21 January 2018

Renault Group in 3rd position for 2017

Renault Koleos
Last year was Renault Group Ireland’s most successful year achieving third position in the combined new car and van market with a combined market share of 9.8pc and 15,226 units sold, writes Trish Whelan.

Renault finished the year with a new car market share of 6.3pc, up from 5.7pc in 2016 while Dacia took 2.8pc of the passenger car market.

One of the Group’s star performers was the Captur crossover (pictured above), maintaining its number one spot at 29.8pc share in its segment for 2017. Renault’s Scenic range also held number one in the C-MPV segment at 17pc, while the Kadjar and Dacia Duster’s combined share of 11.6pc took the Group to fourth position in the C-SUV segment. The Megane range was the best-selling model at 2,300 units while in the B segment, the facelifted Clio and Dacia Sandero ensured Renault Group maintained its number one position.

Renault Group finished in fourth position overall in the new passenger car market and is the only player in the top five brands to have grown new car share in 2017.

Westmeath was Renault’s best-performing county for both passenger cars and LCVs with its market share taking 14.46pc and 29.97pc respectively. Waterford was the top seller for Dacia at 6.25pc share.

2017 saw Renault enjoy the youngest model range in the market with the launch of the new Megane and Scenic ranges as well as the new Koleos and new 100pc electric Renault ZOE Z.E. 40.

On the commercial front, Renault achieved 13.5pc share of the LCV market for 2017 remaining on the podium. Trafic finished in second place in the overall van market and was the best-selling medium-sized van, while Master retained its place on the podium as the number two large van last year. Kangoo gres its segment share from 7.3pc to 9.9pc.

Renault Bank, celebrating seven years in Ireland this year, lent over €200 million to Renault and Dacia customers in 2017. A key driver here was the number of returning Renault Bank customers. Over 60pc of PCP customers have returned to purchase another Renault vehicle. A Renault Bank branch is available in all 28 Renault Group dealerships, offering two-hour decision times and approval rates of 80pc.

Renault continues its sponsorship of The Late Late Show for 2018 as well as the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show on TodayFM while Dacia sponsors Breakfast Republic on RTE 2fm.

The 181 Renault passenger car offer includes 3pm APR PCP finance, 3 years’ servicing included and 3 years’ road tax on all models ordered and registered before 31 January 2018. Dacia is offering zero deposit and 4.9pc APR on PCP with Dacia Bank across the range for 181 including new facelifted Duster, Sandero, Stepway and new Logan MCV Stepway.

Renault Pro+ dealers are offering 3pc APR HP over 60 months on all orders taken and registered before 31 January 2018 across the Renault van range.

17 January 2018

JLR to create 150 jobs in Shannon

Jaguar Land Rover is to open a software engineering centre and create 150 jobs in Shannon this year, writes Trish Whelan. 

Working alongside JLR’s engineering team in the UK, the Shannon facility will be involved in realising the company’s vision for electric and automated driving vehicles and will develop new technologies to support electrification and self-driving features on future Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.

The company has selected Shannon as it is globally recognised as a centre of excellence for current and future software engineering talent. 

Supported by the Irish Development Agency, the Shannon team will start by developing the next generation of electric architecture as well as exploring advanced driver assistance systems features for future vehicles. 

Jaguar Land Rover has agreed a partnership with online education provider Udacity, which specialises in courses such as automated driving, artificial intelligence, robotics and data analytics. These courses will provide the skills to support JLR’s engineering capabilities and ongoing technological innovation. 

JLR is looking for software engineers with experience in a range of disciplines such as artificial intelligence, safety critical systems and vehicle architecture. 

The first fully electric performance SUV, the Jaguar I-PACE, goes on sale this year. 

1 million kms and still going strong ...

James Foley of Leighlinbridge, Carlow, is the proud owner of a 2007 7-seater Ford Tourneo Connect taxi which has done an incredible one million kilometres and is still going strong, writes Trish Whelan.

James has been astounded by the reliability of his Tourneo Connect which he bought second hand in 2008. He works as a taxi-driver in the Carlow-Kilkenny area with the occasional longer run up to Dublin.

The Tourneo Connect has a standard 1.8 TDCI diesel engine which James says has not given an ounce of trouble.

“In my business, regular servicing of your vehicle is an absolute must and I religiously stick to the service schedule - never more than 12,000km between service actions. I also always insist on using only top quality oil in the engine,” said James. “And you can see the result of this dedication to regular maintenance in the high mileage I’ve put on the car and the ongoing trouble-free motoring that I get from it. No reason why she won’t be good for another million!”

James faced a unique problem when the car’s odometer reached 999,999km - the older format dials didn’t reset themselves to zero automatically. Main Ford Dealer, Boland’s of Wexford, stepped in and helped reset the dials free of charge for James.

Ciaran McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland said the company was delighted to hear about James’ very impressive milestone in his Tourneo Connect. He said 'it also helps when you have a really well put together powertrain like the Ford TDCi diesel engine'.

The Tourneo Connect is the passenger version of the Transit Connect van - the smaller brother of the iconic Ford Transit van. A new version of the Transit Connect will be arriving in Ireland in May this year.

16 January 2018

New generation Jetta launch in Detroit

Volkswagen is showing its new generation Jetta at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, writes Brian Byrne.

Styled in the form of a 4-door coupe, the company says the seventh generation of the model has been designed primarily for customers in America.

The new car will have the digitised instrumentation and connectivity systems already familiar in VW and Audi models.

Since it was first launched, as a sedan version of the Golf, some 17.5m units of the Jetta have been produced, 3.2m of which were sold in the US.

Some 991 Jettas were registered in Ireland last year, representing 0.07pc of the brand's sales here.