Saturday 20 January 2018

More jobs; 97-year-old buys Mustang; VW make gesture; Fuel-cell taxi; Open for business

Skoda's new SUV seven-seater Kodiaq
Skoda's new SUV seven-seater Kodiaq

Lennart Ribring is 97, correct 97, and he has just gone and bought himself a new 5-litre V8 Ford Mustang.

He was among the first in his native Sweden to buy an original model when it was launched in the 1960s.

"I'm really happy," he says of his most recent purchase. He adds: "I don't have long to live now, maybe. So, I want to take the opportunities I have to drive and have a little fun in life.

"This is the real thing."

* Congratulations to Linders Renault & Dacia who officially opened its newest dealership in Turvey, Donabate recently with great style.

* Skoda here is to create 80 trainee positions as increased car sales drive the need for more staff across the industry.

Nissan recently announced 40 new apprenticeships and several other companies are constantly seeking new recruits.

Skoda Ireland say they are investing €400,000 to support the 80 positions and promise that 20 of them will be filled before the end of the year.

The remainder will be spread across the next four years. Great news.

* BMW reportedly wants to increase sales of its 'i' sub-brand electric and plug-in hybrid cars by more than 60pc next year. It is calculated that would mean selling 100,000 vehicles. Good luck.

* Every Tesla being produced now has the necessary hardware for full autonomous driving, we're told. But, while they are geared up for it, the software that it needs to operate as fully autonomous will not arrive until next year.

Meantime, the company is reportedly starting to look for locations in Europe from next year that would suit what they call a "gigafactory" to make cars and the battery cells to drive them.

* Hyundai is to sell 60 of its ix35 Fuel Cell cars to the Paris-based electric taxi start-up STEP. They are replacing fossil fuel powered taxis. The ix35 Fuel Cell has a claimed range of 594kms.

* The latest version of the Volkswagen Golf - which got more of an infotainment update than anything else - is not due here til the spring.

As far as I can make out, it will fall between the 171-reg and 172-reg buying seasons so it is really a candidate for the latter.

They are making a big thing of the infotainment and connectivity upgrades as well as some more powerful engines.

Meantime the current model here has been stacked with goodies to entice people to buy for 171 and not hold off.

Seems it could be a win-win for buyers either way.

The revised version's overhaul of infotainment means larger touchscreens and among Volkswagen's claims are that the Golf is the first compact car to feature gesture control.

Interesting too that the 1.5 TSI Evo (150bhp) engine with Active Cylinder Management makes its debut in the car.

By the way, all Golfs benefit from the revise (including the GTI, GTE and estate).

The GTI now pumps 230PS for the standard version and 245PS for the GTI Performance. Oh yes!

The new 7spd dual clutch gearbox (DSG) will replace 6spd DSGs over time.

* Skoda will make plug-in hybrid version of their Superb - but it will be 2019 before we see it.

However, its debut will be followed by a major drive towards electric cars and plug-ins by the maker. There are reports of an electric Skoda by 2020.

Indo Motoring

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