The issues of road safety, insurance and the environment have been identified as being hugely important to the Motor Industry by Alan Greene, President of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI), writes Trish Whelan.
Mr Greene was speaking at the SIMI Annual Dinner 2017 held at the Clayton Hotel, Dublin 4 last night with over 700 of the Motor Industry’s senior figures and guests in attendance.
The event incorporated the Irish Motor Industry Awards, in partnership with sponsor Bank of Ireland Finance. The awards were adjudicated by an independent panel and announced by RTE Sports Commentator & TV presenter Marty Morrissey, and honoured those companies that demonstrated excellence and best practice in their Industry over the last 12 months.
Prior to the awards being announced, Mr Greene remarked that the night was a celebration of the 41,000 people who contribute to the growth of the Irish economy. Last year, he said, the Industry collected €1.5 billion from new and used car sales alone for the Exchequer, while over €5.5 billion was generated by the Motorist.
Acknowledging that car sales are an obvious barometer to measure the impact of Brexit, the effect of which is likely to be felt right across the Industry, Mr Greene noted that members across the various sectors are being faced with changing market dynamics this year, and while this will be challenging, he noted it will also present opportunities.
He commended the ongoing work of the Road Safety Authority, offering the Industry’s support to work closely on road safety initiatives. He recognised that the Industry itself had a role to play in educating motorists on the importance of maintaining their cars, particularly in light of the fact that over 750,000 cars fail their NCT test each year.
Commenting on rising insurance costs, he expressed his concern on the increase in uninsured drivers, while also acknowledging the recent work of the Oireachtas Committee and the ‘Cost of Insurance Working Group’. He said he hoped that their recommendations to be implemented over the next two years, will deliver fairer premiums for consumers and businesses.
On the environment, the President remarked ‘there is no doubt that we all need to be concerned about the impact of emissions on health, but we need to seek for holistic solutions that seek to maintain the benefits of lower C02 with a reduction in the other harmful emissions’.
Mr Greene praised the companies who were shortlisted in each of the award categories and said that the awards ‘are a great way for SIMI to acknowledge the diverse and dynamic nature of our Industry as a whole’.
Pat Creed, Managing Director of Bank of Ireland Finance commented “BIF is the leading provider of funding to the Irish Motor Industry through tied relationships with 14 Manufacturers/Distributors which account for in excess of 50pc of the total Industry.” He also commented that, with Brexit looming and the significant increase in used car imports from the UK and NI which was evidenced in 2016, the Industry needed to maintain increased focus at a time when we are just recovering from the worst recession in many years.
Awards were presented by Alan Green and Pat Creed. Category Award Winners on the night were:
Above - Franchised Sales Operation of the Year - CAB Motor Company Ltd., Monahan Road, Ballintemple, Cork. Pictured are L-R Conor Cavanagh, Dealer Principal CAB Motor Company; SIMI President Alan Greene; Pat Creed, MD of Bank of Ireland Finance; and John Wilkins, General Manager, CAB Motor Company Ltd.
Above - Franchised Aftersales Operation of the Year - Audi North Dublin, Exit 5, M50, North Road, Dublin 11. Pictured are Geoff Walsh, Head of Business; Pat Creed of BOI Finance; Brian Davis, Head of Service; Colin Norton, Head of Parts Department Audi North Dublin; and SIMI President Alan Greene.
Above - Commercial Vehicle Operation of the Year - Wicklow VTN, Glebe Business Park, Port Access Road, Wicklow Town. Pictured with SIMI President Alan Greene are Tara Jackson, Manager, Wicklow VTN; Pat Creed, MD of BOI Finance.
Above - Independent Sales Operation of the Year - Meridian Motors, Sleaty Road, Co Carlow. Pictured with Pat Creed of BOI Finance are Aidan Finn, Manager, Meridian Motors; SIMI President Alan Greene; and Stephen Murphy, MD Meridian Motors.
Above - Independent Aftersales Operation of the Year - Donnellan Auto Services, Oranmore Business Park, Oranmore, Co Galway. Pictured are SIMI President Alan Greene; John Donnellan and Jude Donnellan of Donnellan Auto Services; Pat Creed, MD Bank of Ireland Finance.
Above - Bodyshop of the Year - Fitzpatrick’s Garage Accident Repair Centre, Dublin Road, Kildare. Pictured are Gavan Doyle, Martin O'Brien, Alan Mahon; SIMI President Alan Greene; Andy Fitzpatrick, MD of Fitzpatrick's Garage Accident Repair Centre; and Pat Creed, Managing Director of BOI Finance.
The Vehicle Recovery Operator of the Year Award went to CarTow.ie, Westpoint Offices, Collinstown Lane, Dublin Airport, Co Dublin; and the Motor Factor of the Year Award went to John Delaney Motor Factors, Fair Green, Drogheda, Co Louth.