It was the night of the British Dealer News Awards which took place on Sunday 18 January. The auditorium of the Chesford Grange Hotel was packed out with an audience of 400 excitable trade members; all ready and geared up for what was guaranteed to be a night of entertainment, reminiscence and of course deserving awards!
Fifteen industry awards were seamlessly presented by Steve Kenward, CEO of the Motorcycle Association. The ceremony was hosted by former GP racer, world truck driving champion and BBC MotoGP commentator Steve Parrish.
The awards and trophies throughout the night represented outstanding achievement and excellence by people and products in the UK motorcycle and scooter industry.
Devitt Insurance Services and LV= were proud sponsors of the award ceremony .The news of LV= and Devitt Insurance Services new partnership was announced by Devitt business development manager Ian Smith. This new venture will allow Devitt Insurance Services to offer a quality product with competitive rates to an increased number of businesses.
The evening saw Yamaha achieve two very deserving awards, these being the Motorcycle Franchise of the Year Award and NMDA Manufacturer of the Year Award.
Motorcycle Franchise of the Year Award was particularly fitting for Yamaha as over the past year Yamaha have bought to the market an exciting range of new models at rather attractive prices. Throughout 2014 Yamaha’s sales rose by 20 per cent, 13,000 new bikes were registered and Yamaha’s market share increased by 13 per cent.
National sales manager of Yamaha, Stuart Swaby said of the success “We are really proud of our dealers and these awards present the work we have done with them. The trophies will take pride of place in reception at Yamaha. The awards are a reflection of the resurgence of the brand – the MT range is extremely strong and the new R1 is going to get us back on top of the podium.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award was rightfully awarded to triple world trials champion Yrjo Vesterinen, AKA ‘Vesty’. He was joined by his wife Diane on stage; Vesty said of the award: “It belongs to the whole of the off-road industry.”
British Dealer News editor Paul Smith summed up the past year with great enthusiasm – “It’s clear the industry is determined to build on the success of 2014.
“The MCIA super computer predicts 109,990 registrations in 2015, an increase of 7.92 per cent, and that sales will reach 135,000 within three to four years.”
Paul Smith fully supports the MCIA initiative that an increase of two wheeled motors on the roads will be the solution to congestion plus a means to improve road safety. Paul Smith said of this scheme: “It’s so commendable that surely even politicians cannot ignore it.”
“I am confident that everyone in this wonderful trade will continue to do his and her best to improve the two-wheel cause.”
A special appearance was made by motorsport television commentator Steve Parrish who had the audience in stitches with a few previews from his MAD Tour. Parrish spoke fondly of Barry Sheene, reminiscing about some of the great times they had together. He also told hilarious stories including the time he caused an emergency landing in a helicopter, being arrested and an in-flight crisis when he posed as a doctor.
All awards presented during the evening were based on votes by the retail trade. Each individual winner was extremely deserving and there was a great atmosphere throughout the ceremony.
British Dealer News Industry Awards 2015 Winners List:
Motorcycle Franchise of the Year – Yamaha
NMDA Manufacturer of the Year – Yamaha
Scooter Franchise of the Year Award – Kymo (Distributed by TDT (UK))
Wholesale of the Year Award – Oxford Products
Rider Product Brand of the Year Award – LS2 Helmets
Motorcycle Product Brand of the Year Award – Go Pro Cameras
Business Support Service of the Year Award – Black Horse Motorcycle Finance
Representative of the Year Award – Marco Oliveira
Lifetime Achievement Award – Yrjo Vesterinen
BDN Services to Motorcycle Rider Training and Safety Award – Karen Cole