Gowan Group take over Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Jeep

We know that Fiat cars are very popular in their native Italy. But in recent years the Fiat brand has struggled to sell in Ireland. Likewise Alfa Romeo, who produce very stylish cars, but they not huge sellers in Ireland.

However, there is an old saying that it’s a long road that has no turning. And that turning could be on the way for the Italian brands and the American Jeep as the Gowan Group has now added Alfa, Fiat and Jeep to their growing list of brands.

Gowan already handle: Citroen, DS, Honda, Opel and Peugeot and in a few months all these brands will be brought together in the new Gowan headquarters located in Citywest, just off the Naas Road at Brownsbarn. That means Gowan are moving from Bluebell and Honda are moving from their existing offices in Brownsbarn across the Naas Road to new premises on Orchard Avenue, Citywest.

Every brand needs proper marketing campaign and I think Gowan mean business as the official confirmation of the takeover was done in the luxurious Cashel Palace Hotel last week. The hotel certainly has a horse racing feel to it and in future I think we are going to see cars from Alfa, Fiat and Jeep line up at the stalls in future on equal terms to the other runners and riders.

John Saunders, who has been the MD of Honda in Ireland for many years, is the man who will oversee this new team in the Gowan stable. He said: ‘‘Alfa has kind of been forgotten about in Ireland, but we have  been in the Irish motor trade for 55 years.’’ 

John added that we are going to see at least one new Fiat car every year from now until 2030, starting with the gorgeous looking Tonale in January next year. Other new cars on way from Fiat are the 600 and the Topolino. Fiat will also have fully electric versions of their Scudo, Doblo and Ducato vans next year.

The new Tonale is a mid-size premium crossover and initially it will come with a 1.5-litre, 160hp mild-hybrid petrol engine and a price of approximately €45,000. A plug-in hybrid is also due next year. Also on the way from Alfa Romeo are new versions of their Stelvio and Giulia.

There will be a new electric versions of the Jeep Avenger and Grand Cherokee. And in 2024 a new Compass, Renegade and electric Wagoneer S are on the way.

In order to sell cars you need a good spread of dealers and the Gowan group has announced three new dealers who will specialise in Alfa, Fiat and Jeep. They are AutoBoland in Cork, Dooley’s of Carlow and Fitzpatrick’s of Kildare

The population of the State has now reached 5.1 million, its highest level in a census since 1841. There weren’t many cars around 181 years ago, but now you will see two cars parked outside most houses.

According to the latest SIMI figures sales of new cars are nearly back to pre-covid figures in 2019. It’s a fairly big cake and Gowan are hoping that all the cars in their stable will get a slice of that cake.