New cars: I don’t normally do them, except that it is good to drive some from time to time to see exactly what I’ve been missing.
So I was rather invigorated after driving a whole bunch of Ssangyongs. All of them - the whole lot. I rather enjoyed it. Almost as much as I enjoyed talking to Paul Williams, who runs the company in the UK.
He’s not your normal car company boss. He’s not a car guy. Nor is he a bean counter. He’s a normal bloke. That means he’s fun to talk to and understands car buyers completely.
Which brings me on to used cars. You see, Paul told me that some of the most successful Ssangyong dealers at the moment are solus ones.
That means they have a general used car lot with a new-car franchise attached. This gives a car salesman options. So instead of flogging a tired secondhand Land Rover Discovery, it isn’t that much of a mental stretch to get a car buyer to seriously consider a new Ssangyong Rexton with an unlimited-mileage, five-year warranty if he needs something to tow a caravan.
It is always important not to sell two cars side by side and make one of them look stupid - putting left-hand-drive models together with right-hookers, for example. Used cars, though, have a purpose. They represent value compared with a new car, except that Ssangyong is already a value brand. So there is a double positive right there, and that explains why they are doing rather well at the moment.