Could it ever happen here? Cupla focal: Joe Duffy; Merc engines; UK Brexit sweeteners
Published 02/11/2016 | 02:30
Here's something I came across recently. It says: "As many as one-in-five new cars are being pre-registered by dealers to meet manufacturers' sales targets - a practice that could be skewing overall sales figures and confusing customers."
That emerged in an investigation by BBC Radio 4's 'You and Yours' programme.
It found many dealers are "increasingly buying and registering surplus stock cars under their business name" - and then selling them on to customers at a discount of up to 20pc. Apparently dealers told the BBC the process - which is perfectly legal - can sometimes be the only way to make the sales targets set by manufacturers.
That could never happen here could it? (hint: I'm being sarcastic).
* It's all in the name.
And the name is Joe Duffy.
The motoring giant is rebranding some of its businesses so that the magic two words 'Joe Duffy' can be included. So it will be: 'Joe Duffy Volkswagen' for example - they have three VW businesses as well as Ford, JLR, KIA and Volvo outlets earmarked for the re-brand.
However, the re-branding means, I understand, that as time slips by some of the names the group has acquired over the years will fade. Not the businesses, the names. Email addresses and personal phone greetings are all changing, too - so that the famous cupla focal can be integrated. Isn't is amazing what is involved in a re-brand?
* Mercedes are spending billions on engines at a time when others are talking about electric cars being the future and predicting the demise of the fossil-fuel model of propulsion.
The top people's carmakers have already come up with the new 4cyl 2-litre diesel - I've driven it in the E-Class and it's a great piece of work. Now they've announced new V8 and in-line 6cyl engines. In all, the German giant is rolling out four new engines which they claim are more powerful but much easier on fuel.
* Watch out for a baby SUV from Skoda. The company is going through its own SUV revolution with the new Kodiaq almost here, a new Yeti late, late next year and its 'newest' baby due in 2019.
* The row rumbles on. The big question is what 'sweeteners' were made to Nissan to ensure it builds its new Qashqai and adds the X-Trail to the production line at Sunderland.
Reports from at least one respected European publication are claiming that Nissan told the UK government it could shut down manufacturing in the country after Brexit.
That would appear to have focused minds in no uncertain terms. The Sunderland factory employs more than 7,000 and supports 28,000 supplier jobs.
Now, what enticements will have to be made to keep others such as Ford and Toyota in the UK?
Ford's European boss, Jim Farley, has already said that any post-Brexit help offered by the UK government to companies that export from Britain to the EU should apply across the industry.
* Mazda are confirming there will be an all-new crossover, which will be shown on November 16.
Give us your thoughts and opinions: ecunningham @independent.ie