Gabriel Keane has been elected as president of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry at the organisation's recent AGM in Naas in Co Kildare.

Mr Keane is managing director and owner of Kia Liffey Valley in Dublin.

Speaking at the AGM, Gabriel Keane said he has experienced the highs and lows of the motor industry, adding that 2019 will not go down in the annals as a great year. 

He said that new car market has declined by nearly 25% over the last three years. 

"Obviously, Brexit was the main cause of this downturn and while we are by no means out of the woods on Brexit there is a feeling that a softer Brexit may become a reality. I do believe that if this happens, we will see growth in the new car market in 2020," he added.

Mr Keane also said the new car market has declined due to increases in Vehicle Registration taxes in the last budget.

"The result is that the Government's tax take on new cars will be down this year despite the tax increases.This is a loss for our industry and a loss for the Exchequer," he added.