Antonia Hendron, Managing Director of M50 Truck & Van Centre, Dublin was elected President of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) at the organisation’s AGM held today in Killashee Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare.
commented that she was looking forward to her term as President and outlined a number of clear priorities. “Firstly, I want to help position the motor industry as a leader and enabler of the green transition. We are a dynamic and innovative industry, and if policy makers and legislators are prepared to work with us, we will help them achieve Ireland’s ambitious climate targets.”
Ms Hendron continued “Consumers are the centre of this plan and for them to make the change to zero emission vehicles confidence is key. Therefore, there is an urgent requirement to create a second-hand electric vehicle fleet which can only happen via a vibrant overall new car market. In this context, it is imperative that the Government continues the VRT and grant support for Electric Vehicle until 2025, at which time these supports can be reviewed and invest now in the public charging infrastructure.”
With the green transition dominating the agenda for the foreseeable future, Ms Hendron remarked “I am determined to ensure that the industry continues to focus on delivering high standards and supporting the training and upskilling of our people. I also want to co-opt government support for apprenticeships and upskilling of our mechanics. The rapid rollout of electric cars means that our people have to be more highly trained than ever before”. With a full Cabinet position of Minister for Higher Education for the first time ever, it seems that the government is keen to invest in further training and especially in apprenticeships.
As the Managing Director of M50 Truck & Van Centre, Antonia Hendron is actively involved in the commercial vehicle sector, serving as both the Chairperson of the SIMI VTN Committee and a member of the Society’s Management Board. The Vehicle Testing Network (VTN) are currently in transition towards their new 10-year vehicle testing licenses and she will assist as much as possible to ensure that companies have a successful transition to their new vehicle testing licencing.
In conclusion Ms Hendron thanked the members of the Society for allowing her the honour to serve as President and was delighted to continue to highlight increased female participation in the Motor Industry and at the highest level.
Antonia Hendron is Managing Director of M50 Truck & Van Centre, M50GSE and M50 Power Solutions, headquartered in Dublin. All three divisions evolved from the Hendron Family business, founded in the 1940s.
Antonia joined M50TVC in 2003 and in 2018 took over as MD from her father. With her eye firmly on diversification as a way to make business more resilient, profitable, and scalable, in 2009 M50GSE was created to provide maintenance and repair for ground support equipment at Dublin and Shannon Airports. In recent years, she added a third division, M50 Power Solutions, which holds franchises for Hoppecke batteries. Today M50TVC is one of Ireland's largest authorised commercial test centres. It also operates one of the biggest Mercedes-Benz & FUSO commercial dealerships, and this year it acquired the sole franchise to sell electric Mercedes-Benz vans in Dublin.
Antonia serves as Chairperson of the SIMI’s Vehicle Testing Network. She cultivates a learning culture that directly empowers the workforce to play to their strengths and stay agile. Investment in staff training is key, including for herself; having recently completed the Chartered Institute of Directors Programme.