Dublin native James Brooks has been elected president of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, the representative body
for vehicle manufacturers/distributors, franchise dealerships, independent garages and many other businesses in the motor industry in Ireland.
Speaking at the society’s annual general meeting, James Brooks, who is the managing director of Kia Motors Ireland, said his presidency commenced at a time of improved outlook for the Industry:
“I hope we are now turning a corner and that during the course of my year in office we will see our industry head towards sales of 100,000 units.”
He said he was honoured to become the president in an industry that was a major contributor to the exchequer and provided almost 40,000 jobs around the country.
“Not so long ago we employed almost 50,000, so we have some way to go before we are back to normal.” he said.
The biggest challenge in the industry today was keeping the older cars on the road, as safe as they can be, while they were being used. The average age of a car in Ireland was nine years old, he said, older than most other EU countries.
“Despite the fact that the average new car has far more safety equipment than that of 10 years ago, this is not reflected in our aging cars. Fifty per cent of cars are failing their NCT with four per cent being classed as dangerous.
“It’s very understandable, people having to question their spending on everything when their income is reduced, but to me saving on keeping their car save to be used on the road is false economy.”
An accountant by profession, James Brooks joined Kia as general manager in 2005 and was appointed managing director in 2007 after previously working for Opel for 10 years. He has served as treasurer and deputy president of SIMI.