The SIMI Irish Motor Industry Awards in partnership with sponsor Bank of Ireland, took place recently at the Clayton Hotel in Dublin. Aidan Tierney, celebrity impressionist, comedian and master of ceremonies announced the accolades in front of over 600 senior Motor Industry figures.
Brian Cooke, SIMI Director General and Derek Kavanagh, Head of Motor Franchise Sales of Bank of Ireland Finance presented seven award categories in total.
The award winners, adjudicated by an independent panel, operate across all sectors of the Irish Motor Industry. Companies selected demonstrated an award-winning level of excellence and best practice over the last 12 months.
Category Award winners:
- Bodyshop of the Year: Accident Repair Centre (ARC)
- Commercial Vehicle Operation of the Year: Rathcoole Commercial
- Vehicle Recovery Operator of the Year: James Foy Auto Services
- Independent Sales Operation of the year: AutoXpress
- Independent Aftersales Operation of the year: AutoAssure
- Franchised Aftersales Operation of the Year: Blackstone Motors
- Franchise Sales Operation of the Year: MSL Cork
Before their announcement, SIMI Deputy President Paddy Magee commended the industry whom over the past few years have traded and continue to do so, under unprecedented challenging and changing circumstances. While continuing to provide vital local employment and support to both the national economy and local communities.
Mr Magee remarked on: “the climate crisis, is a unique and ambitious challenge, one which requires long term strategic policy that encourages the uptake of Zero Emissions and Low Emissions Alternative Fuel vehicles. Changing consumer behaviour to accept a new vehicle technology in such a short period of time is unprecedented, and this requires incentives, supports and education. In that context, the Government must continue to support the purchase of EVs through the extension of grants and VRT reliefs out to 2025, while also giving serious consideration to halting the reduction in the EV Benefit-in-Kind reliefs for a few more years.
“A strong new EV car market will also create an active used EV market, providing the opportunity for a greater cohort of motorists to go electric. While we recognise that supports cannot remain in place indefinitely, any early reduction risks securing maximum EV supply and stalling sales at a key time of growth in the market.”
The Society warmly welcomed the establishment of the Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland, (ZEVI) and look forward to working with ZEVI and SEAI on the EV project in the years ahead. The ZEVI EV Dealership of the Year regional awards were also announced on the night. These awards recognise and reward excellence in the promotion and sale of electric vehicles (EV) in Ireland.
ZEVI EV Dealership of the Year Regional Award winners
- Kearys BMW & Mini Cork (Munster)
- Joe Mallon Motors Kildare (Leinster)
- JJ Burke Car Sales Mayo (Connacht)
- McGinley Motors Donegal (Ulster)
Derek Kavanagh, Head of Motor Franchise Sales of Bank of Ireland Finance commented that: “Bank of Ireland Finance are delighted to continue its sponsorship of the Irish Motor Industry Awards. The awards are important to us as they recognise the hard work, the dedication, professionalism, and excellence that is delivered day in day out by all within the industry. They recognise high standards and acknowledge the commitment to consistently deliver excellence in customer service and satisfaction to all motoring customers.
“As the industry continues its journey to work towards the ambitious targets as set out in the Climate Action Plan, the provision of finance and suitable products in supporting customers with this transition to greener motoring will be essential and critical to the success. Supporting the industry and the Climate Action Plan remains a key part of our strategy at Bank of Ireland Finance and we very much look forward to continuing to work with our existing and new brands throughout 2023 and beyond.”
SIMI Deputy President Paddy Magee praised all the companies who were shortlisted for each of the SIMI Motor Industry Award categories.