Top five breakdowns revealed; good news on BIK and Duffy jobs; last of the Toyota diesels?
Shortcuts with Eddie
Strange with all the technology and such that flat or damaged tyres accounted for 44pc of breakdown incidents over the past 12 months for those surveyed in recent research.
The study was carried out by easytrip, the electronic parking and tolling tag provider which, incidentally, discovered that 10pc of motorists do not have breakdown cover.
That, they say, means around 200,000 vehicles are not covered.
Second on the list of breakdown reasons was battery failure (25pc), with keys either lost or locked in the vehicle accounting for 7pc and electrical faults (6pc).
Unsurprisingly, most (57pc) found driving on icy roads to be the toughest part of winter driving, followed by poor visibility of cyclists (43pc), with glare from other vehicles' headlights disturbing for 41pc.
The latter is a major source of danger and irritation. Leave aside the one-beam-working cars and poorly aligned headlights, the number of people who drive with full beams is mind-boggling.
They seem to think they don't need to dip on a dual carriageway or motorway. Oh yes they do - if only to stop blinding those in front of them or traffic going in the opposite direction.
* Great news that the BIK on electric cars will run from 3-5 years. It's just the tonic the electric vehicle market needed.
* Great too to hear of more jobs being created in the industry. The Joe Duffy Group is embarking on a drive to attract more than 20 qualified technicians and 20 apprentices over the coming months. The group has 12 dealerships, representing 15 brands in Dublin, Limerick and Navan, and 435 employees. The company is holding a technician and apprenticeship open evening tomorrow (Thursday) at 6.30pm in its new Jaguar Land Rover dealership in Airside Motor Retail Park, Swords, Co Dublin.
* It was more than interesting to hear a senior Toyota executive, in a personal capacity, express the belief the company is unlikely to ever launch another diesel-powered car in Europe.
According to Toyota's ads here, diesel is dead (why is there not more of a kerfuffle from rivals?). But to hear the firm's executive vice president, Didier Leroy, say so had the sound of finality. He believes the firm's advances with petrol-based and plug-in hybrids show there's no need for private buyers to drive diesels.
* Still on Toyota, the company says it needs clarity on the terms of Britain's access to EU markets after Brexit to secure production at its UK plant.
"We cannot stay in this kind of fog when we don't know what will be the output of the negotiations", Mr Leroy was quoted as saying at the Tokyo auto show. Sounds sinister to me. Toyota builds the Avensis and Auris at Burnaston in England.