Carrington has previous experience of the motor industry - prior to becoming an MP, he worked at components maker GKN. The RMI will be hoping he can exploit his considerable political experience when lobbying MPs. The former Tory rose to the position of assistant whip towards the end of John Major's government in 1997. He was MP for Fulham for 10 years from 1987 until losing his seat to Labour.
“The RMI is an exciting organisation that is working in a rapidly changing market - I'm looking forward to the challenge,” says Carrington.“I hope we can shape the future of the motor retail industry over the next few years as it enters a challenging period. There is a lot of work being done to help retailers and there will be a lot more work to do in the future.”
Carrington was at the RMI's head offices last week meeting Evans and incoming national president Fred Maguire, the Lookers executive chairman. A spokesman said they discussed “a wide range of industry issues”.
The RMI has posted turnover up 12 per cent, from £16.8m in 2000 to £18.8m last year. Operating profits more than doubled to £1.8m - despite a 4.65 per cent dip in membership - on the back of growth in the ReMit training division, which accounts for 79 per cent of turnover.
Total membership fell to 11,055, with the National Franchised Dealers Association down 7 per cent to 2908 after losing 227 members. “The RMI is pleased to report a very satisfactory financial performance with a retained profit of £1.4m added to reserves,” says Evans.
He expects subscriptions revenue to “at best” remain static while the training operations are predicted to grow by 11 per cent. “We are looking for improved member retention and recruitment,” Evans adds.