Antonia Hendron, managing director of M50 Truck & Van Centre in Dublin, was elected president of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) at the organisation’s AGM held recently in Killashee Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare.
Speaking at the event, Ms Hendron commented that she was looking forward to her term as president and outlined a number of clear priorities.
“Firstly, I want to help position the motor industry as a leader and enabler of the green transition,” she said. “We are a dynamic and innovative industry, and if policy makers and legislators are prepared to work with us, we will help them achieve Ireland’s ambitious climate targets.
“Consumers are the centre of this plan and for them to make the change to zero emission vehicles confidence is key. Therefore, there is an urgent requirement to create a second-hand electric vehicle fleet which can only happen via a vibrant overall new car market.
“In this context, it is imperative that the Government continues the VRT and grant support for electric vehicles until 2025, at which time these supports can be reviewed and invest now in the public charging infrastructure.”
With the green transition dominating the agenda for the foreseeable future, Ms Hendron remarked: “I am determined to ensure that the industry continues to focus on delivering high standards and supporting the training and upskilling of our people.
“I also want to co-opt government support for apprenticeships and upskilling of our mechanics. The rapid rollout of electric cars means that our people have to be more highly trained than ever before. With a full Cabinet position of Minister for Higher Education for the first time ever, it seems that the government is keen to invest in further training and especially in apprenticeships.”
As the managing director of M50 Truck & Van Centre, Antonia Hendron is actively involved in the commercial vehicle sector, serving as both the chairperson of the SIMI VTN committee and a member of the society’s management board.
The Vehicle Testing Network (VTN) is currently in transition towards its new 10-year vehicle testing licenses and Ms Hendron will assist as much as possible to ensure that companies have a successful transition to their new vehicle testing licencing.
In conclusion, Ms Hendron thanked the members of the society for allowing her the “honour to serve as president” and was “delighted” to continue to highlight increased female participation in the motor industry and at “the highest level”.