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I hear from our AROC Lancashire Secretary the sad news that Blackburn Motor Park have put staff on 30 day's notice.
Will that just be Blackburn or other Motor Park dealers too, I wonder. They're part of Cambria Automotive I believe.

Alfa dealers are dropping like flies - Donalds Peterborough and County Motor Works Chelmsford have also gone in the past couple of months, both being replaced by nearby Glyn Hopkin dealerships.

It also looks like Meridian Milano Portsmouth are no longer Alfa and HWM Walton-on-Thames are now aftersales-only.

I can't say any are a great loss, except for HWM who seemed very good - a dealer who also respresents Aston Martin is just the type of dealer Alfa needs to attract and keep with its desire to shift upmarket. A sea of Arnold Clark & Stoneacre's doesn't cut it at all :(
 

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I went to Blackburn Motor Park today to confirm the closure of the Alfa dealership and to find out if they were still going to do servicing, as they will have paid thousands for the special tools and diagnostic equipment. I was told by a glum receptionist,"No, it's the lot " from which I surmise, Fiat, Renault, Seat, Hyundai etc. as well. It's a repeat of the demise of 2005 Caledonia in that case.
There were still Giulias in the showroom, as well as other Alfas on the forecourt. There is nothing reported in local press with only a couple of weeks left of the 30 day notice.
 

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First service coming up for Alfa Giulia Veloce, bought up north. Any recommendations for Main dealers in South London/ Surrey. Currently considering Croydon Motor village / Bishops in Guildford. Have not decided whether to buy out PCP at the end so thinking will service through dealer for now rather than indie. Any experiences of these two would be very useful.
 

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First service coming up for Alfa Giulia Veloce, bought up north. Any recommendations for Main dealers in South London/ Surrey. Currently considering Croydon Motor village / Bishops in Guildford. Have not decided whether to buy out PCP at the end so thinking will service through dealer for now rather than indie. Any experiences of these two would be very useful.
I thought both had patchy reputations. However a friend near Guildford has used Bishops for sales and aftercare & seemed to find them ok. No experience of Croydon though I'm afraid.

I was going to suggest HWM at Walton On Thames, but it looks like they've given up Alfa Romeo - tells you something.
I thought they'd disappeared off the dealer locator, and they have for sales but are still doing Alfa aftersales, so might be a consideration as I thought they were meant to be v good. They were certainly helpful when I was looking to buy a new Giulietta.

There's also Monza Sports Tuning in Ashington, West Sussex, if you don't mind a day out. They're aftersales only and are widely praised on here. Probably because they don't have sales to fall back on if they mess up the servicing, like most dealers!
 

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I took the Giulia to Piccadilly Knaresborough yesterday for its first service. They gave me a very smart, clean, 2017 Giulietta 2.0 TCT diesel as a courtesy car. No charge, just the usual £500 excess. Foolishly I had forgotten my licence but that was not a problem as they just rang DVLA. I just used the auto mode and was very impressed with the way the gearbox was matched to the torque of the engine with incredible consumption, too. My usual experience in the NW would have been a filthy high mileage Fiat 500/KIA /Hyundai.
I arrived at 9.00 having overnighted in Harrogate and was on my way home by 14.00, as I had updated the satnav myself. Their workshop has six lifts! All very professionally done with polite, helpful staff. The correct oil was used and factory procedures and checks listed on the invoice. I was charged £250, which I thought was very reasonable. I can highly recommend Piccadilly. I'll most definitely take the Giulietta there in spring.
 

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Piccadilly seem very good. They were certainly on the ball when I bought my Giulietta from them 18 months ago. Shame they're about 4 hours drive away as they get a lot of praise for their aftersales too. I think the competition is quite good in Yorkshire though, with several dealers in the County. That probably helps.
 

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I am having some difficulty with this.
In mid August I had my Giulia Veloce first service done at Piccadilly, Knaresborough because of the good reputation for their servicing and new car delivery amongst local Alfisti with whom I have spoken at club events. Overnighted in Harrogate to make the journey from Lancashire easier (but significantly more expensive!) and was very pleased with the whole experience. They are no longer on the retailer site.
What on earth are Alfa UK doing to the dealers who best serve them? I would never return to the appalling NW dealers I have dealt with for the Giulietta's 3rd year service next March, nor the Giulia's 2nd service in August. Anybody got any uplifting advice for new Alfa owners under warranty in Wales, Scotland or NW England? After being an Alfa enthusiast for over 45 years, the servicing aspect of owning an Alfa is the worst it's ever been, when their product is the best it's ever been this century.
 

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Piccadilly's website still shows them as being a full Alfa dealership. However I see what you mean about the retailer locator on alfaromeo.co.uk - they come up if you select Aftersales, but not for Sales. They're still showing on fiat.co.uk for sales and aftersales.

It could be a glitch with Alfa's website - dealers have dropped off there before then re-appeared, or it might be as you say, that they're no longer an Alfa dealer for sales :(

FCA seem to be persuing this route of making as many Alfa dealers as possible a Jeep dealer too - the site in Knaresborough wouldn't be big enough for this unless they dropped Fiat/Abarth or extended, which is probably too much expense for a non-national chain. Trouble with FCAs approach is we're left with smaller family run dealerships offering great service to customers of cheaper Fiat's, but the more expensive products like Alfa & Jeep are backed-up by these often hopeless national chains who can afford to build a shiny showroom but haven't a clue how to offer any level of competence.

I hope we're wrong and Piccadilly remains - Alfa have lost far too many dealerships already this year - HWM Surrey, Chris Variava, Meridien Milano, Blackburn Motor Park, Platts of Stoke. They can ill afford to let another one go.
 

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Took Giulia Veloce to Monza Sport, an official Alfa aftersales location, for service and was very happy with the experience. Got to speak to mechanic who would be working on the car. He obviously knew what he was talking about and was obliging about looking at little niggles I would like sorted. Car well looked after and finished on time promised. Decent courtesy car while it was being fixed. Would definitely recommend.
 

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Just had first warranty repair with Motor Village Croydon. I have read not always complementary things and sales guys seemed dozy when looking for car. But the service received was very good. Bent over backward to make job convenient for me and good communication. Car was cleaned very nicely inside and out. Was not what I expected and may consider a service with them next time.
 

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Piccadilly's website still shows them as being a full Alfa dealership. However I see what you mean about the retailer locator on alfaromeo.co.uk - they come up if you select Aftersales, but not for Sales. They're still showing on fiat.co.uk for sales and aftersales.

It could be a glitch with Alfa's website - dealers have dropped off there before then re-appeared, or it might be as you say, that they're no longer an Alfa dealer for sales :(

FCA seem to be persuing this route of making as many Alfa dealers as possible a Jeep dealer too - the site in Knaresborough wouldn't be big enough for this unless they dropped Fiat/Abarth or extended, which is probably too much expense for a non-national chain. Trouble with FCAs approach is we're left with smaller family run dealerships offering great service to customers of cheaper Fiat's, but the more expensive products like Alfa & Jeep are backed-up by these often hopeless national chains who can afford to build a shiny showroom but haven't a clue how to offer any level of competence.

I hope we're wrong and Piccadilly remains - Alfa have lost far too many dealerships already this year - HWM Surrey, Chris Variava, Meridien Milano, Blackburn Motor Park, Platts of Stoke. They can ill afford to let another one go.
I received an email from Piccadilly last Wednesday which stated that they have decided to end their Alfa sales dealership contract, although it did not indicate when this would happen.
It also stated that they would continue to source new Alfa's from their dealership partners should anyone wish to still buy one new from them.
After sales service will remain unaffected.
This is sad news as the new car purchasing experience I had there was very smooth with no problems.
I think I will still take my Giulia there for its second service though as the service dep't is also pretty good and easy to deal with.
 

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I received an email from Piccadilly last Wednesday which stated that they have decided to end their Alfa sales dealership contract, although it did not indicate when this would happen.
It also stated that they would continue to source new Alfa's from their dealership partners should anyone wish to still buy one new from them.
After sales service will remain unaffected.
This is sad news as the new car purchasing experience I had there was very smooth with no problems.
I think I will still take my Giulia there for its second service though as the service dep't is also pretty good and easy to deal with.
I too received this email and what interested me was the opening paragraph
Unfortunately, we have had to make the difficult decision to terminate our Alfa Romeo Sales Appointment only contract with the manufacturer. This is due to the levels of investment expected of us in order to meet current standards, in relationship to the new car volume opportunities this Brand actually offers in the small territory we cover. Sadly after 15 years with the Brand it is no longer viable to continue.
It would appear that FCA expect their dealers to fund showrooms and display stock without reference to the available market although as Alfaresco says they will continue selling Alfas but not as main dealers. Can they be competitive when two dealers are taking a cut of the margin? Presumably any customer would be dealing with a Fiat/Jeep salesperson but they also say they will have Giulia and Stelvio on display for test drives. So clearly they are not expecting to have many sales of Giuliettas. There again Harrogate is probably more Giulia & Stelvio territory than Giulietta.
 

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I also got the email this week and was suprised but pleased that Piccadilly were so clear with their reasons for giving up the franchise. From working for a Fiat/Alfa dealer in the past, I reckon that FCA expected Piccadilly to pay a great deal of money to upgrade their showroom to the latest 'look' when in fact Alfa themselves are not a particularly attractive proposition for dealers. Yeah the Giulia and Stelvio are decent, but two models does not make a range and the sales volumes are shockingly low - Abarth sells more cars with an ancient beefed up Fiat 500 and an uber expensive Mazda MX-5 on steroids, so why bother spending a fortune for the 'privilege' of an Alfa franchise?

I think FCA are shooting themselves in the foot with their approach to dealerships. Yes the new dealership design looks nice, but Piccadilly delivered better quality service with their 'old look' dealership than many of the modern showrooms i've visited, who are run by companies who are new to FCA and frankly seem to have very little idea of the products. FCA have clearly picked companies on the basis of their ability to spend money on a showroom, missing the point of how well they serve their customers - a mistake when trying to increase satisfaction.

A shame, but at least Piccadilly are staying as aftersales dealers for Alfa and will still be selling Fiat and Abarth (and Alfa via a third party) for those who are nearer. I know if I lived closer to them I'd have probably still been in an Alfa. Shame on you, FCA :(
 

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Swansway Chester - good 2nd hand purchase

I have just shaken hands on a deal to purchase a 64-plate Giulietta from the new (ish) Alfa Swansway dealership in Chester. There was no pushy salesman, I was given a decent road test time in 2 cars on a mix of smooth and bumpy roads, as well as the chance to open up the throttle too, so was happy with the way the car performed.

There were 2 near identical cars, so chose a Sprint with alcantara interior and nice alloys, but overnight had a change of heart, and wanted to change to the Exclusive (which had parking sensors, climate control, cruise etc but slightly scuffed alloys that they will get looked at by Revive). I went back to the dealership first thing this morning to explain my change of heart, and the salesman Karl transferred my deposit over the other car and re-arranged the paperwork in good time, and I can still collect the car on Monday. I was really worried I might be stuck with the car that had fewer "toys", but it was all sorted without a fuss, so I came away really relieved.

I wanted to write this review as I couldn’t find much on the Chester dealership, and wanted to say I’d had a positive experience of buying the second-hand G. I can’t comment on prices or quality of their servicing yet (my old diesel GT was done by my friendly local garage previously), so when the time comes I’ll give them a chance to quote for my business. It's a combined Fiat / Abarth / Alfa / Jeep dealership, with plenty of cars on the forecourt, good coffee (it was brought to us outside to keep us warm!), and all was generally really positive. Hopefully they can continue in this vein and survive a good while!

Dave.
 

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After a long time wondering where I will take my Veloce for its second year service, I rang Piccadilly who did the first year service last August. They are no longer a main dealer, of course but still are able to service and do warranty work for Alfas. A short and pleasant conversation with their Service department had me booked in for mid August with a Mito courtesy car. Their workshop technicians, who did a good job last year, remain the same. The second year service involves a rather complex brake fluid change (see MacGeek's account on the US site) a cabin filter replacement and an oil and filter change. Quoted price of £456. I'll need to overnight beforehand nearby coming from Lancashire to North Yorkshire, as the Giulia will be needed for most of the day, so this is getting expensive, without the shopping in Harrogate...….
 

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Slow connection

All done last Thursday. £350 labour (inc. VAT) of the £456, due to complexity of brake fluid change and pollen filter replacement, I assume. Air filter not included on 2nd year service, so got one from Shop4Parts for £18 and fitted it myself in 10 minutes. Eurolites left on since June, so ready for September trip to Italian Lakes now. Telepass now four years old so it will be interesting to see if it's still functioning for the Como/BreBeMI/Brescia section.
I have to say I have a great deal of sympathy for the residents of the Harrogate/Knaresborough area, who have to withstand the most appallingly long delays due to many roadworks in the area until next February. Negotiating them in a Mito TwinAir was a challenge I wouldn't like to repeat.
 
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