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SGMW New Year Honours 2023: fired up and charging into the future

The Southern Group of Motoring Writers is all fired up after launching 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 when 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.

They have become a high point of the motoring calendar for manufacturers and PRs and, 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 1st, 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: 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
  • 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

Main Image Caption: The 2022 SGMW Car of the Year was the Kia EV6. Voting is now starting for the 2023 awards.

About The Southern Group of Motoring Writers
The SGMW represents motoring writers living or working in the region around the M25 motorway, stretching from Norfolk in the north to Portsmouth and Brighton in the south and from Reading and Oxford in the west to Kent in the east.

The group’s main role is to assist and enable communications between its members and the motor industry. It currently has 32 members working on local, regional and national newspapers, magazines, books, websites, social media and television to provide the public and specialist industry sectors with the latest motoring information.

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