The Independent Motor Dealers Association (IMDA) is this week celebrating its two-year anniversary with the appointment of a new board member.
The group, which aims to offer support, training and greater leverage with suppliers for smaller independent used car retail operations, is two years old this week and has welcomed former Jardine Motors and Inchcape man Simon Blackwell into its leadership fold.
IMDA chairman Umesh Samani – the managing director of Stoke-based Specialist Cars – said that Blackwell would be “a great asset to the association with his wealth of knowledge”.
Samani was this week keen to recognise the progress made by the IMDA since its inception on November 5, 2017, however.
The IMDA was formed by independent dealers Jim Reid, Umesh Samani, Phil Weaver, Stuart Saunders, Chris Roach, David Bilsborough and industry analyst Philip Nothard and has been run on a strict ‘not for profit’ footing.
Commenting on its two years in operation, Samani said: “Two years on and we are proud of what we have achieved in such a short time. Over 400 approved members, just under 40 supporting suppliers who help and support the independent motor dealers with exclusive deals not available from anywhere else.
“We helped dealers with GDPR compliance, we got correct advise and support from the ASA with regards to correct methods of marketing business use vehicles, put together amazing profit clinics and masterclass’s which have always been a sell out and there’s plenty more in the pipeline.”
Alongside the IMDA website, which was re-launched in August this year, Samani was keen to acknowledge the contribution of the group’s IMDA ‘closed Facebook group’, where dealers can discuss what matters to them in strict confidence.
He believes that one of the IMDA’s key strengths is the shared knowledge of its members.
Samani said: “The IMDA would like to thank all the loyal suppliers for the ongoing support and to all those members who help and support each other, ‘strength in numbers’ and that’s exactly what the association is building.
“Two years on and there is still no charge to dealers to become a member, the IMDA is the only association for the independent dealers in the UK ‘by dealers for dealers’.”