The Opel Astra was Ireland's bestselling car in June 2019!

June New Car Registrations In Ireland

The Opel Astra was Ireland's bestselling car in June 2019!
The Opel Astra was Ireland's bestselling car in June 2019!

Official statistics released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that total new car registrations for the month of June were up 13% (1,410) when compared with June 2018 (1,248). New car registrations year to date are down 7.4% (80,712) on the same period last year (87,116).

The top five bestselling car brands in Ireland so far in 2019 are 1. Volkswagen, 2. Toyota, 3. Hyundai, 4. Ford and 5. Skoda.

The top five bestselling cars so far in Ireland in 2019 are 1. Nissan Qashqai, 2. Hyundai Tucson, 3. Toyota Corolla, 4. Volkswagen Tiguan and 5. Skoda Octavia.

The bestselling car in June was the Opel Astra.

Imported Used Cars for June saw a slight decrease -1.0% (8,060) on the same month last year (8,140) while year to date imports are 2.4% (53,120) ahead of 2018 (51,879).

New electric vehicle registrations continue to grow month on month with a total of 1,954 EV cars registered so far this year, which surpasses the total number of EVs registered for the whole 2018 (1,233).

New Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) registrations are up 8.4% (752) on June 2018 (694), with registrations year to date down 7.6% (15,386). While New Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HGV) increased 72.68% (316) in comparison to June 2018 (183) and year to date are up 14.6% (1,797)

Commenting on the registrations figures Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General said “Despite Ireland’s strong economic performance, new car sales for the first 6 months of the year have been disappointing, 7.4% down on the same period last year and over 20% down over the last 3 years. Every county in Ireland has seen a reduction on last year, reflecting the uncertain trading environment arising from Brexit. Today marks that start of the 192-registration period, which offers retailers some respite, and with a variety of competitive offers available there should be a brief upturn in showroom activity. Many in the Industry are already turning their focus on October’s Budget, which coincides with Brexit. In the current fragile business context, SIMI is urging the Government to exercise extreme caution in dealing with motor related taxation. The Motorist should not be burdened with an increase in taxation on new cars, as this will only further dampen demand. The Industry supports some 47,000 jobs, and dramatic taxation changes could undermine this level of employment, the new and used car markets, Government Revenues, and our ability to renew our national car fleet which in turn could hamper Ireland’s ability to meet its international environmental targets”.

SIMI has asked the Government for extreme caution with proposed changes to taxation

SIMI Comment On Taxation Changes Budget 2020

SIMI has asked the Government for extreme caution with proposed changes to taxation
SIMI has asked the Government for extreme caution with proposed changes to taxation in Budget 2020

Official comment from SIMI:

The Motor Industry and the motorist is facing the greatest change in taxation since 2009. The Industry is haunted by the taxation changes in 2009, which undermined both new and used car sales by being too ambitious and seeking to implement change too quickly. Overnight car values plummeted, new car sales declined and the Industry fell off a cliff. That together with a recession resulted in the closure of 150 family businesses, 14,700 job lost and over €1bn in lost revenue for the Exchequer.

The looming Budget 2020 brings a very concerning feeling of Déjà vu. The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) continues to highlight the need for extreme caution in dealing with motor related taxation in the upcoming Budget, doubly so now that the Budget almost coincides with the Brexit date.

The Economic Statement issued by the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe yesterday outlined budgetary policy is not a one size fits all, and highlighted the huge difficulty in framing a Budget for next year.

Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General outlines the major concerns facing the Industry

“In this already fragile business environment for car retailers, it is vital that Budget 2020 recognises the importance of new cars; to the economy, in terms of local employment and in terms of tax revenues; and to the environment as the renewal of the Irish car fleet with new vehicles, is the only way to make a material and sustainable move to reducing emissions from the private car. Our Industry is very concerned and angry at the possibility of sleepwalking into another potential 2009.

The State must stop overburdening new cleaner cars with tax, while at the same time ignoring the problem of replacing older cars, which is where the real emissions problems lie. In fact, it’s even worse, the VRT system discriminates against new cars when compared to older used imports. It would appear from various publications that the new car is being lined up as the easy target as if new cars are the main issue. Newer cars have the most up-to-date emission technologies and are less environmentally damaging than older used cars. Uncertainty in the market leads to consumers holding onto their older car or importing an older car that is perceived to be good value.

With the full move to WLTP emissions testing on the horizon, Budget 2020 must make allowance for the difference between the new and old emission testing systems. Most other EU countries have followed the EU Commission view that consumers should not be faced with increased taxation due to the new emissions testing regime. Ireland should be no different. We should be selling 150,000 new cars each year, but with threats of Brexit this number has already fallen to 112,000. If a VRT increase is thrown into the mix for 2020, we will see a further fall; history, in particular 2009 tells us what can happen. 

Last week the Government’s Climate Action Plan proposed a transition to zero emission transport, which the Industry fully supports and is proactively engaged in rolling out cleaner technologies. However, it is important to note that this transition is not deliverable in the short-term, as it will take a number of years to achieve, longer than is proposed in the Plan. We require the right measures that focus on gradual change and include sensible policies aimed at encouraging motorist to make the right choices that can lead to clean, affordable and convenient mobility solutions. This can only be achieved by allowing the new car market to flourish in 2020, which has clear environmental and economic benefits.

So let’s not make the mistakes of the past. Progressive changes to VRT should be focused at replacing older cars with new ones. This is the only way to start the transition to a low and ultimately zero-emission free fleet. In that way we will all win, the consumer, the Industry, the Environment, protecting the 47,000 jobs and businesses in our communities.”

The new Skoda Octavia Soleil

New Skoda Octavia Soleil Arrives In Ireland

The new Skoda Octavia Soleil
The new Skoda Octavia Soleil

Skoda Ireland has announced the arrival of the new Skoda Octavia Soleil, which goes on sale in Ireland from €24,700.

The Soleil model is derived from the Skoda brand's association with the internationally celebrated Cirque du Soleil circus.

In Ireland, the Skoda Octavia Soleil is available as a Combi estate or as a hatchback, with a range of engines including the 1.0 TSI 115bhp petrol and the 1.6 TDI 115bhp diesel, available with both manual and DSG automatic transmissions.

Standard features include 8" touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, LED headlights with AFS and headlight washers, half leather interior, heated seats, darkened rear SunSet glass and Skoda Care Connect, all featuring as a package for the first time in the Octavia.

Outside there are Soleil badges above the front wheels and unique 16” Velorum alloy wheels.

Raymond Leddy Head of Marketing & Product, Skoda Ireland said: “The Octavia Soleil is now available to test drive at your local Skoda dealer with vehicles available for 192 July delivery. To celebrate the launch of the Octavia Soleil, Skoda dealers will be providing 0% finance on all Soleil models up to the end of July. The Soleil is a limited edition Octavia with limited stock, so early discussions with your local Skoda dealer are recommended”

The new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is on the way to Ireland in September

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe Available To Order!

The new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is on the way to Ireland in September
The new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is on the way to Ireland in September

The new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe is now available to order. It will go on sale from €104,060 in Ireland, with first deliveries expected in September.

According to BMW, the new 8 Series Gran Coupe "combines four-door practicality with superior driving dynamics".

It has a longer wheelbase when compared to the new BMW 8 Series Coupe and a roomier cabin than the 8 Series Coupe and Cabriolet.  The boot has a capacity of 440 litres.

The chassis of the new BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe has been tuned for handling on par with the smaller two-door variant.

It will be available in Ireland as an 840i, M850i xDrive and 840d xDrive.

Adaptive M suspension comes as standard, with active roll stabilisation optionally available for all model variants. The BMW M850i xDrive Gran Coupe and BMW 840i Gran Coupe are fitted with M Sport differential as standard. Integral Active Steering is standard in the all-wheel-drive model variants and optional for the BMW 840i Gran Coupe. There's also a Driving Experience Control switch to select COMFORT, ECO Pro, SPORT and SPORT+ modes, enabling a broad spectrum of setup options, from dynamic to comfortable.

Standard specification for the 8 Series Gran Coupe will include sports seats and Vernasca leather trim, shift paddles on the steering wheel, ambient lighting, and fulled leather trim for the instrument panel and door shoulders.

The new BMW 3 Series Touring

New BMW 3 Series Touring Irish Pricing

The new BMW 3 Series Touring
The new BMW 3 Series Touring

The new BMW 3 Series Touring will arrive in Ireland in October priced from €46,900 for the 320d SE. The estate will join the 3 Series saloon, which arrived in Ireland earlier in the year.

The new 3 Series Touring is lighter with an improved chassis for superior handling. It has larger exterior dimensions than its predecessor and an extended wheelbase. The boot measures 500 litres.

Trim levels will include SE, Sport, M Sport and new M Sport Plus Edition.

Engine variants include the 318d, 320d, 330d, 320i, 330i and M340i xDrive.

A plug-in hybrid will join the 3 Series Touring line-up in summer 2020.

SEAT has launched the new eXS KickScooter

SEAT eXS KickScooter In Partnership With Segway

SEAT has launched the new eXS KickScooter
SEAT has launched the new eXS KickScooter

SEAT has announced the arrival of the new eXS Kickscooter powered by Segway to the Irish market. The new scooter will be available to order from participating SEAT retailers across the country and features Segway’s leading electric technology.

The SEAT eXS KickScooter has a travel range of 25 kilometres on one charge and its maximum recharging time is three and a half hours. The electric scooters top speed is 25 km/hour and weighs 12.5 kilos. Its 8 inch (diameter) solid rubber wheels help prevent punctures and its front and rear suspensions give it smooth handling.

The eXS Kickscooter is also equipped with a password protected app that allows the user to control the front and rear LED lights, customisable ambient light, an LCD screen, cruise control setting and an anti-theft deterrent.

This partnership between SEAT and Segway is in response to the growing demand for electric urban transport among commuters. In major cities like Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and London electric scooters are already a common form of transport and it is estimated that in Spain alone there are more than 26,000 electric scooters on the streets of its cities.

As part of its 192 sales campaign, SEAT Ireland will run a special Open Week from June 17th to 22nd with savings available across the SEAT range as well as a free electric scooter for those who place an order on a SEAT model during this period.

Commenting on the product launch, Niall Phillips, Brand Director at SEAT Ireland said,

“While selling high value four-wheel vehicles will remain the core offering of SEAT Ireland, we have to be cognisant of changing consumer demand and the need to adapt our product range to meet this demand.

At SEAT Ireland, innovation is at the heart of what we do and with recent years witnessing a shift in the mobility needs of the Irish public, particularly in urban areas, we are both delighted and excited to be the first car manufacturer to introduce a new form of mobility to the market.”

The SEAT eXS KickScooter is available at SEAT retailers nationwide now and RRP is €599.

The new Subaru XV and Forester e-BOXER Hybrids

Subaru XV Crossover And Forester e-BOXER Hybrids

The new Subaru XV and Forester e-BOXER Hybrids
The new Subaru XV and Forester e-BOXER Hybrids

Subaru Ireland has released details of the new Subaru XV Crossover and the all-new Forester e-BOXER hybrids, which will arrive in Ireland before the end of 2019.

Both cars will use a 2.0-litre petrol-electric powertrain.  From standstill, or at low speed, the electric motor alone powers the vehicle. Depending on the vehicle and battery condition, it can drive on EV-Mode for distances ranging up to about 1.6km, and reach speeds up to 40km/h.

At medium speeds, power from both the motor and the engine combine to give a responsive, linear and fuel-efficient acceleration, while at high-speed the 2.0-litre direct-injection BOXER engine powers the vehicle while recharging the battery.

The new generation of the Subaru Forester is the most technologically advanced Subaru yet, equipped with a host of new Advanced Safety technologies including EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, Driver Monitoring System and Reverse Automatic Braking.

The new Forester features a spacious passenger cabin and a versatile cargo compartment thanks to the compact battery that minimizes spatial impact. The width is increased by 20mm over the previous model providing more front seat comfort. The wheelbase was stretched 30 mm, as a result, the distance between the front and the rear seat passenger was extended by 33mm for improved rear seat comfort. There are 220 millimeters of ground clearance and wide approach and departure angles for off-road driving. The X-Mode is now available with dual functions, suited for a variety of weather and road conditions and the new Forester has a towing capacity of 1870kg.

The new Subaru Forester is priced at €44,495 for the SE model and comes with LED Headlights, Keyless access, electrically adjustable driver seat, Driver monitoring system, EyeSight and X-Mode 2. The SE Premium edition is priced at €48,195 and includes 18” alloys, Sunroof, Leather seats, Satellite Navigation, Power tailgate, heated rear seats and heated steering wheel.

The new Subaru XV Crossover is built on the all-new Subaru Global Platform and just like the Forester, the XV Crossover is powered by a direct-injection 2.0-litre horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine and paired with an electric motor within the customized lineartronic transmission. The Subaru XV Crossover e-BOXER comes as standard with a suite of driver-assist and safety features, such as EyeSight driver assist and Rear Vehicle Detection. It has a compact body with 220mm ground clearance, underpinned by Subaru’s original Symmetrical AWD System, Active Torque Vectoring, and an improved X-Mode system for off road.

The Subaru XV Crossover is priced at €38,495 for the SE model which includes LED headlights, 17” alloys, electrically adjustable and heated driver seat, EyeSight, Keyless access and Dual zone air-conditioning. For €41,495 the SE Premium version offers upgrades such as a Sunroof, Satellite Navigation and Driver seat electrical adjustments.

This e-BOXER announcement follows news that Toyota and Subaru will jointly develop a BEV-dedicated platform as early as next year, marking the next stage of the Subaru electrification strategy. The two companies will apply Subaru’s all-wheel drive and Toyota’s vehicle electrification technologies to jointly develop a C-segment SUV.

Order books are now open for both models with first vehicles set to arrive in Ireland this November.

The new Kia e-Soul

Kia e-Soul Arrives In Ireland!

The new Kia e-Soul
The new Kia e-Soul

The all-new Kia e-Soul has arrived in Ireland. This is the third generation of the Kia Soul, which will now be exclusively sold as an all-electric vehicle.

Kia Motors Ireland is offering the e-Soul in two trims, K2 and K3, and both come with a 64 kWh battery that gives a real world range of up to 452km and 204hp.

With the powertrain’s maximum 395 Nm torque available from a standstill, the long-range 64 kWh e-Soul will accelerate from 0-to-100 kph in just 7.9 seconds.

A Combined Charging System (CCS) DC fast charger is fitted as standard. There are also a range of energy-recuperation technologies to maximise driving range including an energy efficient heat pump system and a regenerative braking system operated by paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

Standard equipment includes a 10.25” touchscreen AV/Nav display, 7” supervision cluster, Lane Keep Assist, Smart Cruise Control, Front Collison Avoidance, full leather trim, Harmon Kardon Sound System, Heads Up Display and Blind Spot Detection.

The Kia e-Soul K2 is priced from €35,995, while the K3 is priced from €37,495, including VRT relief and government grants.

“Kia Motors Ireland are delighted to launch both the e-Niro and e-Soul into the Irish market. There is built up demand in the country for a wider range of EV vehicles to choose from and public reaction for these new cars has been tremendous. Already demand for 192 cars has exceeded supply and we are now seeking interest for 2020,“ commented James Brooks, Managing Director, Kia Motors Ireland.

Kia has also just launched the Kia e-Niro, while the new XCeed PHEV crossover is expected by the end of the year.

The new Kia e-Niro

Kia e-Niro Joins Niro PHEV In Ireland

The new Kia e-Niro
The new Kia e-Niro

The new Kia e-Niro, the first fully electric crossover utility vehicle produced by Kia, has arrived in Ireland. It will join the Kia Niro PHEV in the Niro range.

Kia Motors Ireland is marketing one well-equipped trim level for the new e-Niro with a choice of either mid range or long range variants depending on battery. The mid range (35 kw battery) offers a range of up to 289 km, while the long range (64 kw battery) offers a range of up to 455 km on the WLTP combined cycle.

Models equipped with the long-distance 64 kw battery pack are paired with a 150 kw (204 ps) motor, producing 395 Nm torque, enabling the e-Niro to accelerate from 0-to-100 kph in 7.8 seconds.

The standard 35 kw battery pack is matched to a 100 kW (136 ps) motor, also producing 395 Nm torque, and accelerating to 100 kph from a standstill in 9.8 seconds.

The Kia e-Niro 35 kw is available from €33,495, with the e-Niro 64 kw available from €37,495 including VRT relief and government grants.

Standard features include 17” alloys, leather upholstery, heated front seats and steering wheel, 7” inch screen featuring Android Auto/Apple Car Play and Tom Tom Navigation, Lane Keep Assist, Smart Cruise Control, Forward collision-avoidance assist and Autonomous emergency braking.

“Kia Motors Ireland are delighted to launch both the e-Niro and e-Soul into the Irish market. There is built up demand in the country for a wider range of EV vehicles to choose from and public reaction for these new cars has been tremendous. Already demand for 192 cars has exceeded supply and we are now seeking interest for 2020,“ commented James Brooks, Managing Director, Kia Motors Ireland.

The new Peugeot 508 SW

Peugeot 508 SW Pricing And Specifications

The new Peugeot 508 SW
The new Peugeot 508 SW

The new Peugeot 508 SW estate model will go on sale in Ireland from €34,110 plus delivery related charges for the Active 1.5 BlueHDi diesel 130bhp 6-speed manual version. Order books are now open and deliveries to the first customers in Ireland will begin from 1st July onwards.

The new 508 SW has the same front design as the Peugeot 508 fastback, and adds a low-slung, estate bodyline. It has a large, easy-access boot, offering a total load space from 530 litres with the luggage cover closed, and up to 1780 litres thanks to Magic Flat rear seats.

In Ireland the new Peugeot 508 SW is available in Active, Allure, GT Line and GT trims.

Fitted with aluminium roof rails and boot luggage rails with safety net, the 508 SW also features the latest generation of Peugeot’s innovative i-Cockpit® with a configurable 12.3-inch head-up digital instrument panel, either a ten-inch or eight-inch capacitive touchscreen dependent on trim, and a compact multi-function steering wheel as standard for maximum driver control.

A host of safety features also come as standard, including Emergency Brake Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assistance with edge detection. MirrorLink® with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto® is also included as standard in every model.

Two new petrol options and four diesel options, based on the 1.6-litre PureTech, 1.5-litre BlueHDi and 2.0-litre BlueHDi engines, are on offer.

A 225bhp plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version, providing power to the front wheels using a 1.6-litre PureTech petrol 180bhp engine and a 110bhp electric motor, is due in Ireland at the end of 2019. With a ZEV range of 50km (WLTP), the batteries will be located under the row 2 seats to preserve the roomy boot.