Continental Vision Zero Mondello

Vision Zero Live With Continental At Mondello

Continental Vision Zero Live Mondello
Vision Zero Live is an opportunity to experience automotive technology in action and tyre safety driving demonstrations

Continental, the tyre and automotive technology group, recently brought its Vision Zero Live event to Mondello Race Circuit in Co. Kildare.  Over three days, Irish motorists, journalists, staff from tyre retailers and managers of large company fleets had the opportunity to participate in a range of ‘hands on the wheel’ demonstrations of the company’s latest tyre and automotive systems.

The event ties in with Continental’s Vision Zero initiative: the company wants to achieve zero injuries, zero fatalities and zero accidents on our roads. The company aims to achieve this through ensuring that Continental’s full range of technologies, from the company’s German-engineered premium tyres to the safety systems that are in many of the vehicles from all of the main car brands.

Using a fleet of 20 vehicles to run a series of automotive and tyre technology demonstrations, participants at the Vision Zero Live event were shown how dangerous it is to drive on tyres that are at or near the legal tread depth level of 1.6mm. In addition, there was the opportunity to get behind the wheel and perform emergency braking manoeuvres in cars fitted with premium and budget tyres and to observe, the difference in performance and stopping distances.

Some of the Continental automotive technologies that were on display included Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) where the car will stop automatically if the driver does not intervene to avoid a collision.  AEB is becoming ever more popular on all types of cars and is no longer the preserve of the more premium brands.

Continental’s automotive technologies have been to the fore in providing systems that are the building blocks of autonomous vehicles (AVs) and these latest systems were on display at Mondello.  Using a diverse range of vehicles to demonstrate its automotive competence, for example, guests got to experience what it is like to drive ‘blind’ in a vehicle with blacked out windscreen, using just the vehicle’s latest generation cameras and distance sensors to navigate a pre-prepared route without hitting the guiding cones.

Speaking about Vision Zero Live, Tom Dennigan, Head of Continental Tyres Ireland, said: “Our Vision Zero Live event is a great opportunity to educate the public as to the great improvements that automotive and tyre technologies are bringing to road safety. It is exactly these innovations that are helping Continental and our partners in our quest to achieve zero accidents, zero injuries and zero fatalities.”

Read about what happened when Caroline took the Continental Black Chili Challenge.


Citroen Ireland Launch Service Website

Citroën Ireland Launch Service Website

Citroen Ireland Launch Service Website
Citroën Ireland has launched a website where customers can book their service

Citroën Ireland has launched a new service website at www.citroenservice.ie. Customers will now be able to use the website to book their service online with their local Citroën dealership and receive a quote for their service.

The new website is about giving customers a convenient and fast way to book in their vehicle’s service. By booking online customers can avail of exclusive service offers, including free bulb replacement and free technical updates and health checks for their vehicle.

Services are carried out by Citroën’s specially trained technicians using the latest Citroën diagnostic equipment. Customers can enjoy added peace of mind with 1 year warranty on all parts and accessories purchased through Citroën’s Aftersales Dealers and 3 months workmanship warranty on all repairs.

Joseph Greene, Aftersales Manager, Citroën Ireland, commented, “We are delighted to launch our new service website for our customers. Our main aim is to make the service process as convenient and straight forward as possible and through the new website customers can book a service for a date and time that suits them. They will also receive a quote for their service in advance and can also avail of the exclusive online offers too.”


Chris Hanlon, Dealer Manager Windsor Renault & Dacia Airside

Windsor Renault & Dacia Airside Opens In North Dublin

Windsor Renault & Dacia Airside North Dublin
New flagship showroom for Dacia and Renault opens in North Dublin under the Windsor Motor Group.

Windsor Motor Group is the new name for Renault and Dacia in North Dublin.

The Airside dealership will be the flagship for Renault and Dacia cars and vans in North Dublin and is the second location for Windsor Renault and Dacia, having just opened its Galway dealership in June.

Celebrating 50 years in business this year, Windsor is one of the leading motor retail groups in Ireland, with 18 dealerships including this latest Airside location.

The new dealership will cater for the large north Dublin market and will have 30 employees working in the new facility, which will house all Renault and Dacia models including the new Duster and Renault vans with Pro+ facility, as well as the key Service Area with skilled Renault technicians.

Chris Hanlon, who has worked with Windsor Motor Group for 15 years, has been appointed as the new Dealer Manager at Windsor Renault & Dacia Airside.

The showroom, 8,000 sq ft in size, previously housed Windsor Opel and in the transition to Windsor Renault, the new Renault Store exterior signage has been completed and the new Renault Store interior completion is imminent.

Chris Hanlon, Dealer Manager Windsor Renault & Dacia Airside
Chris Hanlon, who will take the role of Dealer Manager at Windsor Renault & Dacia Airside

Patrick Magee, Country Operations Director, Renault Group Ireland: “This is a great day for Renault and Dacia in North Dublin, a key area for our two brands. We are delighted to continue our partnership with Windsor Motor Group as the new name for Renault and Dacia in North Dublin. The new dealership is looking forward to a busy pre-191 period and the team at Windsor Renault & Dacia Airside will be delighted to welcome current and new customers from the surrounding areas. We plan to further our presence in Dublin with Windsor in the not too distant future – so watch this space!”

Peter Nicholson, Managing Director, Windsor Motors: “This is our second partnership with Renault Group already this year having launched Windsor Galway Renault & Dacia and now the North Dublin flagship in Airside Retail Park. The second addition of the Renault and Dacia brands to the group allows us to further broaden our multi-franchise offering and most importantly benefits our customers as we continue our push to become the leading motor retailer in Ireland.”


Continental Black Chili Driving Experience France 2018

Caroline Takes The Black Chili Challenge With Continental

Continental Black Chili Driving Experience France 2018
I travelled to France with Continental Tyres for the Black Chili Challenge!

I recently travelled to the South of France with Continental Tyres UK to take the Black Chili Challenge. Over two days and two stunning driving routes, I sampled Continental’s ultra high performance (UHP) tyres on some of the world’s most sought after performance cars.

The garage for the two day event was the stuff of dreams – two Audi RS3s, two Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG cabriolets, two BMW M240i cabriolets, two Porsche Boxsters and two Tesla Model S. It didn’t take long to reply to that invitation. Vroom, vroom, here we go!

Yet the interesting thing about this event in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region was that it was not about foot to the floor driving - it wasn’t even really about the sports cars assembled. As the Conti team put it to us, it was a ‘live marketing experience’ giving us an opportunity to feel the brand’s ultra high performance tyres on the road and learn more about tyre technology and Continental's other automotive technologies - while enjoying great scenery, challenging roads and French hospitality.

So what's the Black Chili Challenge?

The Continental Team also produced a challenge element to the event – the Black Chili Challenge. But it was not a race - I repeat, not a race. To boost our engagement with the event, each team was given an iPad with a number of challenges to be performed at particular intervals over the two day event. We also were given presentations on Continental’s automotive technologies.

Continental Black Chili Challenge France 2018
Continental Tyres assembled an amazing line-up of cars for us to experience the best in ultra high performance tyres

You see there are many cars ‘powered by Continental’, with more than just tyres. For example, the BMW M240i we drove has a load of gear sourced from Continental - tyre pressure monitoring system, wheel speed sensors, dynamic stability control system, engine management sensors, heating and ventilation system and even the electronics in the seat.

The ESC (Electronic Stability Control) is the most amazing piece of automotive safety technology that keeps you on the straight and narrow every day in your car without you even knowing. Sensors on the car feed the ESC’s brain with information and make mechanical interventions like braking individual wheels to correct understeer and oversteer. This is incredible stuff.

For the Black Chili Challenge, we were also asked to keep our average fuel consumption below 15l/100km, which some of the cars seemed to make more challenging (looking at you Audi RS3). That also cut out any notions of nonsense behind the wheel. Points were awarded for things like safe and economical driving, time keeping and team spirit. There was even a card system like in football – so any naughty behaviour and you could be sent home!

What is Continental Vision Zero?

You see safety is a huge aspect of Continental’s work in tyre technology and creating other driving aids and assistance systems in cars. The company has been a pioneer of road safety for over 140 years. They have a vision, a big vision: well actually it’s the Continental Vision Zero! The company wants to evolve from “the best in braking to zero fatalities, zero injuries and zero accidents”. At any given time when driving, the tyre has only an area the size of a postcard in contact with the road. Yes, your tyres are very important for how you control and stop your car.

Continental Black Chili Driving Experience France 2018
The Continental Vision Zero is an initiative by the manufacturer to improve road safety

So what’s the significance of Black Chili? It’s an innovative rubber compound in Continental’s ultra high performance tyres that ensures optimum interlock­ing between tyre and road surface – making for outstanding grip in dry or wet conditions. Compared with conventional silica tires, Black Chili tyres have on average 26 percent lower rolling resistance, 30 percent higher grip and 5 percent higher mileage.

So were the cars good?

The cars for the Black Chili Challenge were chosen for a few reasons: principally of course (I might be stating the obvious here) because they were shod with tyres from Continental. For example, the Porsche was on new Continental SportContact 6. Approved for speeds of up to 350 km/h, the SportContact 6 has the highest speed rating of any series-produced tyre in the Continental portfolio. It was at this point where I learnt how in the development of a vehicle, a car manufacturer will often come to Continental to develop a specific tyre for that car. Continental will be given a number of requirements and they receive a pre-production car for testing (Continental has their own testing tracks in Europe and USA).

The Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche were chosen for the event because they are reasonably compact for the roads we were driving on in the South of France: the ‘Route des Cretes’ and ‘Route des Cascades’, two routes which get very narrow and dangerous in places. The largest car in the garage was the Tesla Model S. It’s a wide car and definitely felt it on these narrow, mountainous roads. In the company of the Boxster et al, its shortcomings as a performance car were apparent. But its inclusion was warranted because Tesla came to Continental with a specific request – develop tyres to reduce road noise in the cabin! Yeah it worked!

Continental Black Chili Driving Experience France 2018
Each team was given a road book with step by step directions to add to the challenge element!

My favourite car of the bunch was the Audi RS3. It just made such easy work of the tight hairpins and flowing corners, with beautifully weighted and precise steering with a fabulous supporting soundtrack from the 2.5-litre, five cylinder engine. The BMW M240i was another highlight with plenty of dirty pops from its 6 cylinder in line engine. It looked too pretty to make noises like that. You scoundrel!

Under blue skies and +25 degree heat , we climbed into the mountains above Nice, driving across asphalt of varying quality. Corner after corner, there was the opportunity to feel the grip of the Conti tyres, helping the cars pass their power to the road safely and efficiently.

Continental Black Chili Challenge France 2018
The BMW M240i was one of my favourite cars over the two days of driving

So where did we finish? Well we were happy with a podium finish, taking joint third position in the Black Chili Challenge with Adam from UK motoring site CarWitter.

Did you learn anything?

But the event was about so much more for me than just fast cars. I genuinely learnt so much about tyres and automotive technologies in a real fun and engaging way. I was also very impressed with the passion, commitment, knowledge and dedication of the whole Continental team. They are not just employees but real advocates and ambassadors for their company and its Vision Zero campaign. The event was run fantastically well and it was cool to be awarded for our smarts, team spirit and safe and economical driving -  a fantastic message to send out.

I would like to thank the Continental Team for an amazing experience and a special mention for Mark from Continental Tyres UK. Also thank you to Marcel from Continental Germany for being an excellent co-driver, reading the road book perfectly and being great company over two days of driving!

Caroline Kidd

Continental Black Chili Driving Experience France 2018
'Powered by Continental'

The 2018 Kia Ceed on sale in Ireland now

2018 Kia Ceed 1.0 Petrol Review

The new Kia Ceed is now available in Ireland
The new Kia Ceed is now available in Ireland

Caroline drives the new 2018 Kia Ceed.

A new generation of the Kia Ceed has recently gone on sale in Ireland priced from €22,695. The third generation of Kia’s family hatchback has been produced to strengthen Kia’s presence in the C-segment in Europe. The new Ceed has been designed, developed, engineered and built in Europe and continues the brand’s onslaught of stylish, design-led models.

They say we eat with our eyes - well I’m pretty sure we buy cars with them too and the 2018 Kia Ceed definitely scores high on the desirability stakes. It’s lower and wider than the car it replaces, with a longer rear overhang. Within the confines of the shell of a five door hatchback, there really is not much room to be adventurous, but the Ceed has a satisfying design with Kia’s emblematic tiger nose grille, neat profile, tasteful detail and creases in all the right places.

What's it like inside the 2018 Kia Ceed?

Slip inside the new Kia Ceed and again you are met with an interior that appears considered with style and attention to detail. The hard plastics are balanced with plenty of brushed satin chrome, gloss black detail and soft touch materials for a result that would put some rivals to shame in the style stakes. The ‘floating’ touchscreen looks fantastic set high in the dashboard and connects seamlessly to smartphones.

The interior of the 2018 Kia Ceed
The interior of the 2018 Kia Ceed

The Ceed’s new platform has allowed for a more spacious interior. The wider body means there’s more shoulder room, while a 16mm lower seating position in the rear creates more legroom and headroom for passengers. The boot is now up 15 litres to 395 litres, which is very competitive for this size of vehicle.

What are my options?

In Ireland, the 2018 Kia Ceed will be sold in four trim levels – K2, K3, K4 and K5. Engine availability depends on trim level but Kia Ireland is selling the 1.0-litre turbo petrol (120hp), a new 1.6-litre diesel (115hp) and a new 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine (140hp).

Safety equipment like Forward Collision Assist, Lane Keep Assist, High Beam Assist and Driver Attention Warning are standard across the range, as well as 16” alloys, leather wrapped steering wheel, 7” display, Bluetooth with voice recognition and a reversing camera.

K3 adds equipment including LED headlamps and rear lamps, wireless phone charger, electric parking brake, half leather seats and parking sensors. K4 equipment adds 17” alloys, 8” display, rain sensing wipers and automatic temperature control. K5 models include heated leather seats, front ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, and push button start, blind spot collision warning, and parking distance warning.

The Kia Ceed range kicks off at €22,695 in Ireland
The Kia Ceed range kicks off at €22,695 in Ireland

My test car was a Kia Ceed 1.0 petrol, 6 speed manual, in K4 trim with a list price of €25,695. Diesels in the Ceed range are available from €26,595 while the new 1.4-litre petrol is only available in the top level trim and is priced from €28,595. A ‘mild hybrid’ is promised in 2019.

Is the Kia Ceed nice to drive?

For this new generation of the Kia Ceed, Kia has tuned the ride and handling for European roads and drivers to make it more dynamic and engaging. There has also been a focus on eliminating noise and vibrations from the cabin.

On the road the 2018 Kia Ceed is stable, comfortable and refined. The steering is light when you need it, but the resistance builds as you head into a corner so the new Ceed is fun and sporty in its own way too. The 1.0-litre turbo petrol engine spins nicely, providing plenty of power for overtaking manouvres with 120hp and only running out of puff in the top cruising gear. There is a little vibration through the pedals at idle when cold and it can get noisy when pushed hard, but it is a joyful engine that suits the car. Over a few days of driving my fuel consumption was 7.2l/100km while motor tax is €270 per year.

Would you buy it?

The Ceed consistently ranks alongside the Sportage as one of Kia’s bestselling models in Europe and the new generation of the Ceed is evidence that Kia remain committed to the C-segment hatchback. In terms of style and quality the Ceed has taken another step forward, while the new car is also to be praised for its on the road driving manners. The Ceed remains competitive in space terms too for the class, with engine/trim options that make sense financially. If you are in the market for a new hatchback, there really is no reason not to check out the new Kia Ceed!

The Kia Ceed is a stylish five door hatchback that can compete with the best of them
The Kia Ceed is a stylish five door hatchback that can compete with the best of them

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Kia Ceed 1.0-litre T-GDi K4
Price: 
€25,695 (Range from €22,695)
Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol
Power:
120hp
Torque: 172 Nm
0-100km/h:  
11.1 seconds
Top speed: 190 km/h
Economy: 
5.4 to 5.6 100km
CO2 emissions: 
127 g/km
Motor tax: 
€270 per year


Paul Linders, Managing Director, Gillian Whittall, Opel Ireland General Manager and Joe Linders, Linders Group Owner

Linders Joins Opel's Irish Dealer Network

Paul Linders, Managing Director, Gillian Whittall, Opel Ireland General Manager and Joe Linders, Linders Group Owner
Paul Linders, Managing Director, Gillian Whittall, Opel Ireland General Manager and Joe Linders, Linders Group Owner

Opel Ireland has announced the appointment of Linders to the Opel dealer network in Ireland. Located in Finglas (J5 M50) and Turvey (J4 M1), Linders will host a new Opel showroom and service centre.

"We are so excited to be joining the Opel family especially as they roll out their new line of PSA models," said Paul Linders, Managing Director at Linders. "We feel the Opel brand is best suited to our dealerships in Finglas and Turvey and we look forward to meeting the demand for Opel passenger and commercial vehicles in North County Dublin. Linders is first and foremost a family brand driven by keeping the customer at its centre. We aim to keep this in our sights as we move into what will be no doubt an exciting period in our 80 year adventure. While Linders are celebrating our 80th birthday, Opel will celebrate its 120th birthday and its continued commitment to precision German engineering in the Irish Market in 2019. So it is only fitting that it joins forces with one of Ireland longest established motor retailers."

Gillian Whittall, General Manager, Opel Ireland said, “We are delighted to be working with Linders, who have a remarkable 80 years of trusted history in the Irish motor industry. The 50 strong team at Linders have a wealth of experience, alongside an outstanding reputation in customer service, and I wish them every success.”

Established in 1938, Linders is one of the longest running dealerships in Dublin. From their beginnings in Smithfield, to their current locations in Finglas and Turvey, Linders is known for excellent customer service and lifelong relationships with their customers. Both showrooms offer best in class facilities with an extensive Opel passenger car and commercial vehicle range, plus a service centre with a team of highly trained technicians using genuine parts.

The Linders Finglas and Turvey dealerships will showcase the full 191 Opel passenger vehicle line up, including the Grandland X, Mokka X, Crossland X, Insignia Grand Sport and Astra. The Opel commercial vehicle range will also be available, including the Movano, Vivaro and new Combo Cargo van, which launches in January 2019.

To celebrate the launch of Linders Opel at Finglas and Turvey on October 12th, there are a range of 191 offers such as 0% PCP and HP finance, a guaranteed minimum €3,000 scrappage or three years free servicing. For further information, visit the Linders Opel showrooms, visit www.linders.ie or phone 01 864 8212 (Finglas) or 01 8901801 (Turvey).


What preferences are Irish car buyers showing in the new car market so far in 2018?

What's Ireland Buying?

What preferences are Irish car buyers showing in the new car market so far in 2018?
What preferences are Irish car buyers showing in the new car market so far in 2018?

This feature first appeared in the October issue of Forecourt News, the magazine of the Irish Petrol Retailers' Association (IPRA). 

Sales of SUVs, petrol cars and hybrids show growth amidst the backdrop of a contracting new car market in Ireland in 2018, writes Caroline Kidd.

In August, the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) released their Second Quarterly Motor Review prepared by economist Jim Power. The report gives an overview and analysis of the new car market in Ireland in the first six months of 2018. It highlights that despite Ireland’s economic indicators pointing towards an expanding economy with consumer spending continuing to improve steadily, the depreciation in the value of sterling since the end of 2015 has made life more difficult for the Irish motor trade.

Industry experts cite used car imports from the UK as the reason for falling sales of new cars here. Total new car registrations for this year are already being forecast at around 125,000, which would represent a decline of 4.8% on the total number of cars registered in Ireland in 2017. In contrast, the used import market is expected to grow by around 12% in 2018 to reach 104,660 cars.

Yet it’s not all doom and gloom and there are still plenty of new cars being bought here, with sales of SUVs, petrol cars and hybrids showing the most growth in the first half of 2018. Volkswagen, Toyota, Hyundai, Ford and Nissan hold the lion’s share in sales of new passenger cars and together these brands accounted for 46.29% of new car registrations in the first six months of 2018.

2018 has also seen a tussle between the Hyundai Tucson and the Nissan Qashqai for the title of Ireland’s bestselling car. The Nissan Qashqai was Ireland’s bestselling car up to the end of June 2018, but the Tucson recovered some ground in July to overtake the Qashqai, and by the time you read this there could be a change at the top again!

Whether it’s the Tucson or Qashqai on top, the fact remains that like our European neighbours, our preferences are changing from traditional hatchbacks and saloons, to SUVs and crossovers. While hatchbacks and saloons still make up just under 50% of the new car market - and the likes of the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus and Skoda Octavia remain among Ireland’s bestselling cars - sales of these vehicles are shrinking year on year.

Sales of SUVs are booming, with brands like Peugeot really enjoying their popularity
Sales of SUVs are booming, with brands like Peugeot really enjoying their popularity

And with SUVs already showing over 34% growth this year, it would appear that this is where buyers are going. Manufacturers are responding with more and more new SUV models, particularly among the B- and C-segment.

One brand riding the current wave of interest in SUVs is Peugeot. The French brand recorded the strongest growth in the Irish new car market at +53% for the first six months of 2018. Peugeot Ireland contributes sales of their Peugeot 2008, 3008 and 5008 SUVs to the brand’s change in fortunes.

In the last issue of Forecourt News, we reported the resurgence in sales of petrol cars, and the latest new car registrations data shows that the trend away from diesel towards petrol is continuing. In the first half of 2018, diesel cars accounted for 55.47% of total new registrations, down from 66.02% in the first half of 2017. Petrol cars accounted for 38.02% of the total, up from 30.24% in the first half of 2017. Petrol electric hybrids accounted for 5.4% of the total, up from 3.15% in the first half of 2017. 529 electric cars were registered in the first half of the year, which is 41.4% higher than the first half of 2017.

On a lighter note, grey is the most popular car colour in Ireland in 2018, followed by black and white. Interestingly, there has been a significant increase in the number of orange cars registered in 2018, up over 200%!

Looking forward to the second half of 2018, the SIMI report predicts that the economic fundamentals that underpin new car registrations look set to remain positive, but continued strong growth in used imports will continue to undermine new car sales. Typically new car registrations dwindle towards the end of the year anyway, but with plenty of new models on the way between now and the end of the year, the new 191 registration plate is already in sight.

Sales of orange cars have increased this year - like this Volkswagen Polo
Sales of orange cars have increased this year - like this Volkswagen Polo

Caroline Kidd is a motoring journalist and jury member for Irish Car of the Year. She is the editor of Changing Lanes, one of Ireland’s leading motoring blogs. Visit her blog at www.changinglanes.ie.


The new BMW 3 Series will arrive in Ireland next March, as the brand announces price reductions

BMW And MINI Announce Price Reductions

The new BMW 3 Series will arrive in Ireland next March, as the brand announces price reductions
The new BMW 3 Series will arrive in Ireland next March, as the brand announces price reductions

BMW Group Ireland has announced price reductions across BMW and MINI brands in Ireland.

The average price reduction is 5.1 per cent, representing an average saving of €3,296 on new BMW models.

Meanwhile for MINI, the average reduction is -3.9% or €850 across its range.

These reductions are despite the diesel VRT increases announced in Budget 2019.

Paulo Alves, Managing Director BMW Group Ireland said: “The change in our pricing is designed to make it even more compelling for customers to stay in BMW’s Irish network and offset currency fluctuations. We are offering this decrease at a time when the industry is faced with increasing prices due to new EU legislation with WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure)."

MINI Ireland is also announcing a new simplified product offering for customers across its entire range, with now just three styles for each model: Classic, Sport and Exclusive. These changes are designed to make it easier to order a MINI in five simple steps.

Two new functional optional packs will also be introduced: ‘Comfort Pack’ and the ‘Comfort Plus Pack’.

Additional standard equipment will be featured on all new MINI models including interior ambient lighting, MINI logo projection from the driver door, automatic headlights and rain sensors.


SIMI comment on budget

SIMI Disappointed At VRT Increase On Diesel

SIMI comment on budget
SIMI is disappointed with a new 1% surcharge on VRT for new and imported diesel cars

Statement in full from Alan Nolan, SIMI Director General, on the Budget decision to increase VRT on the registration of diesel cars:

“This was a poorly considered measure that appears to have been included to give the perception of an environmental focus in the Budget. Concerns about diesel centre on air quality in cities but city-based car buyers have already moved away from buying new diesel cars, the Dublin diesel share having reduced from 70% in 2014 to 51% this year. The bigger impact here will be on rural and business buyers for whom diesel is still the better environmental choice. The real problem is that this type of provision is likely to have a different impact to what is intended, for instance it may cause some purchasers to postpone their car change, reducing the potential to add cleaner new cars into the fleet. This Industry has been strongly supportive of the transition away from internal combustion engines and in reducing the diesel market share. The Government is well aware of the fact that this transition has already been happening quite rapidly without this type of negative provision, which appears to be more about the perception of being seen to take some environmental action in the aftermath of the decision not to increase Carbon Taxes.

The real disappointment for businesses and jobs in our sector is that we were already facing an increase in VRT in January, only on the price of a new car, in the region of €450, due to the new EU Emissions test (WLTP).This additional 1% surcharge, announced in the Budget, is likely to add a further €400 on average to a new diesel car from January. With the low value of Sterling driving up the number of older cars being imported into Ireland the Motor Industry was already apprehensive about the outlook for 2019. Surveyed before today’s VRT increase, 73% of Franchise dealers were already anticipating a worse year in 2019 because of Brexit.

This Budget decision on VRT flies in the face of the stated support and consideration for those impacted by Brexit. Our sector has been the worst impacted to date by Brexit and the 14% fall in new car sales since Brexit is likely to accelerate further next year. This increase is more likely to encourage those who may want a diesel car to opt for an older imported used diesel. Given that older diesels can be up to 30 times worse on emissions than a new car; this would hardly pass for environmental progress. From a revenue point of view, if even only 5,000 new cars are replaced by imports as a result of this VRT increase, the State would face a net reduction of €20 Million in tax receipts rather than the Department’s projected increase of €25 Million.

The Industry had been seeking some consideration in respect of the impact of the new emissions test on VRT in January. In this context, the additional imposition of this Budget VRT increase in the full knowledge of how Brexit is currently impacting shows a total lack of concern for businesses in our sector.”


Budget 2019 for motorists

Budget 2019 For Motorists

Budget 2019 for motorists
What will Budget 2019 mean for you?

Here are the main point's from Budget 2019 for motorists and the motor industry in Ireland, compiled by SIMI (Society of the Irish Motor Industry).

  1. 1% VRT surcharge across all VRT Bands for diesel cars, new and used imports
  2. Extension of VRT Reliefs for Plug-In and Conventional Hybrids up to €2,500 until the end of 2019
  3. No increase in carbon taxes
  4. No increase in fuel duties
  5. LPG commercial vehicles relief - a new accelerated capital allowances scheme for gas-propelled vehicles and refuelling equipment
  6. Buses – no diesel-only buses for the urban public service obligation (PSO) bus fleets after July 2019.
  7. The 0% Benefit-in-kind rate for electric vehicles is being extended for a period of 3 years, with a cap of €50,000 on the Original Market Value of the vehicle