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Interest grows in ABR as RMI dismisses rival

The newly formed Association of Body Repairers (ABR) has been coolly received by rival trade bodies the Retail Motor Industry Federation and the Vehicle Builders and Repairers Association, despite generating significant interest from repairers.

Bob Hood, senior manager of the RMI Bodyshop Services Division, claimed ABR would not be a threat to RMI membership.

“We are not terribly concerned by this so-called new association and do not believe they will be strong enough to make any particular difference in the industry,” he said. Alan Bird, VBRA business manager, was also indifferent to ABR, though he welcomed new initiatives.

“I support anything that will improve the repairers' lot,” he said. “But in reality the best it can really become is a buying group.

However, ABR boss John Taylor said the other associations were underestimating the dissatisfaction in the industry. “We have had 67 enquiries in the past two weeks from repairers all over the south,” he said. “We haven't canvassed those enquiries, these are simply people who have heard about us and want to know more.”

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