Mercedes flirts with ladies; drifting to glory; Duster's new Prestige update; The Late, Late
MERCEDES is flirting with the ladies big time. Apparently they are planning on becoming the 'leading choice' among the premium car brands by 2020.
They want women to constitute a minimum of 30pc of their customers by then.
Put that in context: Mercedes has up until the last few years been regarded as a car for rich middle-aged men.
Not any more, in fairness, after producing some excellent modern cars.
Company chief Dieter Zetsche believes women are the world's "fastest-growing and most influential group of customers".
Expert analysts say that women influence 80pc of all new car purchases. They either buy the car themselves or say yes/no to a partner's choice.
It looks like Mercedes are well on their way in the US where 40pc of customers are women, compared with 25pc in China and just 20pc in Germany.
Mercedes marketing gurus have come up with a special initiative called 'She's Mercedes'.
Fitting for a brand that is, after all, called after a woman.
The Irish Drift Championship (IDC), claimed to be the fastest-growing motor sport, takes place at Mondello Park on Sunday.
It will be part of the biggest Irish motorsport event of the year.
Round Three of the IDC 'Global Warfare' will include Irish Drifting stars taking on a large contingent of overseas drivers - from 14 countries.
Most of the international competitors will compete as part of the world-wide 'Drift Allstars' Championship.
James Deane from Cork leads the Irish defence, along with ex-Boyzone band star Shane Lynch, current championship leader Duane McKeever, 16-year-old starlet Jack Shanahan and several others.
Rivals come from as far away as South Africa, Australia, Lebanon and the UAE. And some of the Drift Cars have more than 1,000hp on tap.
Should be real fun.
Global Warfare will also stage Gymkhana Grid here for the first time.
It's open to anyone with a suitable car for a test of skill, speed and precision.
THRIVING Dacia have added a new Prestige trim level to their popular Duster range (they added a Signature Prime limited edition last year).
There is a small price increase but standard equipment includes DAB radio, new headlights, revised front styling, new seat upholstery, satin chrome centre console and so on.
Prestige comes as 4x2 and 4x4 and costs €1,200 more than Signature versions.
Prestige adds 16ins alloys, MediaNav Evolution multimedia system, and rear parking camera with sensors.
Later this year the Duster will get an EDC gearbox (on dCi 110 4x2 versions).
Congratulations to Ciaran Mahon who has been appointed Group Managing Director of O'Flaherty Holdings Ltd.
Chartered accountant Ciaran joined the group in 1991. He previously worked with PwC. He succeeds Tom O'Dowd who retired recently.
Renault say they have signed for two more years as sponsors of the Late Late Show and will use it as a platform to push their new Megane.