20 April 2018

First DS Store on island of Ireland opens

The first DS Store showroom on the island of Ireland was opened last night at Eglinton outside Derry, writes Brian Byrne.

The luxury-themed facility reflects the sumptuous ethos of the newest luxury brand, with details that originate in the Paris home of DS, and are also found in the growing range of cars being produced by the French manufacturer.

Mark Blundell, Marketing Director, DS Automobiles UK; Andrew Miller, Dealer Principal, JC Halliday & Sons DS Store Eglinton; and Alain Descat, Managing Director, DS Automobiles UK.
Dealer Principal Andrew Miller of JC Halliday & Sons Eglinton welcomed guests and customers to the showroom for the official opening by Alain Descat, the new Managing Director of DS Automobiles UK, who only took up his position at the beginning of the month after previously being in charge of DS Automobiles Benelux.

Pride of place in the Store was the latest DS 7 Crossback model, an SUV which is the first of a new generation of DS cars that will roll out over the next six years. The D7 Crossback is only available in DS Stores, as will be the case with all other DS models from later this year. The Store concept provides an intimate and premium space where customers can choose their own specifications, colours, and accessories for new or used DS models.

Andrew Miller was the first 'to put up his hand' when DS Automobiles sought expressions of interest for DS Stores in Northern Ireland. With PSA Group's Citroen franchise already in the family at Eglinton, he is confident that DS can be very successful from a Derry location.

He is no stranger to premium cars, having worked previously with the BMW brand. His choice of DS is based on his experience that premium car buyers are very open to a new premium brand if it offers something special.

"DS is the new premium brand, and will be growing with both style and technology," he says. "I have seen what is to be produced over the next six years and the cars are very special indeed."

Alain Descat noted that the customer experience when buying a DS model is just as important as the car itself. "We are introducing an expansive range of services to ensure that each person has a unique experience under the theme 'Only You, the DS Experience'."

Before unveiling a plaque in the Store, he presented Andrew Miller with a crystal memento, marking an Award of Excellence for JC Halliday & Sons for their DS and Citroen sales in 2017.

19 April 2018

Ford launches Mondeo hybrid here

Ford's first hybrid electric car is now on sale in Ireland, the Mondeo HEV, priced from €32,745, writes Trish Whelan.

Based on the 4-door saloon, the car has a 187hp 2.0 petrol engine with automatic transmission, and is available in both Titanium and Vignale grades.

CiarĂ¡n McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland, expects that 20pc of next year's Mondeo sales will be hybrids. "It is the the first step in a progressive Electric Vehicle (EV) development plan for Ford that will see 13 new full or partial EVs hit the streets of Europe and North America by 2020," he says.

These will include a hybrid version of the iconic Mustang that will deliver V8 power with a 4-cylinder engine.

Ford says the Mondeo Hybrid is capable of driving at up to 135 km/h in electric mode and the official fuel consumption rate of 4.2 L/100km compares to that of a 2.0 diesel 150PS Powershift automatic transmission that would deliver a fuel consumption rate of 4.8 L/100km.

18 April 2018

New A-Class has grown in size, substance

The new generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class is longer, wider and taller than its predecessor and also has a longer wheelbase, writes Brian Byrne.

With more shoulder room and a bigger capacity boot, the car is overall a significant move onwards for the nameplate in its fourth generation.

There are also new engines, including 1.3 and 2.0 petrol units and a 1.5 diesel.

Semi-autonomous driving will also be available in certain conditions, according to the company. The full range of current Mercedes-Benz connectivity and safety technologies will be included in the specifications.

The interior design includes a double instruments and infotainments screens system in one wide module.

First market launches commence in May.