27 June 2017

Mercedes-Benz Commercials celebrates 50 years

Mercedes-Benz is this year celebrating the 50th anniversary of the launch, in 1967, of their heavy commercial vehicles in Ireland, writes Trish Whelan.

Described by chief executive, Stephen Byrne, as a development that was to see Mercedes-Benz play an important part in the development of Ireland's economy, the first model to launch here was the renowned 1418 - a truck still fondly thought of by CV collectors and enthusiasts.

Remembered for its distinctive 'bull nose' design, the 1418 was to become the workhorse-of-choice within many large fleets, haulage firms and owner-driven operations, carving an important niche for the company in the heavy commercials sector that has carried through to the present time.

Mainstays of the range today are two International Truck of the Year winners - the 1996-launched, heavy-duty Actros, popular amongst long-distance hauliers, and Atego, launched in 1998 and favoured by food distributors and delivery specialists generally.

Another mode, spawned by the Atego and seen working in housing estates, is the Econic bin collection truck favoured by many private waste collectors.

The Mercedes-Benz commercials team members pictured with sales manager, Fergus Conheady (centre left) and chief executive, Stephen Byrne (centre right) at an event to mark the 50th anniversary of the launch, in 1967, of their heavy commercial vehicles in Ireland are Patrick Power, are Gerry McDonnell, Liam McEntee, Joan O'Sullivan, Robert Dunne, and Brian Phillips.

Malone's open new Toyota Dealership in Louth

John and Stella Malone have opened their new state-of-the-art showroom, Malone's of Drogheda, writes Trish Whelan.

Relocating from their former premises in Drogheda, the newest Toyota dealership in Louth is located at the M1 Retail Park.

The dealership will create 10 additional new jobs within sales, aftersales and administrative roles. The 10 car showroom will facilitate Toyota's 2017 range as well as its commercial line-up.

Malone's aftersales service comprises a 10-bay workshop featuring pre-NCT and inspection bays along with dedicated Express Servicing bays.

Dealer Principal John Malone is pictured above with Steve Tormey, Chief Executive at Toyota Ireland, and Stella Malone.

Cash-free parking with easytrip at Beaumont Hospital

easytrip, Ireland's electronic parking and tolling tag provider, has added Q-Park Beaumont Hospital car park in Dublin to its car parking portfolio.

This brings its parking service in Dublin to 16 car parks.

The easytrip car parking service offers 'hassle free' electronic parking to easytrip tag customers through the use of their tag. The tag is scanned on entry and exit to the car park, with no need to take a ticket or queue at the paying station, and the fee is then automatically deducted from the tag holder's account.

CEO of easytrip Ireland, Colin Delaney says: "Whether you're visiting close friends or relatives, or you are a patient attending a hospital appointment, this service will allow you to get on with what's important and not have to worry about having enough change for parking when you leave."

The easytrip car park portfolio now has a total of 27 car park locations covering Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick and Waterford. The Beaumont Hospital car park has 600 car spaces and is open 24/7. New and existing easytrip customers can sign up for parking by calling easytrip on 1890 67 67 68 or by logging onto www.easytrip.ie

BMW's new X3 coming in November

A new BMW X3 going on sale in Europe by the end of the year is the first of the company's SUVs to use the new modular platform debuted with the current 7 Series, writes Brian Byrne.

Irish arrival will be in November with prices starting from €58,580.

Engines will include four-and six-cylinder diesels, and there will also be a flagship M Performance version with 360hp on tap.

The third generation of the car is lighter and larger, and will offer the semi-autonomous technologies already available in recent other BMW models.

SEAT reveals new SUV

SEAT has unveiled its latest crossover/SUV contender, the Arona, writes Brian Byrne.

The car will compete in the segment below its Ateca, and will arrive in Ireland in November,

Power options will include three petrol engines ranging in power from 95hp to 150hp, and 1.6 diesels in 95hp and 115hp variants.

The Arona gets its public debut at Frankfurt in September.

26 June 2017

Innovators aim to become Nissan Ambassadors

Nineteen young innovators from all walks of life in Ireland have been given the opportunity of making it on the national and world stage with the backing and support of Nissan, writes Trish Whelan.

Nissan received over 1,000 applications for the dream chance and the shortlist of 19 finalists will face a three-week long public vote to win one of ten places on the Nissan Generation Next ambassador programme. 

The seven finalists with the highest number of votes and another three finalists chosen by Nissan, will each receive the keys to a new taxed and insured Nissan to drive for a year together with valuable promotional and marketing support.

In the four years since it was launched, Nissan Generation Next has helped new Irish entrepreneurs to find their feet in domestic and global markets, elite athletes, writers, film makers and fashion designers to succeed internationally and young scientists to shape and influence the fast moving world of digital technology.

This year’s finalists include Ireland’s new generation of rising stars in the field of business, technology, medical care, food, sport, music, fashion and social enterprise.

James McCarthy, CEO of Nissan Ireland says “Nissan Generation Next has been phenomenally successful in helping the next generation of Irish leaders and champions to realise their potential. All of our finalists this year have been fearless in making their dreams a reality. They are driven to succeed internationally and we look forward to helping those joining this year’s Nissan Generation Next programme to get ahead on their journey to success.”

Members of the public can cast their vote online for any one of the 19 finalists at www.nissangenerationnext.ie up to Friday 14 July 2017. 

The finalists are: 

Kormac O’Halloran (37) – Performer, Producer and DJ, Dublin. Kormac is a multi-instrumentalist musician, producer and DJ from Dublin. Well known for his live performances, Kormac performs with a full ensemble, known as Kormac’s Big Band, who’ve appeared on primetime shows such as the Late, Late Show. His music is often used in TV advertising and his track ‘Wash My Hands’ has just been selected for use in the forthcoming John Malkovich/Glen Close Movie, Wild Wedding. His latest album features legendary Trainspotting Author Irvine Walsh.

Chris Kelly (20) – Patient Tracking System Software, Limerick. Chris is on a mission to improve patient care in hospitals worldwide. His company, Pinpoint Innovations, has developed a patient tracking system that monitors the flow, efficiency and utilisation rates of operating theatres in hospitals. The company has partnered with the Perioperative Care team in the University Hospital Limerick and is piloting its first product, Xsonor, over the next six months. Chris is pictured below. 

Louise McGuane (39) – Whiskey Distillery, Clare. Louise returned home to her family farm in Kilrush on the wings of a high flying career with top global drinks brands in cities like New York, Paris, London and Singapore to create a business that has revived the traditional method of producing Irish whiskey. She is the founder of Chapel Gate Irish Whiskey Co. which produces whiskey under the JJ Corry brand.

Tony Browne (22) – Boxer, Dublin. Tony has recently been named at number 9 in the Four Nations rankings for the light heavyweight division. Tony has long been regarded a serious boxing prospect, and is a serious contender to represent Ireland in Tokyo at the 2020 Olympic Games. Tony Browne and Nicole Drought are pictured below.

Nicole Drought (23) - Racing Driver, Tipperary. Nicole is one of Ireland’s premier female racing drivers. She became the first woman to win in the Irish Touring Car Championship last year. That feat of achievement also led to her being named as the 2016 Irish Sportswoman of the Year. Nicole is pictured above with boxer Tony Browne.

Chupi Sweetman  (33) - Jewellery designer, Dublin. Chupi is a young Dublin jewellery designer who quit her job to train as a goldsmith before creating a multi award winning international jewellery brand. Her jewellery brand ‘Chupi’ is stocked in stores from Paris to Tokyo.

Niall Moloney (27) – PowCow, Dublin. Niall is a qualified dietitian and an expert in sports nutrition. He created Europe’s first high protein, low fat, frozen yogurt: Pow-Cow. He came up with the idea after discovering that his clients, who include Connacht Rugby, Irish Olympians, intercounty GAA players and other professional athletes, were struggling to find an enjoyable healthy dairy snack or treat.

James Corneille (18) – Positivity Pack, Limerick. James has already accumulated 18 awards in tech and business and has been named as the ‘#2 Most Powerful Young Entrepreneur in the World’ thanks to the success of his business, Positivity Pack. The teenager has also developed a massive social media presence with 450,000 followers online. James is pictured below.

Dave McGeady (36) – Wyldsson, Dublin. Dave is the founder of 'Wyldsson' a health snack company based in Tallaght. His healthy food products have become the snack of choice for Manchester United players, rugby internationals and Ryder Cup golfers.

Jeanne Mahony (50) – Hope Beer, Dublin. Jeanne put her plans for retirement on hold in order to create Fingal’s only microbrewery with a group of her friends. Hope Beer brews a range of delicious craft beers from a state of the art facility on the Kilbarrack Road.

Colin Keogh (28) – Co-founder of The Rapid Foundation, Wicklow. Colin works as an engineer in UCD and is determined to change the world by using Science and Technology to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.  He utilises low cost disruptive technologies to make an impact on global issues and has already been named as one of ‘Forbes 30 under 30’ in Science and Medicine.

Cliona Hegarty (35) – Bella Bites, Dublin. Inspired the diets of clean-eating Australians during her time in Australia, Cliona returned to Ireland with a new-found passion for fresh, unprocessed food. She founded Bella Bites in 2014, producing a range of healthy, energy-boosting clean snacks. Her products can be found in over 150 retailers across Ireland. She is pictured below.

Marie Martin (22) – The Safe Scrub, Kerry. Marie Martin, invented a top selling product to improve farm safety and to help farmers to protect their health. Marie invented the Safe Scrub Sprayer as a Transition Year student after her father became ill from spraying pesticides. The front loader mounted sprayer allows users to spray pesticides from the safety of the cab and also saves time and money by reducing the amount of pesticides required by up to 50%.

Brendan Doyle (31) – Skeleton, Dublin. After a frightening attack while on duty, Brendan decided to leave his job as a Garda and returned to the sport he’d trained at as a teenager, skeleton sledding, overcoming some troubled times battling with depression in the process. He’s now a regular speaker on the topic of mental health, while also having one eye on competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Adam Harris (22) – As I am, Dublin. Adam is the founder and CEO of AsIAm.ie, an organisation working to build an Ireland where every person with Autism can “live and succeed as they are”. Adam founded AsIAm.ie based on his experience of living with Aspergers Syndrome, a condition on the Autism Spectrum.

Michael Onalimi (43) - Flavour Safari, Laois. Michael, from Mountmellick, realised a long held dream when he launched his business, Flavour Safari Sauces, which is Ireland’s first African inspired sauce range. Flavour Safari is already a proud Food Academy Producer with Super Valu and Michael is currently working on securing new store listings across the country and on exporting his range of sauces into the U.K.

Richie Commins (23) - Founder Dashcabz, Galway. Richie is a tech graduate from NUI Galway who has created an innovative new service called DASHCABZ, that allows students to get a taxi home safely, even when they have no cash, bank card or phone. The pilot project started in Galway and is now rolling out to colleges and taxis drivers across the country.

Andy Dunne (37) – Personal Health, Dublin. After suffering with an injury that caused him to retire from professional rugby, Andy was inspired to study musculoskeletal therapy. Excelling in the role, he became a leading physiotherapist in professional cricket, travelling with the Irish national team during the 2014 World Cup. Now, he’s the founder and managing director at Personal Health, a medical clinic providing lifestyle support to clients with chronic health conditions.

Niamh McCabe (25) – Luvguru, Dublin. Niamh is the co-founder of Luvguru, an innovative new matchmaking app that allows friends and neighbours to play Cupid, to meddle in another friend’s love life and to hook them up with a suitable date. The app has brought Ireland’s art and tradition of matchmaking into the digital age and is fast becoming the next big thing in the dating world.

Photos: Orla Murray, SONPhoto

Cronin cracks Belgium - Ypres International Rally

Irish crews had a great result at the Ypres International Rally at the weekend, with West Cork's Keith Cronin, already the winner of three British Rally titles, taking maximum points towards this year's Prestone MSA British Championship on its first visit to the Belgian event, writes Richard Burke.

Cronin and his co-driver Mikie Galvin finished in sixth place among the strong continental field, with their top points score bringing the Corkman back into contention for a fourth title after a difficult start to his season. Callum Devine from Derry in his Opel Adam won the Junior section.

Monaghan rally ace Sam Moffett's seemingly unstoppable march to the Triton Showers National Rally Championship continued yesterday when he and co-driver Karl Atkinson scored an 18 second victory in the fifth round of the series, the Carrick-on-Suir club's Raven's Rock Rally at Waterford.

This maintained Moffett's unbeaten run in this year's title chase, with last year's champions, Roy White and James O'Brien, their nearest challengers in another Fiesta WRC. Ireland's World Rally Championship star, local man Craig Breen, had a rare home outing at the wheel of a Ford Escort, and showed his class by taking third place overall despite lacking the four wheel drive advantage of the two high-tech cars in front of him.

22 June 2017

Ford 1.0 EcoBoost is again class winner in EoTY awards

Ford's 1.0 EcoBoost petrol engine has won its class in the Engine of the Year awards for the sixth year in a row, writes Brian Byrne.

Offered with 100/125/140hp the engine now powers one in five new Ford vehicles sold in Europe, including two in five Fiestas.

It was named 'Best Engine Under 1.0-litre' by a panel of 58 automotive journalists, from 31 countries. It was first introduced to the Ford Focus in 2012

This year, the sub-1.0-litre award category featured 35 engines, nine more than in the 1.0-litre EcoBoost’s debut year.

Volvo designates Polestar name for electric performance brand

Volvo has decided that the Polestar name it owns will in future be the stand-alone brand for a range of electric vehicles, writes Brian Byrne.

Polestar was originally an independent motorsport operation involved in racing Volvos, and later was bought by the Swedish car maker with a view to tuning high-performance variants of its products.

The shift in direction reflects a growing interest in electric-powered performance cars.

Karoq will take part in Tour de France Grand Depart

As the official automotive partner to the Tour de France cycle race for the last 14 years, Skoda gets the chance for a little extra product placing, writes Brian Byrne.

This year is no exception, with the newly-revealed Karoq compact SUV scheduled to travel the first time trials of the Tour from Dusseldorf as service vehicles for teams from South Africa, the Netherlands and Belgium.

The Grand Depart of the of the Tour from Dusseldorf is on 1 July.