The official opening of the new Setanta Vehicle Sales (North) premises, a new state-of-the-art home for Renault Trucks on the north side of Dublin took place recently. John Loughran reports…..
The official opening of Setanta House in M2 Business Park, Ballycoolin, Dublin 15 was bathed in sunshine on a balmy afternoon on Wednesday, 15th September.
Setanta Vehicle Sales Managing Director, Harry Nash who acted as Master of Ceremonies, told the large assembled audience that the company had moved into the Dublin 15 premises in March 2020, as the pandemic gripped Ireland, but had to wait almost 18 months to officially open the premises.
Setanta Vehicle Sales was established in 2007 and since then it has gone from strength to strength working with the support of Renault Trucks.
Mr. Nash said the company’s success would not have been possible without the support of its dealer network. “Thank you to all our dealers and all our customers around Ireland . Thank you for supporting us on our journey with Renault Trucks.”
Minister for State at the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport, Hildegard Naughton conducted the official opening and gave the keynote address, which was very complimentary to Mr. Nash and the team at Setanta Vehicle Sales.
She added: “It is clear that the (company’s) team of highly qualified and professionally trained staff has brought them this far and continues to work together to bring high levels of customer service and support to its customers.”
She complimented Renault Trucks “for the technical advances achieved in the drive towards greener solutions in transport and leading the way in this space.”
“I would like to congratulate Renault for their decision in making this investment, given how important suppliers are to the freight, transport, distribution and logistics sector here in Ireland.”
“I also want to congratulate Renault on leading the way in relation to their technologies in emissions reduction. I know they have exciting plans coming in the next 12 months and we need leaders like (Renault) that can lead the way nationally and internationally.”
Ms. Naughton said the road haulage sector plays a vitally important role in our economy and it faces multiple challenges. Addressing the many haulage operators in the audience Ms. Naughton added: “The importance of the movement of goods to our economy cannot be under-estimated. Over 95 per cent of internal goods in Ireland are moved by road. And it is unlikely to change very significantly in into the future.
“Climate change is a huge challenge. We have to urgently deliver an ambitious emissions reduction programme. With transport in Ireland accounting for over 20 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions it has a very significant role to play in our national decarbonisation efforts.”
She also addressed the current HGV driver shortages: “The issue of HGV driver shortages is a critical issue, not only for Ireland but internationally. At the moment the transport and logistics sector is facing an acute shortage of drivers and mechanics.”
“We are working very closely with key stakeholders around solutions. We need to be innovative. We need to think outside the box and to encourage new entrants into the sector.”
She continued: “My Department chairs the National Logistics and Supply Chain group, which was established in 2019 on the basis of the recommendations of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs.”
“The primary aim of this group is to work together to better support the promotion of careers, skills development, and sustainable employment in the logistics and supply chain sector in Ireland. The work is ongoing and the promotion of careers in the sector together skill development and progression for existing workers is critical.”
The Minister also addressed the issue of Brexit and praised the haulage industry’s response to the challenge. “We are all aware of the challenges and issues that Brexit posed particularly over Christmas and New Year.”
“I want to acknowledge the input and constructive engagement within the haulage sector in relation to ensuring that we could get goods to and from the Continent, to ensure shelves remained full and that our supply chain remained fully functioning. That did not happen with huge engagement from all stakeholders.”
The Minister concluded by saying that the government is fully committed to supporting the haulage sector into the future. She said: We are committed to developing a 10-year road haulage strategy. We have gone out to public consultation and I would you all to feed into the consultation process. This is going to be a pivotal moment coming out of a global pandemic and Brexit.”
Bruno Blin, President Renault Trucks described the official opening as an “important step” in the relationship between Renault Trucks and Setanta Vehicle Sales.
He commented: “When we started in 2007 we had 3.5 per cent of market share. Today, we are reaching 10.5 per cent. This is a great achievement.”
“Today, Setanta is managing 10 service points in Ireland and that is very important to serve the customer. This celebration is possible thanks to the trust built over the years between Setanta, its dealers, customers, and Renault Trucks.”
Looking to the future Mr. Blin added: We will continue to develop our diesel offer. We are also putting a specific focus on the driver and driver comfort. That is why we have recently launched our Evo TCK range, with improved driver comfort, safety, and fuel economy.
“We have a huge challenge in front of us called decarbonisation. We are working on our conventional engines to improve fuel economy and C02 emissions, but this is not enough.”
He continued: “We have already started manufacturing electric vehicles and this is a major step forward. We are the only OEM producing these vehicles in series production in our factory in France.”
He concluded by saying that from 2023 Renault will have electric trucks in all segments and will have a hydrogen truck for long distance haulage by 2027.