CV Focus episode 14 – Jarlath Sweeney

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The view from Ireland: Jarlath Sweeney, Editor-in-Chief of the Irish trade magazine ‘Fleet Transport’ (https://fleet.ie) chats with Matt Eisenegger about everything from the state of the economy to secondhand vehicles in this must-listen specially-extended podcast.

He starts by explaining the impact that the withdrawal, over the next 3-5 years, of Ulster Bank from the Republic of Ireland will have on small businesses. “Ulster Bank has been a strong supporter of small and medium business,” he says” “and its withdrawal will reduce competition in commercial lending landscape.”

He then moves on to business in Ireland, with an overview of the economy and the effects of Brexit on transport and the supply chain.

We discover why the ‘land bridge’ to Europe via Britain is important, especially for perishable goods, and why the shift of trade to other routes might not be plain sailing.

The conversation turns to the effect on the used vehicle market in Ireland, which has previously seen large numbers imported from the UK.

Previously, around 600 used trucks and 6,000 used vans were imported a year, but now big import tariffs have affected business.

“Previously it kept the trade buyout with good prices for buyers,” says Jarlath “while the specification of secondhand vehicles coming from the UK was generally higher than those sold new in Ireland, while the wear and tear was less due to the UK’s better-quality roads.”

The challenges of running EVs in a relatively sparsely-populated large country are mulled over, along with the options for running CNG.

Having considered this, they chat about the EV Maxus van and the unusual business model deployed by importer, Dublin-based Harris Group, which gives it a head-start in market

They conclude their conversation by examining the pick-up truck market and ponder for how long diesel will survive. Finally, Jarlath bravely has a stab at predicting where he thinks the commercial vehicle industry will be, in 10 years’ time.

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