Northern Group of Motoring Writers 2020 AGM, Hosted by Kia

Kia has again hosted the Northern Group of Motoring Writers for a driving day in our region, ahead of the Group’s Annual General Meeting for 2020, at Rudding Park near Harrogate.

It would probably be an understatement to suggest that 2020 has been on the chaotic side, with the UK and much of the rest of the world implementing restrictions in the face of a pandemic. That’s had a dramatic effect on events — including car launches and driving days — and even loan vehicles.

With the recent easing of restrictions, and the “eat out to help out” scheme intended to give a boost to the hospitality sector, gatherings are once again possible albeit with distancing, masking, and sanitisation measures.

Thankfully that means the AGM could go ahead, and Kia would once again provide cars, an evening meal, and of course their company for the event.

Naturally the pauses in vehicle turnaround — in order to clean and sterilise surfaces — meant that the very welcome test drives were not at our usual rapid-fire rate.

Nonetheless, Group members still managed to rack up sufficient miles to drive from our host venue to Moscow, with our 2018 Car of the Year, the Kia Stinger, proving a popular choice.

The event took on some added significance, in that it would be the last one under the watchful eye of long-time Kia UK PR boss — and Yorkshireman — Steve Kitson, who would be retiring at the end of the year.

To mark the end of his era, Chairman Andy Harris presented Steve with the traditional Miner’s Lamp, and a print of the Stinger as painted by Ian “PopBangColour” Cook.

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