SGMW New Year Honours 2023 – get your votes in

The Southern Group of Motoring Writers is all fired up about its search for the star cars and pro-active PRs in its annual New Year Honours.

It has been another difficult year for the motor industry so the coveted, keenly-fought awards, now in their sixth year, will be a great start to 2023. The successful cars, manufacturers and PRs are revealed on January 1.

SGMW chairman Ian Robertson said: “It’s hard to believe this is the sixth year that we have presented our New Year Honours.

“Our annual awards, for star cars and pro-active PRs, survived the Covid pandemic, which severely affected the motor industry and new model launches, and have gone from strength to strength since their original launch.

SGMW chairman Ian Robertson.

“They have become a high point of the motoring calendar for manufacturers and PRs. With the successful cars and contestants announced on January 1, it is a great start to the new year.

“Hopefully, our awards will be the first of many successes for them.

“More and more electric vehicles are among the contenders but, even so, you can never dismiss some of the excellent petrol and diesel models that also make up the fascinating field.”

The winners of the eight tightly-fought categories, voted for by SGMW members, will be announced on January 1, 2023.

Here’s a reminder of the awards up for grabs and the 2022 winners and runners-up:

Best PR Newcomer – awarded to someone who made a special impact in liaising with the media during the past year and is either new to the industry PR scene or has taken on a new role/position.

  • 2022 runaway winner – Milissa Ordona (Senior events co-ordinator, Kia UK)

The SGMW OBE (Operating Beyond Expectation) – for acting above and beyond the call of PR duty during the past year. It can be for consistent high performance, a memorable one-off effort, or a thoughtful gesture towards one of our members caught in a bind.

  • 2022 winner Simon Branney (Head of PR and communications, Genesis Motor UK)
  • 2022 runner-up Jess Grimditch (Press officer, Suzuki GB)

Best PR Office – awarded to the operation consistently delivering the best all-round or forward-thinking service to SGMW throughout the year.

  • 2022 winner Toyota
  • 2022 runner-up – Kia UK

Best in PR Innovation – awarded for an unusual or particularly excellent launch, driving route, or any imaginative addition to an event of the PR year in general.

  • 2022 winner – Suzuki’s 100th anniversary all-products launch in Cardiff
  • 2022 runner-up – Kia EV6 launch

Dark Horse of the Year – a car that surprised SGMW members, either by its arrival or just how good it was.

  • 2022 winner – Fiat 500 Electric
  • 2022 runner-up – Kia EV6

One to Watch  – the car that SGMW members most look forward to driving in the coming year.

  • 2022 winner – Volkswagen ID. Buzz
  • 2022 runner-up – Tesla Model Y

SGMW Car of the Year

  • 2022 winner – Kia EV6, pictured top
  • 2022 runner-up – Skoda Enyaq

SGMW Southern Star – for the group member who has done most for the organisation or its profile or done something praiseworthy or beyond the call of duty.

  • 2022 winner Andy Russell