Fleet Strategy & Safety highlighted at
the 2013 Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards.
*Accolades for five brands in seven categories
The significance of the fleet sector in the Irish motor industry and the car brand’s fleet strategy were in focus at the presentation of the second annual Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards 2013, held at Johnstown House Hotel, Enfield, County Meath. Over two days, the 27 shortlisted cars from 7 categories were assessed by an expert adjudication panel with the winners revealed at the Fleet Networking Luncheon. Volkswagen, BMW, Skoda and Audi were successful again (as per last year), with Mazda joining them on the victor’s podium for the first time.
Prize ceremony compere, Mark Richardson, presented some interesting statistics relating to the importance of the fleet car sector to the overall annual new car registrations. “Of the 2.4 million vehicles in ownership in Ireland almost 200,000 of these are dedicated company cars. On average 48% of all new cars sold here are from the fleet sector, which signifies that this business element of the motor industry is very important.” Relating to potential company car replacements, Mark revealed from Motorcheck.ie data that almost 6,200 2009/2010 one owner cars are still registered to companies and that many of these are expected to be due for renewal in the coming year.
The 27 shortlisted contenders for the 2013 Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards were subjected to vigorous testing and analysis before the category winners were determined. Before introducing the contenders on the shortlist for this year’s Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car programme, Mark outlined some details on the criteria involved. Car brands were asked to submit their fleet policy, outline the safety enhancements on their company cars as standard and whether they provide driver training. Marks were awarded to the car’s styling, quality, engine and driving performance, equipment levels, safety, residuals and running costs.
Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards 2013 Category Winners and Adjudicator Comments:
C Segment: Volkswagen Golf
“Best in class, excellent and magnificent,” were just some of the comments by the judges. Another said that the driver ergonomics were superb.
D Segment: Mazda 6
“Stunning looks, lovely drive and smooth ride. Ample boot space.”
D Segment Premium: BMW 3 Series
“Driver ergonomics very good. Excellent handling. Build quality top notch. Best 3 Series ever.”
Estate: Skoda Superb Combi
“Sound drive and performance. Still remains the class leader for space and load carrying capabilities.”
Estate Premium: BMW 5 Series Touring
“Beautiful looking car and wonderful to drive.” Another reviewer said, “A perfect all-round car.”
Executive: BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe
“Ultimate combination of performance and style. Could well be considered a BMW flagship.”
Luxury: Audi A8
“Chauffeurs choice. Proved its worth over the two day test. The car to desire. Excellent combination of build quality and driving pleasure.”
Cathal Doyle, Deputy Editor, Fleet Car Magazine was impressed with the list of winners in the 2013 Awards. “From the shortlist it was good to see some brands as serious contenders as they had new cars launched during this year. In the C-Segment, for example, 4 out of 5 shortlisted were new generation models and to indicate just how close the contest was, just 14 points separated the second placed car from the fifth.” “Each category was almost as close,” he added.
Shane Teskey, Managing Director, Motorcheck.ie was pleased with the success of the second running of the event. “Congratulations to all of the winners and shortlisted candidates. Compliments also to the adjudication panel for their intense work over the past six weeks. Special thanks to associate sponsors Bridgestone, Fast Fit and Nifast for their support. Our focus this year was on the emphasis the car brands pay to the safety of the professional driver and from equipment levels specified, they are heading in the right direction.”
Full details to feature in the next edition of Fleet Car magazine.Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards 2013 launched Following the success of the inaugural Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards last year, the second running will be held in April. The event, will have a similar format for the 2013 programme, with just one addition to the award classification line-up. Due to the large number of estate cars now available from the various manufacturers (33 and counting!), the judging panel has decided to include an Estate-Premium category alongside the standard Estate Class, C-Segment, D-Segment (+ Premium) Executive and Luxury classes on the honours list. Since last time, a number of new cars have joined the line-up of candidates together with a few models that have received a mid-life makeover. The expert adjudication panel, consisting of members of the corporate car leasing industry and other delegates from the fleet and finacial sectors that represent the user chooser, are at present assessing almost 100 cars from the Long List to select the top ten models in each category. That Shortlist will then provide the opportunity for further analysis and examination from a practical and financial viewpoint over two days. Marks will be dedicated to the brand’s fleet strategy parallel to the car's styling, quality, engine and driving performance, equipment levels, safety, residuals, running costs and BIK. As per the first edition, the winning car in each of the seven separate categories will be announced at the Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards 2013 presentation luncheon. Date, time and venue to be announced shortly. Fleet Car, as media partners, will promote the awards in its magazine, website and social media. Once again Newspress Ireland, the dedicated automotive public relations service for motoring journalists will be involved. Shane Teskey, Managing Director, Motorcheck.ie, commented at the launch of the 2013 Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards, “We are very pleased to be involved in the second annual running of these awards and look forward to announcing the winners at the Netwoking Luncheon next month. In looking at the Long List, the judging panel has a difficult task in hand to come up with the Shortlist of candidates, before deciding on the eventual winners.” “Last year, Volkswagen, BMW and Audi were honoured in the C Segment, Executive & Estate and D Segment Premium categories respectively, with Skoda elected the best in the business in the D Segment, and it will interesting to see who comes out on top for 2013,” added Cathal Doyle, Deputy Editor, Fleet Car magazine.
Pictured at the launch of the 2013 Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards are Cathal Doyle; Fleet Car, Shane Teskey; Motorcheck.ie and Jarlath Sweeney; Fleet Car
Fleet Car Winter 2012
Fleet Car Buyers Guide
German brands dominate inaugural Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards 2012
26.06.2012 German auto brands dominated the inaugural Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards 2012 held at a Networking Luncheon event at the Europa Academy, Swords, County Dublin. Volkswagen, BMW and Audi were honoured in the C Segment, Executive & Estate and D Segment Premium categories respectively, with Skoda elected the best in the business in the D Segment.
Business being the appropriate word here as the significant contribution made by the corporate/fleet car sector in Ireland has finally been acknowledged.
Mark Richardson who acted as M.C. for the awards ceremony, highlighted the major role played by the company car user – “whilst the retail market faces a serious downturn, business in the fleet sector continues to be vibrant,” he said. “It is high time this important element of the Irish motor industries was recognised in its own right and the fact that almost 29,000 company vehicles will be replaced over the next two years, marks the significance,” he added.
A presentation by Deirdre Sinnott from the Health & Safety Authority outlined the importance of fleet car owners and operators in having a Driving for Work policy. Outlining the employers role, Deirdre insisted that “the risks which employees face and create for themselves and others, while on the road (driving or working) as part of their job, are managed, within the framework which they already should have in place for managing other apsects of safety, health and welfare at work.” She added, “Almost half of all reported workplace deaths (42%) involve a vehicle from 2003 to 2010.“ Deirdre then mentioned standard items that should be specified for working drivers such as seat belt reminders, air-conditioning, Bluetooth, ESP, Tyre Pressure monitoring, driver fatigue monitoring, speed warning systems etc.
After lunch, the announcement of the prize winning cars were made having gone through a thorough assessment by the expert jury, all of which are involved in this sepcialised area of the motor industry. Out of the eligible 94 company cars selected, 21 were shortlisted.
“We are delighted to be associated with the first running of the Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards,” stated Cathal Doyle, Deputy Editor, Fleet Car magazine. “We wish to thank the car brand distributors for their co-operation and support. Congratulations to the winners Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi and BMW and we wish them continued success,” he added.
Shane Teskey, Managing Director, Motorcheck.ie, expressed his delight with the day’s proceedings, “Yes, we are very pleased the positivity and enthusiasm shown by the car brands involved in the awards and for their attandence at the Netwoking Luncheon. The judging panel must be complimented for their dedicated and focused approach to their role, all of which led to a very successful event,”
Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards 2012 – Winners
C Segment Volkswagen Golf
D Segment Skoda Superb
D Segment Premium Audi A4
Estate 5 Series Touring
Executive BMW 5 Series
Announcing the inaugural Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards 2012
The search is on for the category winners in the newly established Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards 2012. A total of 25 car brands will compete for the five distinct categories in segments primarily used by the business/corporate car driver, namely the Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Award 2012 winner in the C-Segment, D-Segment, Estate, Executive and Premium D-Segment. “As the fleet sector continues to come out of its elongated hibernation, this Awards initiative will generate further impetus to the market place and highlight its significance to the Irish motor industry,” stated Shane Teskey, Managing Director, Motorcheck.ie at the announcement of the Awards.
This Awards programme is dedicated to the corporate/company car sectors, and is supported by the Health & Safety Authority. The Authority’s priority program on reducing Work Related Vehicle risks aims to influence a reduction in the numbers of people killed, injured and who suffer ill-health as a result of Driving for Work. Fleet drivers are a key target group. ”Any initiative that helps to improve safety standards and reduce accidents amongst fleet drivers is welcomed. I would urge all fleet managers to put the safety of their drivers and vehicle suitability at the heart of their business priorities”, said Martin O’Halloran, Chief Executive of the Health & Safety Authority.
According to Cathal Doyle, Deputy Editor, Fleet Car Magazine, Media Partner to the Awards, “These new awards will not conflict with any other car honours currently in existence. For years these type of accolades have been in existence in other countries, so why not in Ireland. And as Fleet Car is the corporate sector guide in this field, we are pleased to be associated with the establishment of the Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards 2012.”
The winning car in the five separate categories will be decided upon by an adjudication panel consisting of representatives from the car leasing community and other delegates from the fleet sector. “The independent assessment undertaken by the panel will consider each car under various aspects from styling, engine and driving performance, build quality, equipment levels, safety and total operating costs. The brand’s fleet strategy and aftermarket care will also have points allocated and the marking system will be similar to that of International Awards in the same field,” added Shane.
The inaugural Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards 2012 winners will be announced at a special Fleet sector Networking Luncheon, which will feature a Driving for Work presentation by Deirdre Sinnott from the Health & Safety Authority to be held later this month in Dublin. A special edition of Fleet Car magazine with report and pictures from the Awards will be published later in the Summer. More details on www.fleetcar.ie and www.motorcheck.ie
Motorcheck.ie is best known amongst consumers for its market leading car history check service. In recent years the company has established itself as an important source of automotive data for the Irish Motor Industry and currently provides statistical analysis for Manufacturers and Leasing Companies in areas such as Company Car Sales, Residual Value Analysis and Whole Life Running Costs.
Motorcheck's proprietary software also offers businesses the ability to plug-in to its powerful automotive database and integrate a registration lookup facility into their product or service. Common applications using the service today would Include Insurance Quotations, Automotive Parts Look-ups and Used Car Sales. Further information can be found at www.benchmark.ie.
TEST DRIVE REPORT: Hyundai i40 1.7 CRDi
There is a funny saying in the car industry – “I hope it drives as well as it looks” – often heard at Motor Shows where gleaming new creatively shaped metal assemble for the casting eye. That thought came to mind upon seeing the new i40 Tourer recently introduced by Hyundai’s Motor Europe. This car marks new beginnings for the Korean brand as it makes a stringent effort in raising its profile and image to a higher level. An ambitious target for a car company that was seen to be pretty average all-round – average looks, quality, price, driveability etc. Now, with the i40 it is plain to see where it’s at. Thanks to the artistic talents of Chief Designer Thomas Bürkle, (who by the way came via BMW, 6 years ago), we have never seen so many curves in a car from Korea or from Asia for that matter. From the start, Thomas and his design team based at Hyundai’s R & D Centre in Russelsheim, Germany set about to establish a new family look, which as we now know is clearly identifiable in the i40, Veloster coupe and the freshly revealed new i30. Eagle shaped eye-type headlights, along with a curvaceous grille and bonnet give the i40 a sleek, muscular look and feel to it. These shapely lines continue through to the car’s side panels and come together at the rear door of the estate. Surprisingly and impressively, this aerodynamic profile does not compromise on interior space. In fact rear seat room and access is on par, if not better than any of its competitors in the D-Segment. And HME make no bones about that it is targeting the Toyota Avensis, VW Passat and Opel Insignia for market penetration through conquest sales. Safety is not amiss either as this i40 has been awarded 5 stars in the Euro NCAP Crash Tests. The authorities gave the i40 maximum points in the side impact test and 86% in the Child Occupant category. Inside, Thomas threw out the tired conventional plainness of the preceding Hyundais. In comes a freshness with spaciousness in abundance. His curvaceous streak continues here as there isn’t a straight line to be seen anywhere in the i40’s interior. The driver is cocooned into a position that is comfortable, informative through the various displays on the dash and entertained through the various audio fittings on board. There is a high quality feel to the dash and seating areas and all one has to do is sit in and drive without any complication. From the high-specified versions driven around Frankfurt recently, the new i40 fits into Hyundai’s newly termed ‘modern premium’ category with ease. Hyundai Car Ireland continues this theme by offering spec levels expected in premium class cars but at standard D-Segment price brackets. Two transmission variants of the i40’s 1.7 litre 136 bhp CRDi diesel engine were driven. The 6-speed manual (which boasts CO2 rating of just 113g/km) turned out well with the power spread evenly up through the box. To be straight, the version with the new 6-speed auto box impressed the most. While both drivetrains were smooth and silent, the automatic just elevated the i40 to a true premium level car. As a fan of estate cars (through family tradition more than anything else), the i40 Tourer is head over heels more attractive than the saloon type soon to arrive here and seen in the recent Frankfurt Motor Show. At the moment it is priced at just under €25,000 but will rise €1,000 once the saloon goes on sale and which will then retail at €25,000. New i40 will certainly change your perception of the Hyundai, all you have to do is to take a test drive to be immediately won over.
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