Watch out for tougher emission laws; Honest John; Jargon; Top dealer; Hackers win

EU regulators are expected to release draft CO2 targets for 2030 today. There will be ‘tighter’ caps on emissions in an effort to reduce greenhouse gases.

I have spoken to quite a few people about this. Some see the screw turning so tight that the price of meeting the lower thresholds will be unsustainable for some model-and-powertrain mixes.
They see a smaller range of choice, with a higher proportion of electric, hybrid and plug-ins as an inevitable outcome in the medium term. They see diesel coming under ever heavier pressure, but petrol technology will make it a better bet for some.

Others believe technology will keep apace with the lower levels required for conventional engines. But all are agreed, it’s going to cost a lot of money to stay within the parameters.
And if it’s going to cost the manufacturers – then it’s going to cost buyers – directly or indirectly.

And then there is the parallel universe of local authorities taking action. Just look at what is being advocated by a prominent think-tank for London. They want a big increase in the congestion charge for diesels. Not alone that, but it wants diesels banned from central London at peak hours.
• Congratulations to Al Hayes Motors, Galway who have been awarded the national Volkswagen Passenger Car Dealer of the Year. The announcement was made at the recent Volkswagen Gold Pin awards, which celebrate excellence within the Volkswagen retail network. It is the highest accolade a Volkswagen retailer can get.

Well done!
• The Ballincollig & District Vintage and Classic Car Club’s annual show goes on this weekend (Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th). Classic cars will compete for prizes and the title of Oldest Car, Car of the Show, Longest Travelled, Best Car Club, Best Non-Club Car, Best Motorbike etc. And oh yes, and there’s an award for Best Tractor.

• It is always a wonderful feeling to meet one of your heroes. And ‘Honest John’ is one of mine. Despite both of us covering motoring events for years, we only met for the first time last week. He is such a font of knowledge – and a great chat
• Hackers 1 Automakers 0.

Fiat Chrysler is expected to become the first mass-market manufacturer to join Tesla in rewarding hackers with bounties if and when they find security vulnerabilities in their vehicles’ software.
• I’m not surprised people are confused by all the acronyms – from ABS to AEB – on safety items in our cars.

No wonder there are calls for a simplification and explanation. Co-op Insurance research across the water found buyers appreciate greater safety, but haven’t a clue what all the different bits and pieces mean – or do.
There is, the research found, too much jargon. Nearly two-thirds (63pc) want clear, logical safety information included in all car documentation at the point of purchase.

Matthew Avery, of Thatcham Research, says: “The more safety technology is fitted as standard on new cars in the first place, the better used-car buyers will be able to access it. In the meantime, simplifying and making information about safety features more widely available has to be the key.”
More work for the salesperson – but it is inevitable, I think.


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