Cullen Communications has again stewarded the Continental Irish Car of the Year awards, which took place at the Marker Hotel in Dublin city centre on Friday last.
The overall title of 2015 Continental Irish Car of the Year went to the Nissan Qashqai – finishing just ahead of the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Peugeot 308 – while the Ford Transit was again crowned Continental Irish Van of the Year.
A delighted James McCarthy of Nissan Ireland thanked the Irish Motoring Writers Association and sponsor Continental Tyres, commenting that the coveted award “will provide a great badge of honour for the Nissan Qashqai to help it in the competitive Irish market next year”.
That sentiment was echoed throughout the evening, with the cream of Ireland’s manufacturers all crossing fingers and toes that the market recovery continues and even perhaps accelerates into the new year. The signs remain positive: figures just released by the SIMI show that new car sales in November were up by 12% compared to last year, while overall car sales for the year now stand at 95,989 – an increase of 30% over 2013.
The air of positivity certainly contributed to a really enjoyable evening in the plush environs of the Marker hotel, the non-automotive highlight of which was undoubtedly the appearance of Republic of Ireland manager and media favourite Martin O’Neill, who joined MC Anton Savage for an informal chat on stage.
Martin was on top form, as ever, and the conversation ranged from assistant manager Roy Keane (more time on his hands for dog-walking), to his first car (a Toyota Celica of which his then-manager, the legendary Brian Clough, disapproved on the grounds that it was “too flash”) and plenty more besides.
The presence of the Republic of Ireland boss at the automotive industry’s showpiece event was part of Continental Tyres’ new partnership with the FAI, an exciting move that has seen the tyre manufacturer become an official partner of women's football in Ireland.
Teaming up with the FAI will allow Continental Tyres to expand an already strong presence in the world of sport – the company is a prolific sponsor of football around the world, and was one of the title sponsors at this year’s FIFA World Cup – while retaining its status as one of the key players in the automotive industry.
The Continental Irish Car of the Year awards are an integral part of that industry and have been for 38 years, with Cullen Communications producing and managing the awards event for the past 25 years. Well done to all this year’s winners.
Continental Irish Car of the Year Nissan Qashqai
Continental Irish Van of the Year Ford Transit
Continental Irish Small Car of the Year Hyundai i10
Continental Irish Compact Car of the Year Peugeot 308
Continental Irish Medium Car of the Year Nissan Qashqai
Continental Irish Large Car of the Year Nissan X-Trail
Continental Irish Executive Car of the Year Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Continental Irish Sports/Performance Car of the Year Alfa Romeo 4C
Cullen Communications handles PR for Continental Tyres