20 October 2017

Drogheda woman wins luxury cruise with Ford

Lynda Hayden from Drogheda, Co Louth, is the lucky winner of a luxury cruise to New York as part of the Ford 100 New Century Sales Event promotion, writes Trish Whelan.

Organised to commemorate 100 years of Ford in Ireland, Lynda won the nationwide competition by taking a test drive in a Ford at her local Ford Dealership, Smith's of Drogheda. She will now get the chance to follow in the footsteps of Ford's founder, Henry Ford, by sailing across the Atlantic on a Cunard cruise-liner.

Lynda is pictured receiving her prize from Ciaran McMahon, Managing Director and Chairman of Ford Ireland; and Nicky Smith, Dealer Principal of Smith's of Drogheda, along with her partner Thomas Hayden and daughter Sarah Hayden.

Ford is currently running a 'Clean Up for 181' campaign that includes a reduction of up to €6,000 on some of Ireland's best-selling cars and up to €4,000 on Ford's commercial vehicle range.

Take the Liberty route in bad weather

Take care when driving as we head into the winter season, writes Trish Whelan. We've already had a taste of what may be to come with Ophelia, Brian, and last week's heavy rain.

The way for motorists to deal with it is basically  to use common sense. Which is what Liberty Insurance offers in its check-list for motorists on winter driving.

1. Be sure to stay up to date on minute by minute weather and traffic reports – that way you’ll anticipate and avoid dangerous roadways.

2. Strong winds may affect control of your vehicle, particularly high-sided vehicles and motorcyclists so allow extra space on the road. Make sure there is plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. This should be a minimum of four seconds in heavy rain.

3. Anticipate gusts. Take special care when driving through areas prone to strong winds or when weather reports predict severe weather.

4. Watch out for loose objects and fallen branches that may have been blown on to the road.

5. Use your demister to keep your windscreen clear.

6. Use dipped headlights at all times when driving.

7. Stock a Winter Emergency Kit. In the event that you do have to pull over during the storm or find yourself with a broken-down vehicle, be prepared with a winter emergency kit. Recommended items include: a flashlight and batteries, hand-warmers, blankets, drinking water, shovel and ice scraper, jumper cables, and standalone emergency lights or flares.

8. Finally, don’t panic! Home insurance and motor insurance policies apply as normal in a storm. Insurance cover is not impacted by the weather conditions.

Liberty Insurance customers can call them on 1850 858 530 to notify of a claim. Their Home Emergency and Breakdown Assistance Teams are also available to their customers.

(Photo by Kaique Rocha.)

19 October 2017

Citroen C3: 30 awards and 200k sales

Launched in November last year, the New C3 has already sold 200,000 units, making it Citroen's best seller, writes Trish Whelan. With its success, C3 orders were up 64pc in Europe in the first nine months of the year.

Over 400 units have been sold in Ireland in 2017 year to date. Over 75pc of the car's Irish sales are now petrol showing the reversal of the traditional dominance of diesel sales in this segment for Citroen in Ireland.

A real eye-catcher, customer choices focused on customisation and technology, symbolic of an 'impulse' buy. Figures show nearly 45pc of orders were for the high-end model (Shine); over 60pc of sales were for the two-tone option; over 55pc of sales had the Airbumps; over 30pc of sales were with an optional coloured interior ambiance, and over 90pc of Irish sales included the Style Pack of Airbumps and bi-tone roof.

The C3 has won 30 awards across Europe to date.

Skoda's offers for 181 Sales Event

Skoda Rapid
Skoda's 181 Sales Event is being rolled out at the brand's dealerships nationwide until the 31 October, writes Trish Whelan.

The event will see two new model versions being unveiled at showrooms across the country, the Skoda Rapid and Skoda Citigo.

The Rapid comes with a fresh new face and new equipment which includes LED daytime driving lights, modern touchscreen sound systems and stylish interiors.

The Rapid gets a brand new 1.0 TSI 95bhp petrol engine which delivers diesel-rivalling fuel consumption of 4.5 L/100kms and annual road tax from €190. Prices start from €19,140 for the duration of the Sales Event. Skoda are offering 0pc PCP finance on all new Rapids.

The Citigo has also undergone a facelift with a fresh new look including body paint colours, wheels and connectivity technology. Prices have remained unchanged, starting from €11,550 for 5-door versions.

Other incentives and offers across the range are 0pc PCP finance on Fabia, Octavia and Superb. The Scrappage EcoGrant will be available until 31 December offering customers up to €3,750 on older EU1-EU4 diesel engine cars which is mostly made up of diesel cars registered before 2011. This offer is available in combination with the PCP finance rate of up to 1.9pc.

Ray Leddy, Head of Marketing at Skoda Ireland expects strong demand for new cars in 2018. He said they continue to see big demand for their 7-seat Kodiaq SUV and advises customers to place their orders early to avoid disappointment.

The Karoq will arrive in showrooms on 1 December. Half of all Skodas sold are now purchased through the company's finance.

Skoda Citigo

13 October 2017

Volkswagen calendar for Pieta House


A calendar for 2018 produced by Volkswagen Ireland will raise funds for Pieta House, writes Brian Byrne.

The photographs are selected from 5,000 entries in a competition on Instagram run over two months in the summer.

Each calendar will cost €10 and all proceeds go directly to Pieta House.

The images include a wedding in a vintage VW camper to scenes from the streets of Dublin, through an adventure in the mountains and all the way to a sunset in Kinsale.

The winners of the competition visited the Volkswagen factory during the summer, as well as receiving a number of technology prizes.



New tourism initiative in Munster Vales



A new tourism initiative to attract visitors to the mountain and other attractions of middle Munster has been launched, writes Brian Byrne. The Munster Vales programme was devised by tourism services providers in the areas of the Ballyhouras, the Galtees, Knockmealdown and Comeragh mountain ranges and their associated valleys.

The initiative is a subset within the Ireland's Ancient East idea, and is aimed at focusing attention on the many attractions beyond the major iconic destinations.

Pictured above at the launch in Lismore Castle are Triona O'Mahony, Destinations & Marketing Manager, Munster Vales; Sinead Carr, Chair of Munster Vales Board, with Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Brendan Griffin; and Marie Phelan of Tipperary Tourism.

The Munster Vales marketing concept was initiated when a number of smaller tourism providers realised that while the Ireland's Ancient East programme could bring in big numbers to the iconic attractions, they were 'not getting on the stage' in terms of attracting visitors. "We contacted the various councils in the region and asked them if there was something we could do," says Sinead Carr, chair of the Munster Vales board. "They gave us funding to carry out a feasibility study to see if there was enough in attractions to bring in tourists to the area."

The Munster Vales is considered as the 'historic heartland of Ireland', and abounds in heritage, legendary trails, and activity opportunities. This is what the initiative has pulled together, and is ready to target not just the international tourists who are brought in by Failte Ireland to the greater Ireland's Ancient East, but the very important domestic tourism market.

Hilary Creedon of Ireland's Ancient East is fully behind the Munster Vales concept. "Our brand promise is thousands of heritage years of Ireland, and Munster Vales is very much a part of that. We have stories to tell, but we must remember that our visitors are on holiday, and it is crucial that they get this information in a fun way."

The initiative includes a dedicated social media programme, and the provision of top-quality media to the providers in the region. Kinsale-based photographer Jakub Walutek has provided a range of beautiful images from the region and has also produced the first of four marketing videos, which was launched at the Lismore event.

"We have already produced a number of 'bundles' of attractions which are being made available to where prospective visitors can find them," says Triona O'Mahony, the Munster Vales destination and marketing manager. "They can also log on to MunsterVales.com and see them."

The keynote speaker at the launch was Breifne Earley — adventurer, author, blogger and podcaster — who recalled that the Irish leg of a 29,000km around the world cycle race which he won in 2015 actually took him through the Munster Vales area. "I have no doubt that when people realise the quality of the attractions here, that they will come in numbers. But let us do like we did with The Gathering, let's talk about it, invite our relations and friends to come, and their friends. What you have done here is first class, so keep it going."

‘Highly Commended Award’ for Mulcahy Car Sales

Mulcahy Car Sales, Ardcroney, Nenagh, Co Tipperary was awarded the highly commended award at the Citroen & DS Automobiles Dealer of the Year Awards 2017, writes Trish Whelan.

Damian Mulcahy was officially presented with the award by Chris Graham, Managing Director, Citroen & DS Automobiles Ireland, at the 2017 Dealer Conference which took place at the Mullingar Park Hotel last month.

Mulcahy car Sales has been operating for almost 50 years and was appointed a Citroen dealer in 1996. They have invested significantly in the business including upgrading the IT systems this year and Dealer Principal Damian Mulcahy has promoted and appointed Niamh Kennedy, Miss Ireland, as a Brand Ambassador. The dealership is heavily involved in the local community through the sponsorship of their local GAA club, Kilruane McDonaghs GAA Club.

On receiving the award, Damian said “Our customers are our number one priority and we aim to provide the very best customer experience possible. We enjoy representing the brands in Tipperary and look forward to continuing to work with all at Citroen & DS Ireland in 2018.”

Pictured at the presentation are Chris Graham, MD, Citroen & DS Ireland; Damian Mulcahy, Dealer Principal, Mulcahy Car Sales; and Paul Tunnicliffe, Managing Director of International Motors Limited (IML), UK & Ireland. 

181 offers from SEAT

SEAT Arona
SEAT’s 181 offers will be available across its 23-strong dealer network from now until 20 November.

The 181 campaign includes a 2.9pc PCP finance on the new Arona Crossover and on the Ateca. Finance is available from 1.9pc on the new Ibiza and the Leon.

Incentives also include scrappage offers of up to €3,000 on the Ateca and Leon while a three-year service plan is available for €199. SEAT is giving away free product packs on their core models saving the customer up to €2,500.