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Local car dealer celebrates win at first ever Industry Awards

business local news Nov 06, 2023
Roadside Garages Coleraine - Geoffrey Moffett

Local car dealership Roadside Garages in Coleraine has been announced as the winner in three categories at the first ever Northern Ireland Motor Industry Awards.

The Coleraine based dealership took home the prize for Best Customer Service, Sales Team of the Year, and Independent Dealer of the Year.

Sponsored by Used Cars NI, the gala awards ceremony saw more than 480 motoring professionals representing over 40 of Northern Ireland’s leading automotive businesses come together on Friday 3rd November 2023 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belfast.

The Northern Ireland Motor Industry Awards, which garnered more than 100 entries across 19 prestigious award categories, recognised the achievements, resilience, and dedication of our local automotive industry.

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 and 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

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