hyundai tucson ireland

New Car Sales In Ireland In January 2017

According to figures released by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), new car registrations in Ireland were down 1.7% in January 2017 compared to the same time last year. The month ended 39,019 new 171 cars registered versus 39,722 in January 2016.

Light commercials registrations were down 2.4% (6,394) compared to January last year (6,555), while HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicle) registrations were down 6.3% (456) for January in comparison to the same time last year (487).

Commenting on the figures, economist Jim Power said, "Looking ahead to 2017, while the outlook for car sales is a bit more difficult to predict than last year, the projected growth in personal disposable incomes and the availability of credit provide solid support for car sales. However, the impact of Brexit and the increased volume in imported used cars are other issues that may impact on new car sales this year., Overall, though, numbers should be fairly close to last year with perhaps a slight decline of around 3% in new car sales in 2017, which would imply new car sales of around 142,000.”

Last year the Industry continued to generate strong returns for the Exchequer with a total VRT and VAT take of €1.5 billion (26.8% ahead of 2015) from new and used car sales alone.

Alan Greene SIMI President commented, “The Motor Industry continues to be a strong contributor to employment with 40,800 people employed throughout Ireland. Last year our Industry contributed €1.5 Billion to the Exchequer in car sales alone. 2017 was always going to be a more cautious year for businesses, right across the economy, but we have seen a steady start in January and hopefully we are on track for another good year and continuation of a stable market during the rest of the year”.

The top five selling car makes for January were Hyundai, Toyota, Ford, Volkswagen, and Nissan.

The top five selling models for January were the Hyundai Tucson followed by the Ford Focus, Ford Fiesta, Nissan Qashqai, and Volkswagen Golf.

Caroline Kidd

Irish Car of the Year 2017

Irish Car of the Year 2017 Winners!

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has been awarded the title of Irish Car of the Year 2017.

The Irish Car of the Year Awards in association with Continental Tyres took place last night, October 27th, at the Powerscourt Hotel, Enniskerry and were attended by Ireland’s leading car brands, distributors and other motoring dignitaries.

Stephen Byrne, Chief Executive, Mercedes-Benz in Ireland, said: “We are honoured to win the Irish Car of the Year 2017 award. This accolade bestowed by Irish motoring journalists is a recognition of the advanced technology and features to be found in the new generation E-Class.”

This year’s jury was made up of 30 jurors from across online, broadcast and print media, including this writer. Over 40 new cars launched in Ireland over the last year were eligible for the Awards.

John Galvin, Irish Car of the Year Committee member and Chairman of the Irish Motoring Writers' Association (IMWA), said, “We’ve had 40 years of Irish Car of the Year and the E-Class is an exceptional winner.”

Tom Dennigan from Irish Car of the Year sponsor Continental Tyres, said,“Continental is delighted to be associated with Irish Car of the Year, an event that continues to be the highlight of the motoring year.”

The category winners were as follows:

Irish Small Car of the Year 2017 - Suzuki Baleno

Irish Car of the Year 2017
The Suzuki Baleno - Irish Small Car of the Year 2017

Irish Medium Car of the Year 2017 - Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé

Irish Car of the Year 2017
Irish Medium Car of the Year 2017 - Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé

Irish Large Car of the Year 2017 - Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Irish Car of the Year 2017
Irish Medium Car of the Year 2017 - Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Irish Small SUV of the Year 2017 - Peugeot 2008

Irish Car of the Year 2017
Irish Small SUV of the Year 2017 - Peugeot 2008

Irish Medium SUV of the Year 2017 - Hyundai Tucson

Irish Car of the Year 2017
Irish Medium SUV of the Year 2017 - Hyundai Tucson

Irish Large SUV of the Year 2017 - Ford Edge

Irish Car of the Year 2017
Irish Large SUV of the Year 2017 - Ford Edge

Irish Performance/Sports Car of the Year 2017 - Ford Mustang

Irish Car of the Year 2017
Irish Performance/Sports Car of the Year 2017 - Ford Mustang

Caroline Kidd

Irish Car Of The Year 2017

Motor Industry Gears Up For Irish Car Of The Year 2017

The Irish Car of the Year Awards 2017, in association with Continental Tyres, will take place on Thursday October 27th.

This year's jury is made up of 33 jurors from across online and print media who will vote for an overall Irish Car of the Year 2017, along with a number of category winners. Over 40 new cars launched in Ireland over the last year are eligible for the Awards.

Speaking at the launch of Irish Car of the Year 2017, Tom Dennigan from Continental Tyres Ireland said, “Continental Tyres is delighted to be sponsor of the Irish Car and Van of the Year awards, which are adjudicated upon by the majority of motoring journalists in Ireland.”

“For those Irish motorists who are in the lucky position to be considering a new car for the new year, the choices of the learned jurors of the Irish Car and Van of the Year awards are a great help in making sense of the bewildering array of cars and technologies that are available from the smallest car segments right up to the most exotic models on sale in the Irish market."

The categories for this year's Awards are as follows:

Small Car

Medium Car

Large Car

Small SUV

Medium SUV

Large SUV

Performance/Sports Car

An Irish Van of the Year 2017 will also be awarded.

Follow me on Twitter @caroline_kidd for Irish Car of the Year category winners as they are announced.

Caroline Kidd

Hyundai Tucson ireland's bestselling car

New Car Sales August 2016: What's Ireland Buying?

Hyundai Tucson ireland's bestselling car
The Hyundai Tucson is still Ireland's bestselling car, outselling the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus

New data from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) shows that 7,313 new cars were registered in August 2016, and this figure is up 14% on August 2015 when 6,400 new cars were registered.

Meanwhile, total new car registrations for 2016 are still following the upward trend, up 19% (138,538) compared to the same period last year (116,195), and well on the way to breaking the 150,000 barrier predicted by year end.

Registrations of new Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) are up 11% (1,815) on the same month last year (1,642) and up 22% (24,545) year to date.

Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) registrations are also up 49% for the month of August 2016 (251) when compared to August last year (169), with registrations up 41% overall.

The data shows that Hyundai is still Ireland’s bestselling car brand, followed by Toyota and Volkswagen. The Hyundai Tucson was the top selling car in August but is also the bestselling car in Ireland to date in 2016, followed by the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus.

Commenting on the figures, Alan Nolan, SIMI Director General, said, "The Motor Industry has been working hard to deliver the continuing level of growth in what has been a noticeably more difficult market since June. As we move toward the end of the 3rd quarter of the year, the Industry remains focused on business still to be done, with strong offers still available for consumers. In contrast with the era before the two-period registration system was introduced, when sales were all but finished in the first quarter, the interest in new vehicle sales now tends to carry to the end of the third quarter, but obviously at a lower rate.

He also emphasises the importance of the Industry to the Exchequer and warns against any moves by the Government in the next Budget that could negatively impact the sector.

“We believe the Industry is still on course to deliver close to 150,000 new car sales by the end of the year, indeed new car sales have already generated €1.2 Billion for the Exchequer in VRT and VAT receipts. Our Industry currently employs over 42,000 people nationwide and it is crucial that the provisions in the forthcoming Budget for 2017 support rather than undermine the State’s tax revenues and employment across the sector. It is important that Budget 2017 contains measures that improve the position of both consumers and businesses. The potential for post-Brexit Sterling exchange rates to drain business away from the Irish domestic economy was highlighted by the increase of 76% in the number of imported used cars in July, so clearly the last thing we need at this stage is any further damaging tax increase in the forthcoming Budget. Suggestions of piece-meal increases on diesel fuel or indeed on motor tax being considered, at a time when soaring insurance costs are already impacting, would be damaging and extremely ill-conceived given that a new EU emissions regime is being rolled-out from next year which will require a major review of our current environmental taxation.

Our Industry, like the rest of the domestic economy, needs stability and as much certainty as is possible to support consumer and business confidence, especially given concerns regarding Brexit, in order to support a continuation of the recovery and progress of the past few years."

Caroline Kidd

tips for good car photography

12 Simple Tips For Good Car Photography

tips for good car photography
Taking car photos from above can work really well, like this shot of the Peugeot 308 GTi

I try where possible to use original car photography to accompany my car reviews on Changing Lanes. I’m not a professional photographer, more a snap happy Instragrammer. But I have a learnt a few things about taking a good car photo, mainly by making a lot of mistakes.

Here are my car photography tips for producing something half decent!

1. Turn the front wheel of the car that’s facing the camera in, not out! I used to do this so bad until one day I copped it.

2. Natural light is your friend but bright sunlight is an actual beast to work with as an amateur stuck on auto. Dull, overcast days make things a lot easier and we get a lot of those in Ireland. Soft light at daybreak and sunset is very flattering to the amateur photographer, but depending on time of year, you may have a very, very early start to get the best morning light.

3. Be aware of shadows, especially in sunlight. They look awful in photos if they’re facing the camera. I found this out after a lot of failed shoots too.

4. If you are shooting in bright sunlight, make sure the sun is behind your shoulder, not the car’s, because it just wreaks havoc with the shot. Don’t ask me why, it just does.

Honda Jazz Review Ireland
Car photography tips: See that tree sprouting from the Honda Jazz? Yeah, try to avoid doing this.

5. Move the car around in the one location and try different angles. Some will work, some won’t, but it helps you to learn.

6. Watch out for reflections in the side of the car. Think about this when choosing your location. Flat open space is best.

7. Check the ground around the car in the shot. Is there any rubbish around the car? It looks awful afterwards and sometimes if you’re focusing so much on getting the car right in the shot you won’t see it until you're home on your computer.

8. Check the backdrop. If there are trees or poles, make sure that they are not in an awkward position. A pole sprouting from the car's roofline never looks good. I’ve made this mistake so many times and I still do it from time to time.

9. Play with different angles but taking the photo from low down tends to work well. Be prepared to get down and dirty to get the perfect shot! From above is also cool, if your location will allow it, but make your safety number one!

10. You don’t have to always centre the car in the shot. You can produce more interesting photos by placing the car off centre or including more background in the shot.

Mazda2 Irish review
Car photography tips: Choose an interesting location and take shot from below eye level, like my photo of the Mazda2

11. Bring cleaning equipment. There is nothing as bad as a dirty car in photos. Why would you bother?

12. Scout around for different locations but mountains, sea, beaches, water, empty roads, forests, fields, castles and stately homes tend to work well for beginners!

Caroline Kidd