Merc's 'hit' system; Skoda team; new premises; world first engine; dream rental
Shortcuts with Eddie
One of the biggest sources of dents and scrapes on cars can occur in car parks, I believe. People bump trolleys indiscriminately - we've all seen them.
Now Mercedes have developed a system that will tell you on your mobile phone if someone has hit your car - or worse still is trying to steal it.
I know it won't prevent the damage, but at least you'll know there and then and may be able to do something about it.
The system has been developed as part of the company's connected services.
We're told its controlled via an app and will be available on all Mercs that have the necessary sensors.
It can be automatically activated when the car is locked. Maybe if you're quick enough you might get to the scene of the crime before the offender flees.
* Six Skoda employees will represent Ireland and compete against 35 countries at the International Finals in Barcelona next year. The employees are Paul Bruton and Marc Gorman, from Cork, Darragh Smith, from Cavan, Robbie Matthews, from Naas, Eoghan Watson, from Dublin, and David Mullane from Galway.
The challenge assesses the qualities of the best employees in the global Skoda network. The best of luck to them.
* BMW is to invest €200m over the next four years in a battery cell competence centre in Munich.
* MSL Grange Motors Mercedes-Benz have invested €4m in a new showroom and aftersales facility at Pottery Road in south Dublin, just off the N11.
The dealership - 50 years in Deansgrange MSL - has outgrown their showroom and moved to Pottery Road, where their service centre has been based since 1994.
The latest addition means there is now a large, 20-car showroom, workshop and parts department all under one roof. Best wishes to all.
* And our best wishes go also to everyone associated with the new Audi centre in Sandyford. It certainly looks impressive.
* The new Infiniti QX50 will use what is claimed to be the world's first "production variable compression ratio engine".
The big SUV's turbocharged 2-litre 4cyl engine, called VC-Turbo, can adjust its compression ratio from 8:1 (if you want performance) to 14:1 (for economy).
* Toyota here has become an official partner to Paralympics Ireland and to the 2020 and 2024 Irish Paralympic teams.
* Volkswagen are planning for a range of "mild hybrid" powertrains, according to reports.
They include a new 48v version of 1.5 TSI engine.
* Kia is scheduled t0 roll out a new cee'd-based crossover for the European market next year.
That means that they will have three SUVs on the go: the smaller Stonic, the newest (cee'd) crossover and the popular, larger Sportage.
By the way, the cee'd hatch 5dr, on which the new SUV will be based, will unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March and is due to go on sale here in July.
* An off-beat survey by Cassidy Travel shows what our dream rental car would be. For women it's a Range Rover (19pc), Lamborghini (14pc), Aston Martin (13pc) or Ferrari (11pc).
And for men it's Lamborghini (24pc), Aston Martin (22pc), Range Rover (15pc), Porsche (9pc).
* SEAT's new small-crossover Arona has just gone on sale here (€17,995).