Monday 25 September 2017

'A second registration plate every July would boost revenue and jobs'

Olive Keogh

THE Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) was formed in 1968 when the Society of the Irish Motor Traders and the Irish Motor Traders Association merged. Today, SIMI is the official voice of the motor industry in Ireland. The organisation has 1,200 members consisting of dealers, repairers, vehicle distributors, wholesalers, retailers and vehicle testers. It represents the views of the motor industry to the Government, state bodies, the media and the public.

• what is your own background?

I studied marketing in college. I always had an interest in public relations and since joining SIMI four years ago I've had the opportunity to put in place many of my own ideas.

• what does your job involve?

I deal with the media on a daily basis and plan the communication strategy for projects we're working on. I also work with members on their social media campaigns.

• what do you most like about your job?

Every day is totally different. I like the variety of the job and the challenges it brings, with tasks changing from hour to hour.

• what is the most difficult part of your job?

Seeing well-established garages close after being in the industry for decades. Things are really tough in the motor industry at the moment.

We're pushing for the introduction of a second registration plate in July, similar to the UK system. This would mean extra revenue in the Government's coffers, better value for motorists and more stability for jobs in the industry. Many dealers have to let staff go mid-year because virtually all sales activity is in the first quarter of the year.

• if you could work in another industry, what would it be?

I would probably be a food critic. I think it is one of the best jobs in the world -- getting paid to eat amazing food. Failing that, a pilot.

• if you had a limitless budget, what would your dream car be?

Mercedes SLR McLaren, with the gullwing doors, or a Lamborghini Murcielago.

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