12 January 2021

Skoda's Enyaq sells out for 2021

Skoda’s first electric car, the Enyaq iV, is due here next June with pre-grant prices starting from €46,570 for the Enyaq 60 and €54,630 for the Enyaq 80, writes Trish Whelan.

However, demand has already outstripped supply with the 350 allocation for 2021 already sold out even before the car arrives here.

The aggressively styled, five-seat all-electric SUV, Enyaq 60, has a range of 390km thanks to a 58kWh battery while the ’80’ version (expected to make up the bulk of Irish sales) has a 77kWh battery and is capable of up to 510km (WLTP rated).

The iV 60 comes with a generous standard equipment list which includes 19-inch Proteus alloy wheels, Front Parking Sensors, LED headlights, Climate Control and a 13-inch infotainment while the iV 80 gains heated steering wheel, drive mode select, adaptive cruise control and 3-zone climate control.

All vehicles are priced exclusively with a 3-year service and tyre plan. The brand estimates that grants of up to €7,800 could be claimed resulting in customer ‘on the road’ pricing from €38,762 for the iV 60.


Renault dealerships open for servicing/online sales

Renault and Dacia dealerships are fully open for servicing, maintenance and repair work and are open for business virtually under the revised level 5 restrictions announced by the Government, writes Trish Whelan.

The Service Departments at Renault Group’s 29 dealerships will remain open for normal aftersales work for servicing and repair work and dealerships will provide proof of ‘need for travel’ by text or email to customers.

Customers can continue to access the range of cars via the Virtual Showroom from the safety of home and talk to product experts who will answer questions and demonstrate the latest cars via live one-to-one video chat. Customers can take live 360-deg tours of Renault Clio, All-New Captur, Kadjar, and the 100pc electric New Renault ZOE as well as Dacia Duster, with the one-way connection as the experts will only hear you, not see you on a screen. The Virtual Showroom is open 7 days a week between 10am and 8pm.

Existing customers can still collect their new January car orders at dealerships and Click & Deliver is also available where the dealership will drop a customer’s new car to their home, in accordance with HSE & HSA Covid-19 guidelines.

Renault’s 211 offers continue across all models until 31 January and include on Clio and All-New Captur - €1,000 Cashback; 3.9pc APR and 3 Months’ Deferred Payments. New Megane customers will receive €1,250 Cashback, a 3.9pc APR HP or PCP and 3 months’ deferred payments while Kadjar customers can take €1,500 cashback on top of the APR offer and deferred payments.

ZOE Z.E. 50, Kangoo Z.E., and New ZOE Commercial are all available to order virtually as are the new range of E-TECH hybrids and Plug-in Hybrids including New Clio Hybrid, New Captur PHEV and New Megane Sport Tourer PHEV. Renault will continue its €1,000 Green Grant on top of the Government subsidy for all new EV, hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars purchased before 31 January 2021.

Renault has maintained third position in LCV sales in 2020 and its Pro+ LCV range including Master, Trafic and Kangoo is available to order with a continued offer ‘saving at least €3,000 vs high-street banks’.

Dacia’s 211 offers on Duster and Sandero range have also been extended to 31 January with Duster Prestige available at 0pc APR with 3 Months’ Deferred Payments, and on new Sandero and Stepway Alternative dCi, there is €500 Cashback; 4.9pc APR + and 3 Months’ deferred payments.

Patrick Magee, Country Operations Director, Renault Group Ireland commented: “While it may not be business as normal, we are open virtually for business. Maintaining the No 1 EV Manufacturer status in Ireland is hugely important to us as pioneers and leaders of electric vehicles in Europe and with our electric range of cars and vans, and our new hybrid and plug-in hybrid offerings, we hope to see many more customers make the switch in 2021.”


11 January 2021

New VW Tiguan now in Irish showrooms

Volkswagen’s new Tiguan is now in showrooms and available to order with prices starting from €32,510 On the Road, writes Trish Whelan.

Tiguan is the brand’s best-selling model in Ireland with 2,977 models sold here in 2020.

This latest version has been revised and refined to be cleaner and more digital and features a new exterior, interior and technological updates.

A range of new, more efficient petrol and diesel engines are offered. Petrols are 130bhp and 150bhp 1.5 engines with a choice of manual or DSG automatic and a new 320hp 2.9 TSI 4MOTION R model at €66,990. The diesel range comprises a 2.0 TDI with 122hp, 150hp and a 200hp 4MOTION DSG version. All petrol and diesel engines are Euro 6d emission compliant and all are equipped with a particulate filter.

Trimlines are Tiguan, Life, Elegance and R-Line.

The sporty top of the range Tiguan R features a 2.0 320hp TSI engine which can sprint from 0-100km/h in just 4.9 secs.

 All ‘Tiguan’ models feature 17-inch alloy wheels, 8-inch Ready 2 Discover radio system, 2 USB-C ports in the front, air con and LED daytime running lights. There is also Wireless App Connect for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

The design of this latest Tiguan is linked in appearance to models like the larger VW Touareg. Changes include a new and wider radiator grille with LED headlights, the new Volkswagen badge being positioned centrally at the front, and redesigned bumpers.

Interior changes include a new steering wheel with touch controls and Volkswagen has also digitalised the climate control functions by means of touch sliders and touch buttons in some trim levels.

The Tiguan range will become electrified later this year with the arrival of the new Tiguan eHybrid. This PHEV features a 1.4 TSI petrol engine twinned with an electric motor that produces a combined 245hp and is capable of covering up to 50km in electric mode. More on the arrival of this version is expected in the coming months.

9 January 2021

Nissan launches new Juke Enigma special version

Nissan’s Juke has dialled up style and connectivity with its new Enigma special version which also champions dark, futuristic styling, writes Trish Whelan

Enigma pricing starts at €27,600.

Nissan Ireland say the Enigma brings a new level of style to the compact crossover and expands Juke’s suite of advanced technologies while also introducing Amazon’s Alexa voice experience compatibility to the Juke range for the first time in Europe.

Now available with the Enigma and all 2021 model Jukes equipped with NissanConnect infotainment system, the Nissan Skill allows Juke customers to control some of their car’s functions remotely from their smartphone or an Alexa-enabled device. Just by asking Alexa, they can remotely find out if their Juke’s doors are locked or not, how much fuel they have left, send a location to the on-board navigation system, all overing convenience and peace of mind right from their home.

Juke Enigma has been designed for enhanced on-road presence with its deep lack 19-inch alloy wheels, and intricate graphic patterns that adorn the coupe-style roof line and door mirrors.

The command centre style suite of advanced technologies allows users access to a comprehensive array of smart alerts, navigation and connectivity functions via the NissanConnect Services app on their smartphone. The infotainment system provides an in-car hub for these features.

Peter Dynan, Head of Product at Nissan Ireland says the Juke Enigma is ‘a fantastic addition to the Juke Range’ and offers head-turning design and advanced technology.


6 January 2021

Ford Ireland calls for VAT reduction to end of March

Ford Ireland is requesting the Government to extend the current VAT reduction to the end of March, writes Trish Whelan.

Head of Ford Ireland, John Manning, says: “In this very tough environment, we need all the help we can get to boost vehicle sales and the continuation of the VAT reduction would be a great asset in this regard.” 

The standard rate of Irish VAT was temporarily reduced from 23pc to 21pc for a six-month period from 1 September 2020 to 28 February 2021.

Since 1987 when the year-based car registration system was introduced, January has consistently been the busiest month for new car sales in Ireland. Not so this year, as the latest Government Covid-19 restrictions will curtail the normal business activities of car dealers across the country for at least the first four weeks of January and perhaps for even longer into February.

John Manning supports the Government moves to curtain the spread of the virus. “It will be really tough on our business as new car sales will now be much lower than what they would be for a ‘normal’ January, we will be limited to providing new vehicles to customers within the guidelines of ‘click and collect’ services that both our dealers and other Dealer brands will be providing.”

These, he added are necessary steps and Ford fully support the restrictions as the number one priority is to protect people from the spread of the virus. “Everyone needs to get on board and obey the tier 5 restrictions as this is the only way that we can drive down new cases of the virus and keep our communities safe in the short term. The more people that fully comply, the sooner we will be able to see businesses opening up again.”

The New Ford Puma is pictured above.


4 January 2021

2020 saw 25pc drop in new car registrations

Due to numerous Covid-19 lockdowns throughout the past year and uncertainty over Brexit, new car registrations for 2020 finished at just 88,324 units which is a 25pc drop on 2019 (117,109), writes Trish Whelan.

Statistics released from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) also show New Light Commercial Vehicle (LDV) registrations in 2020 saw a decrease of 14.2pc (21,732) compared to 2019 (25,336) while New Heavy Commercial Vehicle registrations (HGV) saw a decrease of 22.3pc (2,066) in comparison to 2019 (2,659). Imported Used Cars saw 79,969 registrations in 2020, a decrease of 29.8pc on 2019 (113,926). Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) are on the increase with 4,013 new vehicles registered last year in comparison to 3,444 in 2019.

Other stats of note show a changing market place in 2020. Diesel accounted for 43.29pc; petrol 36.91pc, hybrid 11.86pc, electric 4.54pc and Plug-In Hybrid 2.78pc. Diesel remains the most popular engine type while hybrid, electric and plug-in hybrids all gained market share last year.

Some 59.8pc of customers opted for manual transmissions in their new cars so they continue to be more popular despite a decline in market share with automatic transmissions (40.09pc) continuing to gain in popularity.

As to body styles, the hatchback was Ireland’s top selling car body type of 2020 with grey the top selling colour as it has been for the past five years.

The top selling car brands 2020 were: 1. Volkswagen, 2. Toyota, 3. Hyundai, 4 Skoda, 5. Ford. The top car models last year were 1. Toyota Corolla, 2. Hyundai Tucson, 3. Volkswagen Tiguan, 4. Ford Focus, and 5. Hyundai Kona. The top selling car 2020 was the Toyota Corolla (the hybrid saloon version is pictured above).


Volkswagen Group Ireland retailers offer 'click and collect'

Volkswagen Group Ireland retail dealerships will, for the most part, operate a 'Click & Collect' service for new car buyers during the period of the Level 5 restrictions, writes Brian Byrne.

The Group's brands include Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi, Skoda, SEAT and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. In a statement today, VGI says the retailers can accommodate most customer’s individual wishes, with the safety of both retailer staff and customer alike of paramount importance.

"With Ireland at a crucial and significant juncture in the fight against COVID-19, Volkswagen Group and its network of dealers have worked tirelessly to ensure that all services, whether essential maintenance or click and collect vehicle orders are provided in accordance with government guidelines."