10 December 2017

Sandyford Motor Centre joins Peugeot dealer network

Sandyford Motor Centre have joined the Peugeot Dealer Network of Ireland, writes Trish Whelan.

Fronted by Dealer Principal, Bruce Soraghan, Sandyford Motor Centre is now retailing the full line-up of Peugeot passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, with a range of quality used cars for sale. The Aftersales Department is now alsofully equipped with the latest Peugeot diagnostic equipment, with the Parts Department stocking genuine Peugeot parts and accessories.

Sandyford Motor Centre is a well-established, family-run business founded over 17 years ago by Bruce and Robert Soraghan, and has built up a solid, loyal customer base.

Pictured back row at the signing of the agreement are: Joe O'Grady, Group Head of Finance and Business Development, Sandyford Motor Centre; Colin Sheridan, Sales and Marketing Director, Peugeot Ireland; front row: Des Cannon, Managing Director Peugeot Ireland Bruce Soraghan, Dealer Principal, Sandyford Motor Centre.

7 December 2017

Price for new Jeep Compass, coming in January

The new generation Jeep Compass will arrive in January at a starting price of €27,995, writes Brian Byrne.

There will be three diesel engines and one petrol, the former in 1.6 and 2.0 capacities with 120/140/170hp options, and the petrol a 1.4 with 140hp.

There will be three equipment levels — Sport, Longitude, and Limited. Standard across the range are LED tail lights, leather steering wheel with audio controls, air conditioning, cruise control, forward collision warning plus, and lane departure warning plus.

Hang back a bit in colder weather

Now that the temperatures are regularly dropping below the 7degC mark, it's time to adjust driving style, writes Brian Byrne.

That's the datum line for when lower temperatures mean less grip from your tyres, because the compound they're made from gets harder.

And most drivers in Ireland don't use winter tyres, which compensate for this as well as dealing with other technical characteristics to cope better with the season. Tyre for tyre, the difference can mean a 5m shorter stopping time from 100km/h on a wet road, if you have winter tyres.

So take it a bit slower and leave yourself more distance from the vehicle in front. Even if the road ahead looks dry, or ice-free.

And at the risk of further repetition, get out and check your tyres regularly, especially these winter days.

Tread depth — at minimum 1.6mm and arguably twice that — along with inspection for cuts, crack and bulges, and for stuff caught in the treads and sipes. Pressures check at least every couple of weeks.

And, again, hang back a bit.

Hybrid Mondeo on the way to Ireland

The hybrid version of Ford's Mondeo is going on sale here for the 181 market period, offering an alternative to the dominant diesel powertrain, writes Brian Byrne.

The car features a 2.0 petrol engine and electric motor combination, with a combined power output of 234hp.

The transmission is a CVT automatic. The claimed fuel consumption is 3.9L/100km or 72.4mpg equivalent, and the car's acceleration to 100km/h is 9.2s.

The price for Ireland has not yet been finalised, but is expected to be in excess of €32,000.

There has been no perceived shift from diesel to petrol preference in the Mondeo or Kuga models, Ford Ireland MD Ciaran McMahon said this week.

However, speaking at the international launch of the substantially revised EcoSport small SUV in Lisbon, he noted that some 30pc of Focus orders are now petrol, a doubling of the penetration compared to last year.

And he said that he expects to see a big increase in the number of hybrid cars coming on the market over the next year.

Special version of Volvo V90 Cross Country

Volvo Cars has revealed a special version of its V90 Cross Country all-road estate to celebrate the start of the 2017/2018 Volvo Ocean Race, writes Trish Whelan.

Buyers of the car will also contribute directly to helping understand the health of our oceans. To support the Volvo Ocean Race’s Science Programme around ocean plastics, the company will donate €100 for each of the first 3,000 V90 Cross Country Volvo Ocean Race cars it plans to build. The total donation of €300,000 underlines the brand’s long-standing commitment to environmental care.

The Volvo Ocean Race Science Programme equips boats in this year’s race with a variety of sensors that will capture data from some of the remotest parts of the world’s oceans including temperatures, barometric pressure, currents and wind speed, which will help contribute to more accurate weather forecasts and climate models used by scientists globally. The boats will also measure levels of salinity, dissolved C02 and algae in the sea water around them. These will help create a more complete picture of the scale of plastic pollution and its impact on ocean life. The Programme’s science partners include the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). 

The car will also help tackle marine pollution as the carpet inlays are made from Econyl, a fabric made from 100 per cent recycled nylon including abandoned fishing nets reclaimed from the seabed.

The new car comes with all the standard features customers expect from a Cross Country model like all-wheel-drive, increased ride height and a chassis optimised for comfort and control in all weather and road conditions.

The initial production volume of 3,000 cars will be sold in 30 markets around the globe.

Renault Zoe for Madrid car-sharing scheme

A fleet of 500 Renault Zoe electric cars will be on offer in a car-sharing initiative in Madrid in Spain next month, writes Brian Byrne.

Under a scheme called Zity, the carmaker has joined with urban transport services operator Ferrovial to provide the cars across the country's capital, accessible to customers via a smartphone app.

Madrid already restricts the use of cars with traditional internal combustion engines during times of intense air pollution, and plans to permanently ban ICE engines from its centre in the middle of next year.

Parking is free for electric vehicles in the city.

With a driving range of up to 285m in real world conditions, the supermini Zoe is Europe's best selling electric car.

Teaser event shows next Sprinter dashboards

These are three levels of dashboard that will be available in the new Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, which will launch in Ireland towards the middle of next year, writes Brian Byrne.

They were shown at an event in Stuttgart on Monday which discussed the future of delivery systems against a background of an expected continuation of the boom in parcels deliveries that have resulted from online sales platforms like Amazon.

The new Sprinter, the third generation, has been designed as the central component of a so-called 'holistic delivery solution' vision of an integrated transport system to be offered by Mercedes-Benz to its customers.

The head of Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicles, Volker Morninweg, said the Sprinter will have the ability to be 'a completely connected van as part of the Internet of Things'.

Some 3.3m units of the Sprinter have been sold since it was first launched in 1995, and it sells in 130 countries.

6 December 2017

Johnson & Perrott joins with SEAT

Johnson & Perrott Motor Group have acquired Cashman Car Sales, an established SEAT dealership based in Midleton, Co Cork since 1985, writes Trish Whelan. They will continue to operate the business from the existing site on the Cork Road, Midleton until mid-2018 when the franchise will relocate to the  Johnson & Perrott Mahonpoint premises beside the Mahon Point Shopping Centre and Business Park.

Johnson & Perrott officially join the SEAT dealer network this month and are already working with the team in Midleton in showcasing the latest SEAT models for 2018.

Founded in 1810, John & Perrott Motor Group is one of the country's leading motor retailers and is owned by members of the Whitaker family, 5th and 6th generation descendants of James Johnson who purchased the business in 1860. Mr Johnson led the company's venture into the world of automobiles in 1903 when he sold his very first motor car. Today, having recently passed its 200th anniversary, the Group has interests in vehicle hire, motor dealerships and fleet management.

Niall Phillips said the addition of Johnson and Perrott Motor Group to their dealer network 'is a real coup for the brand'. "They are an organisation synonymous with the motor industry and their experience and expertise will be of tremendous benefit to SEAT in what is an exciting period for us."

George Mills, Managing Director of Johnson & Perrott Motor Dealerships, and Niall Phillips, Brand Director of SEAT Ireland, are pictured below at the signing of the agreement.

Greek Isles cruise as seen on TV3 'The Cruise'

Want to get away from our dreary winter weather? Travelfox may have the answer with a Greek Isles cruise that takes in Barcelona, Marseille, Livorno, Katakolon, Mykonos, Santorini, Montenegro, Naples, and Rome.

The offer includes return flights with Aer Lingus from Dublin; return airport transfers; check in luggage per person; and 11 nights full board on the Crown Princess cruise ship.

Departure date is 8 May, (Fly-Cruise Price is from €1,199 per person.

Prices are subject to availability and are based on two sharing.

Travelfox is based at 36 Eastgate Drive, Eastgate Business Park, Little Island, Cork. You can call them on 021 4976293 for more details.

Ford ups the ante in EcoSport

A substantially revised Ford EcoSport will be going on sale in Ireland at the end of January, writes Brian Byrne.

The small SUV has a new grille and changed lights front and rear, and is also getting a two-tone colours makeover. There is also a completely upgraded cabin which includes a new centre screen.

Many of the changes are unseen, though they can be felt. The EcoSport for Europe is now being built in Romania following a €200m investment at a Ford plant there.

This allowed the company to 'tune' the car's underpinnings to suit European tastes, resulting in perceptively less noise and vibration, and a much more coherent ride and handling experience.

There's also a new diesel engine, a 125hp 1.5 4-cylinder unit which on a short introduction drive in Portugal today seems very refined. A 1.0 3-cylinder petrol EcoBoost with 125hp is the alternative engine. Both come with 6-speed manual gearboxes, and there's an automatic option. There's also an 'intelligent' AWD available for the first time.

The EcoSport is currently the smallest of Ford's crossover/SUV range, though an 'Active' variant of the Fiesta is coming next year.

For Ireland the latest EcoSport will come in two grades, Titanium and ST Line, both with top end specifications. According to Ford Ireland's MD Ciaran McMahon the experience is that customers in this segment only want high specification and they are prepared to pay for it.

So, standard items on both versions will include Ford SYNC 3 Navigation with 8” touchscreen; DAB radio; Emergency Assistance; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity; Rear View Camera; Keyless Start; Cruise Control with Speed Limiter; and Partial Leather Trim.

The starting price will be €26,900 for the Titanium 1.0 petrol, and full specification and price detail will be available when new EcoSport arrives in Ireland. Pending the availability of the 125hp version in mid-year, the launch diesel in Ireland will be the 100hp version.

While sales for 2018 will be inhibited because the new car will be arriving after the key selling period, Ciaran McMahon is anticipating sales of 800-900 in a full year. The segment continues to grow both in overall market share in in the number of contenders.

For 2017, around 360 EcoSports have been sold, where the segment leader is Renault's Captur with 1,834 followed by the Dacia Duster with 1,739 and Opel's Mokka with 1,100.

"Our target vehicle is the Opel Mokka, and we have priced and specified our latest EcoSport with that in mind," Ciaran McMahon says.