MOTORING

Motor industry celebrates great 2016

Society of the Irish Motor Industry annual dinner

Trish Whelan

Reporter:

Trish Whelan

Motor industry celebrates great 2016

Alan Greene, SIMI president

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).

Mr Greene was speaking at the SIMI Annual Dinner 2017 held at the Clayton Hotel, Dublin last Thursday 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 announced by RTE Sports Commentator 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.

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’.

Pad 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.