The motor industry in Ireland has been told to look to the future with renewed confidence, with sales of both new and second-hand cars picking up, helped in no small part by the introduction of the new ‘split year’ registration plate.
Speaking at the Society of the Irish Motor Industry’s annual dinner in Dublin last Friday night, society president, James Brookes, said that consumer confidence, coupled with the availability of finance, has given a lift for the industry.
Stating that the Industry had turned a corner, he acknowledged that the second registration plate was a contributing factor which now gives the Industry a second sales peak each year. He thanked all involved in delivering this better system. He also noted the Industry’s work in areas such as End of life Vehicles (ELVES) the structural repair of vehicles (CSS) and Commercial Vehicle Testing (VTN).
Commenting on the increase in passenger car sales – up 32% so far this year – and Light commercial vehicles sales, which are up 70%, Mr Brooks noted that consumers are starting to spend again.
However registrations in the HGV market are off to a slow start for a variety of reasons, amongst which, the implementation of a new type approval processes is slowing down registrations, and this is a cause for concern. It is hoped that additional resources will be delivered urgently to solve the current situation as quickly as possible, he said.
He also complimented the Road Safety Authority for its work in relation to the standards of vehicles on our roads and underlined how crucial this is.
“Last year, 51% of cars failed their NCT test, only 30% of cars fail their first NCT at four year’s old but at nine years old, almost 70% fail. Almost 700,000 cars failed the NCT last year so at any point in time a significant number of cars on the road are likely to be unsafe,” he said.
He suggested that it should be illegal to sell tyres below a minimum tread depth and the same should apply to those on used cars being sold, no matter who is selling it. It would also make sense to require a new full NCT Cert at the point when a used car is of being sold to a new owner. He emphasised that SIMI is committed to working with the RSA in relation to such safety projects.
“The Industry itself has an obligation to do something to help improve the safety of older cars on our roads. We have all been touched by the consequences of fatal accidents, it’s not about business; it’s about saving lives,” he said.
New President for Local Ireland
The new President of Local Ireland, the association representing local news publishers around the country, is Head of Irish Times Regionals Dan Linehan.
Mr Linehan takes over the presidency from Declan McGuire of the Connacht Tribune. His appointment was confirmed at the recent Annual General Meeting of Local Ireland at Bloomfield House Hotel near Mullingar, Westmeath.
Mr Linehan, who has served as Vice President of the organisation for the last two years, said: “The coming years are a very important time for local publishers with many important issues to be addressed, including the implementation of the Future of Media Commission recommendations, defamation reform, the role and support for local publishers in public service reporting and helping publishers develop commercial digital offerings.”
Speaking at the AGM, Mr McGuire acknowledged the work done by the Executive in the past two years under the direction of Executive Director, Bob Hughes, on several projects related to the publishing industry but most especially the successful conclusion of the long-running campaign for the abolition of VAT on newspapers.
He also wished Mr Linehan the very best in his new role as President of the association for the next two years.
Mr Hughes thanked Mr McGuire for his leadership and support during his term of office and said he looked forward to working with Mr Linehan on the key policy priorities for the association, including Government supports, Government advertising, fair remuneration for content from the tech platforms and the reform of the legislation for defamation.
Local Ireland members also elected Seán Mahon, Managing Director of the Southern Star, as Vice President for the next two years.
Employers’ group hears of key challenges facing businesses in the region
The shortage of affordable housing is the single biggest impediment in attracting and retaining workers in the West, according to business group Ibec.
At a ‘Regional Insights Series’ meeting in the Galmont Hotel in Galway last week, employers were told that capacity constraints and labour supply are the key challenges facing business growth in the region.
Ibec Head of Regional Policy Helen Leahy said: “There must be greater focus by government on enhancing quality of life issues such as housing and infrastructure which are driving labour shortages in the region.
“Ibec’s vision for the West is to realise its potential to become a globally competitive location. An inadequate supply of affordable housing is now the single largest impediment to attracting and retaining talented workers, without whom business investment and expansions are not possible.
“Labour shortages are a real concern for businesses in the region. People decide where to live and work based on quality of life and access to high quality services and amenities. Industry tends to follow talent, and in this regard, the region needs to have all the building blocks in place as the attraction and retention of world-class talent becomes increasingly competitive on a global level,” said Ms Leahy.
Amongst Ibec’s priorities for the West are:
- Addressing housing and infrastructure challenges
- Transitioning towards a new growth model with Net Zero energy powered by Atlantic offshore wind resources
- Adapting businesses to the new economic realities
- Enhancing capacity and skillsets to achieve sustainable development objectives
- Investment in people and skills
- Creating competitive advantage through digitalisation
- Innovation as a key driver of productivity growth
Survey finds one in five retailers in Galway want to go fully cashless
One in five Galway businesses want to go fully cashless, as the move towards card payments and tapping continues unabated post-Covid.
In all, 22% of Galway businesses would like to be fully cashless, according to a survey carried out by BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a provider of payment technology solutions, which asked Irish businesses about the current payment landscape as well as business confidence and concerns.
Over one-third (36%) of Galway businesses were unaware there is no contactless limit on mobile wallets – just below the national average – while 54% believe the increase in card over cash transactions has helped them run their business.
Six out of ten Galway businesses expect to grow this year despite the cost-of-living crisis and running costs dominating as key concerns; 62% believe their business will grow over the next twelve months despite global economic uncertainty.
Unsurprisingly cost-of-living increases and running costs were the main concerns the majority of businesses had.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App
Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.
Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.
Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.