Universal Honda Ltd, the importers and distributors of new Honda cars and parts in Ireland, recently hosted AkzoNobel to its Citywest headquarters to host its annual AkzoNobel Acoat Partner Conference.
AkzoNobel’s Acoat Partner Conference saw many of the country’s top Bodyshops in attendance. The theme of this year’s Acoat conference was ‘Driving Forward to a Sustainable Future’ and examined the whole subject of future sustainability in the Bodyshop industry.
Delegates also heard from Philip Quinlan of Spinal Injuries Ireland as guest speaker at the event. While Philip spoke of the great work being done by Spinal Injuries Ireland, Philip also noted a reduction in the numbers and severity of spinal injuries from road traffic accidents in recent years as a direct result of the latest safety systems being fitted on modern motor vehicles. These positive statistics further highlighted the need to repair the vehicle to manufacturer’s standards in the event of an accident to ensure that these safety features are maintained post repair.
Universal Honda and AkzoNobel have enjoyed a close working relationship since the Honda Approved Bodyshop Programme first began in 2009, and 80 per cent of attendees were from Honda Approved Bodyshops. Conference delegates also became the latest group to undertake the Honda Challenge.
Designed as a team-building and eco-driving initiative, the Honda Challenge is a fuel-efficiency driving competition. Delegates got the chance to pair-up and compete against each other in a drive over a set 28km route in a Honda Civic powered by the very latest 1.6 i-DTEC Earth Dreams Technology engine. The results of the Challenge were impressive, with all teams achieving an average of 3.06l/100km (92.2mpg), and the winning team returning a very frugal 2.93l/100km (96.5mpg).
Peter Daly, Managing Director of AkzoNobel commented: “Our annual partner conference is an important event for us each year, and we were very pleased to host this years’ meeting at the Honda premises in Citywest. By collaborating with our Bodyshop partners, and also OEM partners such as Honda, we are working to ensure the highest quality and workmanship for the safety and benefit of Irish drivers. The introduction of the Honda Challenge into the event was a fun addition and tied in with our conference sustainability theme , proving the big impact which changes to driving style can have on fuel consumption, with excellent results from the Civic.”
Commenting on the conference, John Donohoe, Aftersales Director of Universal Honda said: ‘It was a great pleasure to host the AkzoNobel annual conference at our premises here in Citywest. We have enjoyed a strong working relationship with the team from AkzoNobel for many years, and for so many of their attendees to come from Honda Approved Bodyshops was an added bonus. At Honda we are committed to working with all partners in the motor industry to promote best practice in the service of our customers.”