Friday 18 October 2019

Brooks takes over at Opel. Volvo makes 'safest EV'. Class act.

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James Brooks
James Brooks
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Best of luck to former KIA Ireland chief James Brooks (pictured) who has been appointed managing director of Opel Ireland.

This follows the acquisition of the company by the Gowan Group.

Mr Brooks succeeds Gillian Whittall, who is leaving the company.

We wish Gillian well.

Michael Dwan, Gowan Group MD, said that Mr Brooks had huge experience in the motor industry.

It was "forged initially as finance director, fleet director and business development manager at Opel Ireland for nine years and latterly as MD of KIA for 14 years".

"I would like to pay tribute to Gillian who has been very professional and supportive as we transitioned ownership of the Opel brand in Ireland," he added.

"I am genuinely excited by this opportunity and look forward to getting on board with Opel Ireland and meeting all the people associated with the business," Mr Brooks said.

"We are ambitious to develop and significantly grow the brand in the months and years to come."

:: VOLVO is to unveil its electric XC40 SUV in two weeks' time - and it is already claiming it will be one of the safest cars on the road.

Engineers have completely redesigned and reinforced the structure at the front - due to the absence of an engine bulwark.

They say they have developed a unique safety structure for passengers and battery.

The latter is protected by a safety cage/frame made of extruded aluminium, and which is located in such a way that it helps to create a built-in crumple zone.

The body structure has also been reinforced at the rear.

It will be the first Volvo with a new advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) sensor platform.

The new platform comprises an array of radars, cameras and ultrasonic sensors.

"Because of its scalable nature, it can easily be developed further and lays the foundation for the future introduction of autonomous drive technology," Volvo says.

:: WE'RE being told that the next Mercedes C-Class will be a major piece of work altogether.

It has been redesigned from the ground up and will have super-efficient hybrid drivetrains as well as advanced autonomous driving technology.

Mercedes is so anxious for it to be the Number One that it is including many elements that are also being prepared for the next S-Class.

Expect to see the new C-Class in 2021.

:: THE pictures in last week's First Irish Drive were not of the Ford Focus ST. Sorry for the confusion.

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