Northern Ireland’s Leading Motoring Businesses & Professionals Celebrated At First Ever Industry Awards

Over 480 motoring professionals representing more than 40 of Northern Ireland’s leading automotive businesses came together to celebrate their achievements at the Northern Ireland Motor Industry Awards.

Sponsored by Used Cars NI, The Northern Ireland Motor Industry Awards took place on Friday 3rd November 2023 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast to recognise the achievements, resilience, and dedication of our local automotive industry.

The gala awards ceremony, which garnered more than 100 entries across 19 prestigious award categories, was hosted by seasoned broadcaster and lifelong motorsport enthusiast, Pamela Ballantine, and radio show presenter and F1 fan, Curtis McCosh.

The big winner on the night was the Charles Hurst Group, which walked away with eight awards including Dealer Group of the Year, Best Employer Excellence and Franchise Dealer of the Year.

Caroline Willis from Shelbourne Motors won Inspirational Women of the Year with the judges’ citation acknowledging her journey to becoming “an influential business leader.”

Saltmarine Cars collected two individual awards with Shane Devlin collecting the Rising Star award and Darren Meehan being named After Sales Manager of the Year.

Hilton Car Sales in Ballymena was named Small Independent Dealer of the Year with Coleraine based Roadside Garages collecting the accolade for Best Customer Service.

John Mulholland Motors won Best Community Campaign with the team praised for their efforts in raising more than £150k for a local cancer charity.

Sasha Jeffrey, Event Director of The Northern Ireland Motor Industry Awards said: “Huge congratulations to all the finalists, highly commended businesses and individuals and, of course, our esteemed winners. The depth and breadth of entries to the awards is a testament to the high levels of customer service and innovation evident across Northern Ireland’s motor industry.

“Our aim was to create an awards ceremony which celebrated the brightest and best from the region’s thriving automotive industry and the feedback from our judging panel on the standard of the submissions proves that the outstanding achievements and dedication of our local automotive industry deserves to be showcased.

“We want to thank our panel of independent judges, as well as our sponsors and partners, including our headline sponsor Used Cars NI, and all of the entrants, for helping to make the inaugural awards such a tremendous success. We hope to see you all again next year!”

Stephen Kelly, Chief Executive Officer at Used Cars NI added: “We are delighted to be able to play our part in honouring and celebrating the individuals and businesses who continuously promote excellence in Northern Ireland’s thriving motor industry.

“These awards are the perfect way to promote and recognise the outstanding achievements of the organisations, companies and individuals across the industry and their contribution to the success of the local automotive sector.”

The awards were independently adjudicated by a panel of industry experts including Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA); Jason Craig, award-winning Motoring and Motorsport Journalist; and James Stinson, award-winning Motoring Journalist.

Sue Robinson, Chief Executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) said: “Northern Ireland has for a long time punched well above its weight in terms of the standards achieved across the local industry.

“The quality of entries from these exceptional businesses and individuals has been truly impressive and picking the winners has been an incredibly challenging task. The competition was fierce and the commitment to excellence among the dealerships, sales teams, technicians and other industry professionals was evident in every entry.

“It’s a testament to the dedication and hard work of the individuals and teams behind each entry that made the decision-making process so tough. We’re thrilled to celebrate the triumphs of these dealerships and businesses and to highlight their outstanding contributions to the Northern Ireland motor trade.”

For further information on the Northern Ireland Motor Industry Awards please visit www.nimotorindustryawards.com.

 

2023 Northern Ireland Motor Industry Awards – Winners & Highly Commended

Best Customer Service sponsored by MotoNovo Finance

Highly Commended: John Mulholland Motors
Winner: Roadside Garages

Best Employer Excellence sponsored by CAP-HPI

Winner: Charles Hurst Group
Highly Commended: TrustFord

Best Community Campaign sponsored by Connected Car Finance

Winner: John Mulholland Motors
Highly Commended: Shelbourne Motors

Best Marketing Campaign sponsored by PML Group

Winner: Charles Hurst Group
Highly Commended: TrustFord

Rising Star sponsored by Northridge Finance

Winner: Shan Devlin, Saltmarine Cars
Highly Commended: Cathal Cowan, The Car Nerd

Automotive Technician of the Year sponsored by Transport Training Services

Winner: Michael Fenton, Charles Hurst Group
Highly Commended: Cathal Cowan, The Car Nerd & Philip Steele, JRC Cars Ltd

Leasing Company of the Year sponsored by City Auction Group

Winner: Fleet Financial Ltd
Highly Commended: fleet4u

After Sales Team of the Year sponsored by Autoguard Warranties

Winner: Charles Hurst Group
Highly Commended: JRC Card Ltd

Sales Team of the Year sponsored by Pyxel

Winner: Roadside Garages
Highly Commended: Car Brothers NI

After Sales Manager of the Year sponsored by EMaC

Winner: Darren Meegan, Saltmarine Cars
Highly Commended: Adrian Johnston, Charles Hurst Group

Sales Manager of the Year sponsored by GardX

Winner: Paul Herriot, Charles Hurst Group
Highly Commended: Colin Hutton, Saltmarine Cars

Inspirational Woman of the Year sponsored by Close Brothers Motor Finance
Winner: Caroline Willis, Shelbourne Motors

Highly Commended: Shona Mulholland, John Mulholland Motors & Rachel Murray, PBR Automotive / Paint by Rach

Dealer Principal / General Manager of the Year sponsored by AbbeyAutoline
Winner: Luke McCready, Charles Hurst Group

Highly Commended: Michael Salt, Saltmarine Cars

EV Dealer of the Year sponsored by Monaghan Brothers
Winner: Monaghan Brothers

Franchise Dealer of the Year sponsored by City Auction Group

Winner: Charles Hurst Group
Highly Commended: TrustFord

Small Independent Dealer of the Year sponsored by Codeweavers

Winner: Hilton Cars Sales
Highly Commended: Giraffe Cars

Used Vehicle Dealer of the Year sponsored by AbbeyAutoline

Winner: Charles Hurst Group
Highly Commended: Fleetwise Ltd

Independent Dealer of the Year sponsored by CarMoney

Winner: Roadside Garages
Highly Commended: MB Motors

Dealer Group of the Year sponsored by TradeBid

Winner: Charles Hurst Group
Highly Commended: TrustFord

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