SIMI President Mark Boggan with his wife Nora at the annual dinner. (Pic Paul Sharp/SHARPPIX)

The SIMI (Society of the Irish Motor Industry) held its 63rd Annual Dinner at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Dublin last night with over 700 motor industry guests in attendance.

Addressing the audience, SIMI President Mark Boggan recalled that 2015 had been a strong year of recovery for the Motor Industry, with a huge overall contribution of €5.4 Billion to the Exchequer. This positive momentum has continued on into 2016, with all indicators showing a marked improvement and the prospects ahead look bright.

Commenting on the increase in passenger car sales he noted that this year’s registrations are almost at the same level as the full year of 2009. The SIMI President attributed this to the fact that “Consumer confidence is currently at its highest in 10 years along with improvements in employment and the availability of finance consumers now feel they are in a better position to change their cars”.

“Members should be proud of the SIMI which has been representing the Industry since 1922”

He outlined that while prospects for the Industry are very positive he was mindful that “many retailers are still finding market conditions challenging and are facing a range of issues from profitability and legacy debt concerns, to the funding of stock for both new and used cars and that the knock on effect of increased car sales will take some time to filter into some other sectors in the Industry”.

Mr Boggan acknowledged that the recent COP21 Climate Change Conference highlighted the challenges facing Ireland in reducing our CO2 emissions by 20% by 2030. While the EU has placed tougher C02 targets for new vehicles with the decision to move from the current CO2 emission figures to a system based on Real Driving Emissions.

The SIMI President commented that “these are challenges that our sector can meet through the technology and vehicles that our Industry can deliver. The Industry is potentially a provider of solutions in relation to the environmental challenges facing the state and as such we are a key stakeholder.

The SIMI President commended the work of the Road Safety Authority and recognised the Industry itself has an obligation to continue to support and work closely with the RSA on a range of road safety initiatives.

In closing the President remarked that “Members should be proud of the SIMI which has been representing the Industry since 1922 and they should be proud of the contribution that both their businesses and their Industry make to the local economy and to the country”.