the chief service manager guy had left, and I asked where he was; they said he'd got a 'really good job in conservatories & double glazing sales'

No offence to that industry (probably a better job than mine) but I did think it was rather surreal given the years I had been dealing with him.

Maybe I did that to him! And he had to find another field to work in..!
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Whilst many of my instincts are screaming "nooooo" I've placed an order with AC in Linwood and they've been really very good so far in getting a great deal. No dealer in sight in Edinburgh though they have a "prospective" dealer in mind according to Alfa Italy and I really couldn't be bothered waiting any longer. Had a few southern dealers offer me deals as well but the hassle of driving down for trade in valuation or paying for additional car transportation made them uncompetitive.

However, unless there are any warranty issues required, I may well just use Graypaul Maserati/Ferrari at Newcraighall for the servicing and pay the extra (and hopefully get a Ghibli courtesy car... ). I'm used to Evo service costs anyway so it's not much difference!

Last edited by Ali_; 12-04-17 at 11:25.
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whilst many of my instincts are screaming "nooooo" i've placed an order with ac in linwood and they've been really very good so far in getting a great deal. No dealer in sight in edinburgh though they have a "prospective" dealer in mind according to alfa italy and i really couldn't be bothered waiting any longer. Had a few southern dealers offer me deals as well but the hassle of driving down for trade in valuation or paying for additional car transportation made them uncompetitive.

However, unless there are any warranty issues required, i may well just use graypaul maserati/ferrari at newcraighall for the servicing and pay the extra (and hopefully get a ghibli courtesy car... ). I'm used to evo service costs anyway so it's not much difference!
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Hey Ali,

Are you saying you've 'dropped the coin' on a Giulia? Is it the real-thing..?

I'm not sure Allan or Douglas at Newcraighall will know anything about the Quadrifoglio- despite the parent architecture...
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Yup. And I've emailed GrayPaul to ask, especially as the engine is so close to the California T. They'll certainly know more about it than a random Arnold Clark dealer that usually deals with Motorpoint cars or Fiats.
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Hmm..

I wonder.

The workshop guys will all have been on a Quadrifoglio course at the dealerships- they won't just be guessing.

But Douglas's guys will not have been on those courses. Sure- the engine is related, but beyond that...? I'm not sure the FIAT diagnostics will overlap between marques within 'the family'.
I would think certain engine management diagnostics 'may' overlap- but as for the rest of the car...

Anyway- it'll be interesting to hear what they say- was it Mark you e-mailed...?

I can see your point though- I'm not sure I'd be entirely happy tossing my keys to the laddies at AC.

JimP
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Yup. And I've emailed GrayPaul to ask, especially as the engine is so close to the California T. They'll certainly know more about it than a random Arnold Clark dealer that usually deals with Motorpoint cars or Fiats.
My experience with AC many years ago was poor, but Sighthill have serviced my wife's Fiat 500 recently and it's all been fine, the customer service much better than I remember.
As I bought my Giulia 2.0 Super down south, I took it to Sighthill for the recent software update. It all went smoothly, done in 3 hours and customer service again good.
I previously had a Brera for 10 years which Stuart McLennan looked after very well, so I'm wary of AC, early days but so far so good.
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Hey mgslusso-

That's very encouraging to hear 1st hand. I want to genuinely believe the dealerships have matured to reflect the prestige of the marque which they represent. Let us hope your experience reflects this.

Great too, to hear that someone local has invested in such a beast. You have great taste. I wonder how long it will be before McLennans see such a creature themselves..?!
Are you able to tell what the software update gave you?

I was recently at K&P Supercars in Elphinstone, and they see a surprising amount of very recent Italian gear- because AS SOON AS the dealer warranty ends- some people go to the specialists instead.
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I could be wrong here so dont quote me on this but regards new dealerships, im under the impression that Alfa will be sharing dealerships with Jeep.

Im led to believe Border Cars in Ayr will be opening an Alfa dealership, because Arnold Clark Galloway Avenue Ayr who were previously the Fiat/Alfa dealer for many years (and Robert McCall before this) were the Chrysler Jeep dealer in Ayr as well up until very recently, Jeep showroom is now Abarth with Border Cars having taken on Jeep recently and look to be refurbishing an empty part of their showroom at the moment, i think for Alfa.

Also Arnold Clark Kia/Jeep in Perth I believe may be taking on Alfa.

And finally Arnold Clark Aberdeen, they again were the Fiat/Alfa dealer for years, but latterly were Fiat and Kia, they a couple of years ago took on Abarth and Jeep from the Kemnay Arnold Clark branch which closed, giving them Fiat/Abarth/Jeep/Kia, however Kia has recently been relocated to the former Arnold Clark Ford Commercials on Hillview Road, Id imagine so that Aberdeen can become a FCA centre of Fiat/Jeep/Abarth/Alfa.

Im not sure on this but Arnolds massive Seafield Road Fiat/Abarth/Kia site could become Jeep and Alfa as well. Failing that possibly JM Group/Belmont who are Lothians Jeep dealer.
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I could be wrong here so dont quote me on this but regards new dealerships, im under the impression that Alfa will be sharing dealerships with Jeep.

Im led to believe Border Cars in Ayr will be opening an Alfa dealership, because Arnold Clark Galloway Avenue Ayr who were previously the Fiat/Alfa dealer for many years (and Robert McCall before this) were the Chrysler Jeep dealer in Ayr as well up until very recently, Jeep showroom is now Abarth with Border Cars having taken on Jeep recently and look to be refurbishing an empty part of their showroom at the moment, i think for Alfa.

Also Arnold Clark Kia/Jeep in Perth I believe may be taking on Alfa.

And finally Arnold Clark Aberdeen, they again were the Fiat/Alfa dealer for years, but latterly were Fiat and Kia, they a couple of years ago took on Abarth and Jeep from the Kemnay Arnold Clark branch which closed, giving them Fiat/Abarth/Jeep/Kia, however Kia has recently been relocated to the former Arnold Clark Ford Commercials on Hillview Road, Id imagine so that Aberdeen can become a FCA centre of Fiat/Jeep/Abarth/Alfa.

Im not sure on this but Arnolds massive Seafield Road Fiat/Abarth/Kia site could become Jeep and Alfa as well. Failing that possibly JM Group/Belmont who are Lothians Jeep dealer.
I've spoken to a couple of people at AC & they now say the only branches they will have are at Linwood & Aberdeen. There are no plans for a dealership in Perth. I spoke to somebody from Border Cars at a show last year & he did seem to say that they were becoming Alfa Dealers.
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all fascinating.

any movement is better than no movement, I suppose.

Although I do find the 'potential' Jeep tie-in bemusing! Although; 'less' bemusing than the Kia tie-in (no offence Kia drivers)

Incidentally- where am I going for parts at the moment? Is it Seafield or Sighthill...?



(Did John Cherry or Douglas @ Graypaul get back to you, Ali_..?)
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