13 October 2017

Volkswagen calendar for Pieta House

A calendar for 2018 produced by Volkswagen Ireland will raise funds for Pieta House, writes Brian Byrne.

The photographs are selected from 5,000 entries in a competition on Instagram run over two months in the summer.

Each calendar will cost €10 and all proceeds go directly to Pieta House.

The images include a wedding in a vintage VW camper to scenes from the streets of Dublin, through an adventure in the mountains and all the way to a sunset in Kinsale.

The winners of the competition visited the Volkswagen factory during the summer, as well as receiving a number of technology prizes.

New tourism initiative in Munster Vales

A new tourism initiative to attract visitors to the mountain and other attractions of middle Munster has been launched, writes Brian Byrne. The Munster Vales programme was devised by tourism services providers in the areas of the Ballyhouras, the Galtees, Knockmealdown and Comeragh mountain ranges and their associated valleys.

The initiative is a subset within the Ireland's Ancient East idea, and is aimed at focusing attention on the many attractions beyond the major iconic destinations.

Pictured above at the launch in Lismore Castle are Triona O'Mahony, Destinations & Marketing Manager, Munster Vales; Sinead Carr, Chair of Munster Vales Board, with Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Brendan Griffin; and Marie Phelan of Tipperary Tourism.

The Munster Vales marketing concept was initiated when a number of smaller tourism providers realised that while the Ireland's Ancient East programme could bring in big numbers to the iconic attractions, they were 'not getting on the stage' in terms of attracting visitors. "We contacted the various councils in the region and asked them if there was something we could do," says Sinead Carr, chair of the Munster Vales board. "They gave us funding to carry out a feasibility study to see if there was enough in attractions to bring in tourists to the area."

The Munster Vales is considered as the 'historic heartland of Ireland', and abounds in heritage, legendary trails, and activity opportunities. This is what the initiative has pulled together, and is ready to target not just the international tourists who are brought in by Failte Ireland to the greater Ireland's Ancient East, but the very important domestic tourism market.

Hilary Creedon of Ireland's Ancient East is fully behind the Munster Vales concept. "Our brand promise is thousands of heritage years of Ireland, and Munster Vales is very much a part of that. We have stories to tell, but we must remember that our visitors are on holiday, and it is crucial that they get this information in a fun way."

The initiative includes a dedicated social media programme, and the provision of top-quality media to the providers in the region. Kinsale-based photographer Jakub Walutek has provided a range of beautiful images from the region and has also produced the first of four marketing videos, which was launched at the Lismore event.

"We have already produced a number of 'bundles' of attractions which are being made available to where prospective visitors can find them," says Triona O'Mahony, the Munster Vales destination and marketing manager. "They can also log on to MunsterVales.com and see them."

The keynote speaker at the launch was Breifne Earley — adventurer, author, blogger and podcaster — who recalled that the Irish leg of a 29,000km around the world cycle race which he won in 2015 actually took him through the Munster Vales area. "I have no doubt that when people realise the quality of the attractions here, that they will come in numbers. But let us do like we did with The Gathering, let's talk about it, invite our relations and friends to come, and their friends. What you have done here is first class, so keep it going."

‘Highly Commended Award’ for Mulcahy Car Sales

Mulcahy Car Sales, Ardcroney, Nenagh, Co Tipperary was awarded the highly commended award at the Citroen & DS Automobiles Dealer of the Year Awards 2017, writes Trish Whelan.

Damian Mulcahy was officially presented with the award by Chris Graham, Managing Director, Citroen & DS Automobiles Ireland, at the 2017 Dealer Conference which took place at the Mullingar Park Hotel last month.

Mulcahy car Sales has been operating for almost 50 years and was appointed a Citroen dealer in 1996. They have invested significantly in the business including upgrading the IT systems this year and Dealer Principal Damian Mulcahy has promoted and appointed Niamh Kennedy, Miss Ireland, as a Brand Ambassador. The dealership is heavily involved in the local community through the sponsorship of their local GAA club, Kilruane McDonaghs GAA Club.

On receiving the award, Damian said “Our customers are our number one priority and we aim to provide the very best customer experience possible. We enjoy representing the brands in Tipperary and look forward to continuing to work with all at Citroen & DS Ireland in 2018.”

Pictured at the presentation are Chris Graham, MD, Citroen & DS Ireland; Damian Mulcahy, Dealer Principal, Mulcahy Car Sales; and Paul Tunnicliffe, Managing Director of International Motors Limited (IML), UK & Ireland. 

181 offers from SEAT

SEAT Arona
SEAT’s 181 offers will be available across its 23-strong dealer network from now until 20 November.

The 181 campaign includes a 2.9pc PCP finance on the new Arona Crossover and on the Ateca. Finance is available from 1.9pc on the new Ibiza and the Leon.

Incentives also include scrappage offers of up to €3,000 on the Ateca and Leon while a three-year service plan is available for €199. SEAT is giving away free product packs on their core models saving the customer up to €2,500.

12 October 2017

Ford tempts buyers to 'Clean it up for 181'

Ford is offering up to €6,000 discounts on some of its best-selling models under a 'Clean Up for 181' deal to take old and less efficient cars off the roads, writes Brian Byrne.

Extended warranties and a 0.0pc PCP offer are also part of a package of incentives to get people into new Ford cars in the new year.

The top reductions apply to Kuga ST-Line, Galaxy Titanium, and S-MAX Titanium+, while the Focus Titanium and ST-Line can attract discounts of up to €5,500 and €5,305 respectively.

The offer also extends to the brand's LCVs, with reductions of up to €4,000 on the Transit Van range and the Ranger pickup. The incentive means that all buyers will drive away vehicles which meet the latest Euro 6 emissions regulations.

The offer applies to vehicles ordered before December 31 2017.

Forecasts growth of high performance AMG models

Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster Edition 50
The family of high-performance AMG models from Mercedes-Benz is likely to become an even bigger part of the German car maker’s model offering here in Ireland, writes Trish Whelan.

Demand for models carrying the iconic AMG badge continues to grow with continuing increases in manufacturing output now running in excess of 100,000 units per annum. 

AMG cars are performance-bred, and are based on Mercedes-Benz’s long-standing sporting pedigree and its very successful, and ongoing, involvement in Formula 1 racing.

Appealing to what Ciaran Allen, Mercedes-Benz sales manager for passenger cars in Ireland, says is a ‘younger, sportier market’, the AMG range constitutes one of three ’sub brands’ being developed by the luxury manufacturer - others being the Maybach ‘super luxury’ models and a new eco-friendly EQ Electric range - each one of which will increasingly develop its own individual and distinctive ‘brand persona’ as each year passes.

Moving upwards through the range, other AMG family members are the high performance AMG43, AMG63, AMG65 and 2-seater AMG GT model ranges.

Allen says Ireland is enjoying ‘a good enquiry level’, reflecting what he claims to be the improving situation within our economy generally. He expects this situation to be reflected in the emergence of an AMG area within dealer showrooms where prospective customers can view models and be received by AMG-trained sales personnel.

Blackwater Motors VW opens van centre in Cork City

Blackwater Motors has expanded further in Cork with the opening of the Volkswagen van Centre location on Model Farm Road in Cork City, writes Trish Whelan.

Blackwater Motors, which already operates two VW Commercial Vehicles sites in Fermoy and Skibbereen, will bring new investment and jobs to the city of Cork.

The new Van Centre includes an open plan six vehicle showroom with a further interior display area which showcases the entire VW Commercial Vehicle range as well as a 50-vehicle forecourt for approved Vantage used commercial vehicles.

Denis Murphy and David Quirke, Directors at Blackwater Motors Volkswagen, say with their specialised Commercial Vehicle Team, they can provide practical advice for business owners and fleet managers on all aspects of van ownership.

Alan Bateson, Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Ireland added “We are delighted to open Cork’s first 100pc dedicated Commercial Vehicle Centre. This showroom is a perfect showcase of what we are and what we do.”

Since Blackwater Motors were appointed Volkswagen’s Car and Commercial dealer for Cork City in 2009, they have opened numerous dealerships across Cork including Forge Hill, Turners Cross, Victoria Cross and Skibbereen.

11 October 2017

Volkswagen Ireland response to Budget

Volkswagen eGolf
The proposal for 0pc BIK on electric vehicles in 2018 has been welcomed by Volkswagen Group Ireland Managing Director Lars Himmer, writes Trish Whelan.

He said "This is a great signal of intent from the Government and will support business users to make the switch to this exciting new technology.

However, he asked for more clarity on how long this is likely to remain as most company cars are bought on 3-4 year deals.

"With 0pc BIK on our eGolf, this means that compared to an equivalent Golf 1.6 TDI, for someone provided with a company car there can be thousands saved in BIK which could translate into hundreds of euro per month to the end user in savings."