So car sales have been on the slide for a full twelve months now. The Spanish car association ANFA said that sales are down by over 30% compared with June 2010. We know we’re all broke and having to make do and mend. Depressing isn’t it?

So you’d think there’d be some deals out there in the car industry. Well that’s why we thought so we went car shopping the other day. Following a thorough plough through the car websites (my husband’s speciality, as I can’t tell one car from another, I’ve got more important things to worry about) the search had been narrowed down to two likely candidates: both of which have showrooms on the Son Castello estate in Palma. So off we went, hopeful, frantically doing sums in our heads and practising our best ‘surely you can offer us a better price’ poker faces.

The first place we went to was shut for lunch. Let’s call it Showroom A. That was kind of annoying. Showroom B at least was open, and in we went. The car that my husband had earmarked on the website wasn’t out on display and we asked to see one. ‘Yes, come over here and see this one we’ve just taken delivery of,’ a promising start. We had a little tour of the car, it seemed pretty good, you know: four wheels, the normal amount of doors. How much is the car? We asked, expecting to start a haggle, to be told it was a full two grand more than the car advertised on the site. ‘We don’t sell that model in Spain,’ we’re told. What? It’s advertised on the Spanish version of the website. ‘Yeah,’ shrug, ‘I know. I could order it for you, it would take about seven months to get the car.’ And if we order this one we asked, pointing at the more expensive version of the same thing. ‘A week.’ Okay, don’t call us.

Back we went to showroom A. At least this time the doors were open, but no one seemed to be home. We looked around the cars, established that there might actually be one at the same price as advertised and paced around looking like we might have a few euros burning a hole in our pocket. No one appeared. Okay, time for a coffee. We’d come back.

Two con leches later we returned. Result! There were actual people in the salesroom looking like they might actually be able to sell us an actual car. Looking back that was a foolish presumption to make. The two sales people we could see were occupied with other potential customers, so we twiddled our thumbs for a bit and got in and out of cars, testing the leg room etc. Quite a lot of time went past before we realised that neither of these sales people had any intention of acknowledging us, not even a ‘Hola, please take a seat, I’ll be with you in a minute.’ I guess there might be some deals out there, if you’ve got the patience to wait for them. After half an hour of being totally ignored, we left. Car industry in a slump? Spain staring down the barrel of an economic crisis? I wonder why.


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