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    The biggest lesson we've learned since opening our doors in 1999 is the leasing landscape is an ever-evolving one.

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    From the technology inside our vehicles to the fuel that powers them, keeping on top of the changes in an industry like this can quickly become a full-time job. What we’re here for is to make sure it doesn’t become yours.

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    Carmakers clamour to promote electric car options in future models
    Uncertainty over the future taxation of diesel cars could bring forward the ‘tipping point’ where electric cars become more cost-effective for fleets than conventional vehicles. While announcements from manufacturers and the Government have created confusion in mainstream media, targets for average CO2 emissions less than four years away are driving the launch of more electric cars. At the same time, improvements in battery chemistry and a reduction in costs are making them more accessible. As the Government and local authorities tackle local air pollution issues by discouraging use of diesel cars, plug-in cars are the likely alternative. In July, an announcement by Volvo that it would only produce cars with electrified powertrains from 2019 was widely misunderstood that it would no longer be producing cars with petrol or diesel engines. But Volvo already offers plug-in hybrid variants in most of its models launched since 2015, and by 2019 it will have renewed its entire line-up. BMW revealed in August that a new flexible vehicle architecture will enable electrified powertrains on all future models, as well as confirming a pure electric version of the Mini would go into production in 2019 in the UK. Oliver Zipse, BMW AG management board member for production, said: “Our adaptable production system is innovative and able to react rapidly to changing customer demand. If required, we can increase production of electric drivetrain motor components quickly and efficiently, in line with market developments.” By 2025, the BMW Group expects EV to account for between 15-25% of global sales. The market for alternative fuel vehicles, which includes hybrids charged by the internal combustion engine, plug-in hybrids, pure electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell models, continues to grow, taking a record 5.5% share of the UK market in July (4.3% year-to-date). The previous alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) market share record was set in June 2017 at 4.4%, and if registrations of diesel cars continue to decline, AFV share will grow, even if increases in outright numbers are more modest. Manufacturers are being compelled along this route by tightening emissions rules, while infrastructure for electric vehicle charging continues to expand. However, not all carmakers are as vocal about electric alternatives. Mazda, for example, has just reaffirmed its commitment to petrol with announcements about the Skyactive-X engine due to be launched in 2019.  The company says it is “working to perfect the internal combustion engine” which it believes will continue to power the majority of cars for “many years to come” and, therefore, will make “the greatest contribution” to the reduction in CO2 emissions. It concedes that such an outcome would need to be combined with electrification technology, but it remains resolute in its belief in efficient petrol engines. Manufacturers are shooting for European Union targets for average new car CO2 emissions of 95g/km by 2021 (versus 130g/km in 2015). Low-emission cars must balance high-emission ones, or manufacturers will face fines for exceeding the limits. They are also being awarded emissions credits for emissions-reducing technology that might not create a significant benefit in official testing, but can be verified to work in independent tests, while vehicles below 50g/km entitle the manufacturer to ‘super credits’, creating a greater offset for higher emission models. Current incentives for purchasing ultra-low emission cars in the UK are set until October 2017, and offer up to £4,500 off a zero-emission car, and up to £2,500 off the best-performing plug-in hybrids up to a price ceiling of £60,000. In July, the UK Government announced an aspiration to stop the sale of new pure petrol or diesel cars in the UK from 2040 and, although the current programme of incentives for plug-in cars is due to finish within months, the car industry believes they need to continue to ensure Government aspirations are met. SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “The UK Government’s ambition for all new cars and vans to be zero emission capable by 2040 is already known. Industry is working with Government to ensure the right consumer incentives, policies and infrastructure are in place to drive growth in the still very early market for ultra-low emission vehicles in the UK.” The number of public plug-in vehicle charge points in the UK now exceeds 4,000, while Go Ultra Low, the Government and industry body promoting take-up of plug-in vehicles, predicted earlier this year there would be a total of 100,000 registered and in use by the middle of 2017, although this milestone was reached in May.  Meanwhile Chargemaster, a major EV infrastructure provider in the UK, believes there will be at least a million EVs by 2222, possibly “as much as 1.4 million”. Chief executive David Martell said: “Over the next five years, a significant number of new models will have a range of more than 200 miles, with a lower purchase price than their earlier vehicles. Consumers will also be able to choose from a larger range of electric vehicles, from manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Volvo, as well as significant new models such as the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model 3.” Comparing plug-in car costs with diesel Plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles are still only cost-effective in certain roles, but their appeal compared to conventional fuel alternatives continues to grow, as our examples show. Plug-ins are more suited to urban areas with lower annual mileage than vehicles spending much of their time on motorways. Using running cost figures on the Fleet News website, and taking account of the plug-in car grant to adjust the depreciation cost based on the transaction price, a number of plug-in cars offer lower running costs over four years/40,000 miles. Also, projected benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rates over the next three years suggest plug-ins are also more appealing for drivers to minimise tax liability. The GTD, the Golf’s best-selling derivative in the UK, has similar performance to the plug-in hybrid GTE. But the GTE, which qualifies for a £2,500 grant, is projected to offer a £1,300 saving in running cost over four years, as well as a saving in employers’ National Insurance (NI) contributions of around £1,900 over the next three years – the current extent of NEDC CO2 emissions and BIK tax bands. The BMW i3 has a P11D value almost £5,000 higher than a BMW 120d Sport auto. However, the effect of a £4,500 plug-in car grant on depreciation, combined with the lower charging costs of a pure electric car compared with fuelling the 1 Series with diesel, as well as lower servicing costs, give the i3 a saving of around £1,100 in running costs over four years/40,000 miles. NI savings for employers amount to around £1,200 over three years, while there is zero VED to pay in that period compared with £420 for the 120d. CO2 emissions on the E 350e top 50g/km but it qualifies for the plug-in grant because its range exceeds 20 miles and it costs less than £60,000. A running cost saving of £1,200 over a similarly specified diesel E 350d over four years/40,000 miles is boosted by a £505 projected advantage in VED, while employers’ NI contributions are £3,600 for the plug-in car. BIK charges for the driver are around half as much as for the diesel over the next three years. Source: Fleet News
    Thieves target keyless entry cars with ‘relay attack’
    A new trend in vehicle theft termed ‘relay attack’, is allowing criminals to overcome existing vehicle security technology, such as immobilisers and keyless entry systems. The new style attack uses a relay device and involves two criminals working together. One stands near the car being targeted and the other stands near the front door of the owner’s home to get in range of the key fob – often left on hallway tables or kitchen worktops. The device then picks up the key fob signal from inside the house and relays it to the car. Using this method, thieves are then able to drive away in a stolen vehicle in a matter of just a few seconds. Tracker says Car criminals are now far more likely to be computer savvy, than have the ability to hot-wire a car.  “At Tracker, we are seeing more thefts recorded as ‘stolen without the keys' which suggests   that electronic manipulation and cyber compromise are on the increase,” explains Andy Barrs, head of Police Liaison at Tracker. “The new relay attack technique has gained significant ground in the US and Germany, but it’s also beginning to take hold in the UK, so vehicle owners need to protect themselves and their assets.” According to German research, which tested vehicles from 30 manufacturers, the brands to particularly be on watch out for are BMW and Peugeot.  However, using a relay device, testers managed to unlock many vehicles and start the engine, with the BMW 7 Series, Ford Focus, Toyota Prius and VW Golf among the most affected models of vehicle. Barrs added: “As relay attacks become even more prevalent, owners need to protect themselves, particularly since criminal gangs are routinely using relay devices to exploit weaknesses in keyless security systems across a broad range of manufacturers. These tools are readily available on the internet for as little as £80 and thefts typically occur in residential areas, where cars are parked relatively close to the house, especially at night.” Source: Fleet News
    UK to ban diesel and petrol cars from 2040 to tackle pollution
    New diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 as part of efforts to tackle air pollution, the Government is expected to announce. British authorities are also going to set up a £255 million fund to help councils speed up local measures to deal with pollution from diesel vehicles, as part of £3 billion spending on air quality. The measures are set to be included in a court-mandated clean air strategy that London is due to publish on Wednesday, just days before the deadline set by the High Court. The expected move to ban petrol and diesel vans and cars follows similar plans announced in France this month and amid increasing signs that the shift to electric vehicles is accelerating. On Tuesday, BMW announced plans for an electric Mini to be assembled at its Oxford plant while earlier this month Volvo unveiled its moves towards cleaner cars. It is thought ministers will also consult on a diesel scrappage scheme to take the dirtiest vehicles off the road. Campaigners have demanded the final plans should include government-funded and mandated clean air zones, with charges for the most polluting vehicles to enter areas with high air pollution, as well as a diesel scrappage scheme. Their calls for charging zones were backed up by an assessment published alongside the draft plans which suggested they were the most effective measures to tackle nitrogen dioxide, much of which comes from diesel vehicles. But ministers have been wary of being seen to “punish” drivers of diesel cars, who they claim bought the vehicles in good faith after being encouraged to by the last Labour government on the basis they produced lower carbon emissions. Similar incentives were also put in place by previous governments in Ireland. They favour local measures such as retrofitting buses and other transport to make them cleaner, changing road layouts and even altering features such as speed humps and re-programming traffic lights to make traffic flow more smoothly to reduce pollution. The expected move to ban diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040 comes after similar plans were announced in France this month and amid increasing signs that the shift to electric vehicles is accelerating, with BMW announcing plans for an electric Mini and Volvo unveiling its moves towards cleaner cars. Air pollution is linked to around 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK, and transport also makes up a significant share of greenhouse gas emissions. A British government spokesman said: “Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible. “That is why we are providing councils with new funding to accelerate development of local plans, as part of an ambitious #3 billion programme to clean up dirty air around our roads. “Our plan to deal with dirty diesels will help councils clean up emissions hotspots — often a single road — through common sense measures which do not unfairly penalise ordinary working people. “Diesel drivers are not to blame and, to help them switch to cleaner vehicles, the Government will consult on a targeted scrappage scheme, one of a number of measures to support motorists affected by local plans.” Source: Irish Times
    All electric - Volvo to ditch internal combustion engine for new models from 2019
    Geely-owned Volvo Car Group said on today that all new models launched from 2019 will be fully electric or hybrids, spelling the eventual end to nearly a century of Volvos powered solely by the internal combustion engine. The Gothenburg-based company will continue to produce pure combustion-engine Volvos from models launched before that date, but said it would introduce cars across its model line-up that ranged from fully electric cars to plug-in hybrids. Volvo's plans make it the first major traditional automaker to set a date for the complete phase-out of combustion-engine-only models though electrification has long been a buzzword across the industry and Elon Musk's Tesla Motors has been a pure-play battery carmaker from day one. "This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car," Volvo Cars Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said in a statement. Five new models set to be launched in 2019 through 2021 - three of them Volvos and two Polestar-branded - will all be fully or partially electric. "These five cars will be supplemented by a range of petrol and diesel plug in hybrid and mild hybrid 48-volt options on all models," Volvo said. "This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor." Volvo has invested heavily in new models and plants since being bought by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group from Ford Motor Co. in 2010, establishing a niche in a premium auto market dominated by larger rivals such as Daimler's Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Part of its strategy has also been to embrace emerging technologies which allow higher performance electric vehicles as well as, eventually, self-driving cars. Only last month, Volvo said it would reshape its Polestar business into a standalone brand, focused on high-performance electric cars aimed at competing with Tesla and the Mercedes AMG division. Volvo has also taken steps towards an eventual listing, raising 5 billion crowns from Swedish institutional investors through the sale of newly issued preference shares last year, though the company has said no decision on an IPO has been made. Source: Reuters
    ALD TO ESTABLISH FULL SERVICE LEASING OPERATIONS IN IRELAND WITH THE ACQUISITION OF MERRION FLEET
    On 29 May 2017, ALD signed an agreement to acquire Merrion Fleet the 2nd largest leasing and fleet management company in Ireland. This acquisition forms part of ALD’s development strategy and is an example of ALD’s focus on targeted and value accretive bolt-on acquisitions.  ALD is the operational and fleet management business line of French Bank, Societe Generale the largest providers in Europe. They currently have a direct presence in 41 countries over 4 continents. They have 6000 employees and over 1.4 m vehicles under management.    Merrion Fleet Management Limited are a privately owned company established in 1999. Since that time they have been steadily growing their business and are now the 2nd largest leasing and fleet management company in Ireland with a portfolio of approximately 5,500 vehicles.  David Hurley, CEO of Merrion Fleet, said: ‘We are very excited to join ALD  and believe this is very positive news for our customers and staff as it supports the future growth and development of the Merrion business. Combining our service offering and established presence in Ireland with the innovative and financial power of ALD will enable us to bring a broader product range and global expertise and as such add value for our customers and employees’  Mike Masterson, CEO of ALD, said: ‘We are very happy with this acquisition that enables us to expand our coverage in Europe and increase added value for our international customers. We will also bring our financial and innovation capabilities to further develop the Merrion Fleet business’.
    Merrion Fleet Launches New Website
    We are really excited to launch our new website www.merrionfleet.ie making it easier for you to see how we can save you time and money on your company vehicles. We like to think the new layout represents a clear and simple journey for the user giving you an understanding of who we are and how we can help you. We have also included the most popular lease models in 2017 and their accompanying catalogues so you can have all this and more at one web address. The site also includes pricing on a sample range of vehicles giving you and understanding of how much your lease vehicle will cost. As with all good websites we are on hand at any stage should you wish to speak to us further or simply ask some questions?   For more details visit the link above or contact +353 (0)1 2061118 We look forward to hearing from you
    Used Car Market Breaks One Million in 2016
    Vehicle history and data expert Cartell.ie reports today (8th February) that used transactions for private cars were in excess of 1 million transactions in 2016 – the highest level since Cartell.ie started recording results. Cartell.ie considered all transactions for private cars (including imports) in the market in 2016 including private to private sales, imported by private, trade to trade sales, trade-ins, and trade to private transactions. The total number of transactions for the year was 1,014,376 up from 943,995 in 2015 (+7%). Cartell.ie next examined the total number of transactions in the used market for all vehicle types and found that 2016 had been a record year with 1,200,695. This was up from 1,125,816 in 2015 (+7%). John Byrne, Legal and Public Relations Manager, Cartell.ie says: The used vehicle market had a record year in 2016. We recorded over 1 million transactions for private cars – the first time we have reached this milestone since Cartell.ie started recording results. Overall the used market was up 7% year-on-year and we anticipate further growth in 2017. Most Popular Models by Transaction in 2016 vs 2015 (used cars including imports) 2016 2015 1 FOCUS FOCUS 2 GOLF GOLF 3 PASSAT PASSAT 4 COROLLA COROLLA 5 AVENSIS AVENSIS 6 ASTRA ASTRA 7 A4 A4 8 FIESTA FIESTA 9 YARIS MONDEO 10 POLO YARIS 11 MONDEO MICRA 12 CORSA POLO (Source: Cartell.ie Carstat)
    Merrion Fleet's Tesla Test Drive Day
    Tesla are pleased to offer Merrion Fleet customers and special guests the opportunity to test drive the exhilarating Model S or Model X at an exclusive event on the 20th and 21st February at Stillorgan Industrial Park. Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. They are working towards achieving this by producing ground-breaking electric vehicles, energy storage and solar products. Both the Tesla Model S and Model X have been designed from the ground up to be the safest, most exhilarating vehicles on the road. With a range of up to 613km (NEDC), Tesla vehicles also come with Autopilot hardware designed to make your motorway driving safer and stress free. Not only do Tesla vehicles provide an exhilarating drive experience, they are also 100% electric offering the largest driving range of any electric vehicle. Whether you are looking to discover more about the benefits of all-electric driving for yourself and your business, or experience the thrill of 0 to 100km in under 3 seconds, we can create a unique experience for you.  RSVP and find out for yourself what makes a Tesla the perfect company car. RSVP DESIGN YOURS
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