Ancestral home to the Marquess of Anglesey, Plas Newydd, overlooking the majestic Menai Straits, was the venue for this year’s Tom Pryce Memorial Trophy and Automotive Achievement Award conferred by Welsh Motoring Writers.

WMW Award Winners 2011

Presented on behalf of WMW by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Gwynedd, His Honour Huw Morgan Daniel, the Tom Pryce Trophy went to Nick Reilly CBE, General Motors Europe President.  Recipient of the Automotive Achievement Award was fellow-Welshman and Chairman of Vauxhall Motors, Bill Parfitt CBE.

Later on Saturday (Nov.19th), at WMW’s annual dinner (back on the ‘mainland’ across the Conwy Estuary at Bodysgallen Hall), the awards were commended and recipients congratulated by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Clwyd, Trefor Glyn Jones CBE and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales, Rt.Hon. David I Jones MP.

Nick Reilly – The Tom Pryce Award

A native of Ynys Mon (Anglesey), Nick Reilly retires as President of GM Europe in March next year.  He looks back on 37 years at GM with senior leadership positions in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Nick Reilly negotiated the purchase of the core automotive operations of South Korea’s Daewoo Motor in 2002.  As its first President and CEO he led the transformation of the company into GM Daewoo Auto and Technology – key to the rebirth of Chevrolet as a worldwide automotive brand.  He moved on to direct GM’s growth across both Asia Pacific and Latin America regions.

Returning to Europe in 2009 he led the turnaround of operations here during one of the most critical times in General Motors’ history.  Earlier in his career, Nick Reilly was appointed Director of Manufacturing at the Ellesmere Port plant in 1990 and, after a period on the GM Europe Strategy Board returned to the UK as Chairman and Managing Director of Vauxhall Motors in 1996.  Both roles involved a strong association with the Automotive Sector in Wales.

Nick Reilly said, ‘Receiving this prestigious and striking award from Welsh Motoring Writers is an honour, made even more special in a ceremony within a few miles of my birthplace.  This weekend with media friends in my home country will find a special place in my memories of a long career in the motor industry’.

Bill Parfitt – The Automotive Achievement Award

Awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June this year for services to the Automotive Industry, Bill Parfitt was born near Newport in South Wales.  A long career in senior roles with leading names in the retail sector of the industry preceded his appointment as Fleet Operations Director, Vauxhall Motors in 1998.

Promotion to General Sales Director and, subsequently, a board position as Executive Director of Sales, Marketing and Aftersales soon followed.  This role was extended to cover all GM brands operating in the UK and Ireland.  European Fleet Operations were added to his portfolio in 2005.  Appointed Managing Director of General Motors UK Ltd in May 2005, he became Chairman GM UK & Ireland in 2008.

During his time at Luton, the fortunes of Vauxhall Motors have been transformed.  It is now established as the unequivocal challenger to the UK market leader with as many as three of its models in the sales ‘Top Ten’.

‘To receive such an accolade, particularly from journalists in Wales, is superb’ said Bill Parfitt.  ‘I spent my formative business years in the Principality and have consistently championed the industry and its supply chain here.  This Welsh award for Automotive Achievement is a distinct and memorable moment in my career.’

WMW Chairman Huw Thomas concluded: “This has been a great opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution made to the motor industry by Nick Reilly and fellow Welshman Bill Parfitt.  Nick has a remarkable track record in global strategic leadership and delivery: ‘Blaenor y Byd Modurol’ (a Leader of the Automotive World) as the inscription on this year’s Tom Pryce Trophy says.  Bill has directed a root and branch turnaround at Vauxhall Motors while enhancing his relationship and standing with the all-important automotive sector in Wales”.

About the Awards –

The Tom Pryce Award

Wales’ greatest racing driver, Tom Pryce, died tragically when a fire marshal ran into his path at the 1977 South African Grand Prix.  The Welsh crystal glass trophy is awarded to a Welsh man or woman for an outstanding contribution to the world of transport.  It can also constitute a corporate award to an undertaking which has a special relationship with Wales and/or its automotive sector.

The Automotive Achievement Award

Inaugurated in 2010, WMW’s Automotive Achievement Award recognises personal or corporate excellence in the automotive sector.  This year’s trophy was created from Sessile Oak sourced near Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen) mounted on an aluminium base which bears the inscription.