At the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) AGM (Wednesday, 13th May), Director General Alan Nolan, officially announced Mike Finlay as SIMI President for 2009.
Welcoming Mike to the position, Alan Nolan said, “Our new President, Mike Finlay, has been a very active SIMI Committee member for almost a decade, serving as Chairman of the Franchise Section and on the SIMI Management Board. Mike brings a positive dynamism at a time when positivity is in very short supply and a great insight into the industry. The strengths that he brings to the position of SIMI President will help guide the Industry through the challenges facing us in the year ahead. We welcome Mike and congratulate him on his well deserved achievement.”
Commenting on his new role Mike said, “My tenure as SIMI President comes at a particularly interesting and uncertain time for the motor industry. I firmly believe that although our industry is being forced to make drastic adjustments and while change can be unsettling, it can also provide opportunities. There are over 2million cars on Irish roads today, 40% more than there were 15 years ago. The after-market, including servicing and repairs will grow as people hold onto their cars for longer. We have also worked hard to ensure that our overhead costs have reduced and this has given us the opportunity to pass these savings on to consumers. I believe that we all need to draw the line on the bad news and the negative outlook; there is cause to be positive and that, I hope, will be the key stone to my Presidency.”
Mike Finlay and his family have been involved in the motor trade since 1936 when Mike’s Grandfather, ‘The Captain’, began his business with a Renault, and later Fiat dealership in Monasterevan. He was then drafted into the army and served as a captain alongside Eamon de Valera during The Emergency. Mike’s father later joined the business and in 1971 they took on the Fiat agency in Newbridge, later moving to Ford. Mike and his brother Gary, the third generation of the family have built on these foundations and last year opened the second Finlay Ford Dealership at Naas.