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RMI: Garage plan needs cash now

The Retail Motor Industry Federation is calling for the Government to inject cash into a new scheme aimed at boosting garage standards.

Matthew Carrington, RMI chief executive, wants money to be ploughed into a major advertising campaign to kick-start the proposed 'Good Garage' scheme. The voluntary initiative aims to bolster the sector's image and raise quality standards at both independents and franchised workshops.

Department of Trade and Industry consumer minister Melanie Johnson will unveil more details on the scheme at the end of January. This will be followed by the creation of an independent body to monitor the system.

But the RMI, which has been involved with negotiations, reckons the scheme might collapse without money to spend on promoting it to the automotive industry and its customers. “If the car-owning public does not recognise and understand what the Good Garage scheme is all about then it will fall down,” Carrington says.

He believes it will take a sophisticated and possibly expensive profile-raising initiative for people to become familiar with the scheme and support it.

“The Government is doing everything it can but the scheme is hampered by the fact that ministers are not prepared to put money into it,” Carrington says. “There is a danger the scheme could go wrong if the resources and funding are not found. We've got to get it off the drawing board and make the Good Garage scheme a reality.”

n The RMI has restructured its internal organisation, combining a number of divisions which have similar objectives. Ray Holloway heads a new division which brings together the Petrol Retailers Association, Independent Garage Division, Bodyshop Services and health & safety. Bob Hood continues as IGD and BSD director. Alan Pulham remains director of the National Franchised Dealers Association.

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