German, Japanese, Swedish and Korean brands excelled at the 2014 Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards announced today at Carton House, Maynooth. The winners were presented with their trophies at the third running of the awards programme dedicated to the corporate car sector. Organised by Fleet Car Magazine, the Presentation Luncheon also featured a Drive to Fitness Safety Forum highlighting issues that can improve the wellbeing of the professional car driver. All of the contenders gained further exposure with the presence of TV cameras from Frame Productions as the event will be broadcast on Sky TV.
Representatives from Ireland’s automotive brands were present at the event together with delegates from the fleet/corporate car sector. They were informed of the new on-line self analysis programme developed for professional drives presented by Mark Dodd, M.D. Advancedrive while Professor Desmond O’Neill, National Programme Director for Traffic Medicine gave a unique insight to new guidelines relating to Traffic Medicine for the Professional Driver. As Programme Director, Professor O’Neill is responsible for leading the development and implementation of a national framework for standards in traffic medicine in Ireland.
Automotive industry consultant, Mark Richardson, M.C. for the event presented some interesting figures relating to the sector such as 53% of all new cars purchased is purchased through a fleet management company among 7,500 Irish companies surveyed. “While the main average fleet size is 1 to 5 cars taking up 64% of the marketplace, 22% have 6 to 15 passenger vehicles in their fleet,” said Mark. He went on to outline the leading brands purchased by these companies with Volkswagen and Ford leading the combined car and van marketplace.
A hat-trick of wins were recorded by two car brands with the Volkswagen Golf and BMW 5 Series retaining their respective titles in the C-Segment and Executive categories for the third year in a row. Newcomers in the C-Segment, the Mazda 3 and Honda Civic impressed the judging panel by filling the remaining steps on that podium. In the newly established C-Segment Premium the Audi A3 Saloon was run close by the new Mercedes-Benz CLA.
The Mazda 6 also retained its crown in the highly competitive D-Segment with the latest Volvo S60 stamping its authority in the Premium D-Segment, winning its first award.
Another new class created was the increasingly popular Crossover (SUV) to which the new Nissan Qashqai took the honours while the Hyundai i40 Tourer and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate were successful in the two Estate categories.
The awards were sponsored by Car History and Automotive Data experts Motorcheck.ie. “We are delighted to be involved as title sponsor of the Fleet Car Awards again this year. The fleet sector is such an important part of the Irish Motor Trade and these awards are a fitting recognition of this fact,” said Michael Rochford, Managing Director of Motorcheck.ie.
Cathal Doyle, Deputy Editor, Fleet Car Magazine; commented post ceremony that each category was a close run thing and that the newcomers have made a significant contribution in maintaining the high standards set since the awards were established three years ago. “The Motorcheck.ie Fleet Car Awards are like no other in that so many aspects of the car in contention is under consideration such as Static Review, Driving Impressions, Drivetrain Efficiency, Driver Comfort, Interactive & Safety Technology, Residual Values and Aftermarket Service,” explained Cathal. He also thanked the adjudication panel consisting of user choosers in the fleet car industry for their invaluable input throughout the selection process.