This year slipped into gear in style for the group and I think we will be really motoring this year.
We have just held our first meeting of the year courtesy of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK, which unusually made this a multi-brand event to wisely maximise coverage for its four badges.
Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Abarth and Jeep models were assembled outside the St David’s hotel, Cardiff for two days of driving by group members, who were able to update their experiences and production knowledge thanks to a comprehensive programme brilliantly put together by the FCA team, led by Kate Saxton.
FCA generosity also allowed honorary and retired members to join the event to renew friendships and catch up on events during a celebratory dinner at the stunningly located hotel.
The group took the opportunity to hold an ordinary meeting to get the latest update on plans for a Kia driving day on the eve of DD2017, and then an extra-ordinary general meeting occasioned by the resignation of John Kendall as vice-chairman, after becoming a consultant to PSA Peugeot Citroen. He was thanked for his group efforts and the members extended their best wishes to him for his future. He will, of course as a former officer of the group, hold honorary membership.
So it was a case of out with the old and, in keeping with the event, in with the new but in this case not one but two vice-chairmen in a multi-brand move designed to share the administrative workload of the group.
Freelancers Iain Dooley and Keiron Fennelly now share this role and will be helping me as the group also took the decision to extend membership to non-traditional motoring writers on the first rungs of a career. More of this in future.
It was a January meeting but before it finished the group was also told the traditional last meeting of the year and Christmas networking event has already been confirmed and will take place on 15 & 16 December, with a venue being used for the first time by the group and a motoring manufacturer. More events are also being discussed and you’ll be updated as thewesterngroup continues on its 2017 journey.
Buon voyaggio !
Robin Roberts | Chairman WGMW
Robin is the longest serving chairman of The Western Group. He’s been vice chairman or chairman for over ten years and oversees the annual Western Group PR Driving Day each summer assisted by the group committee and supported by group members.
He contributes to a number of outlets in Wales and the UK, including the Driving Force editorial syndication agency feeding the biggest regional news and feature publishers in Britain.
Robin specialises in the Welsh automotive sector and motor related businesses with interests in Wales and publishes WheelsWithinWales.uk which covers news, features, trade and motor sport in Wales.