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Protect consumer through better training, says RMI president

”The retail motor sector cannot hope to continue at the current level unless we take steps to protect consumers, and ensure that our industry meets their expectations”, Fred Maguire, president of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI), warned at last night's RMI 90th Anniversary Dinner (22 October).

Maguire said the key to customer satisfaction for the retail motor sector is training: “To maintain and develop the trust of our customers, we have to provide the best training available for all staff involved in the industry. It is imperative that we provide the highest standards of professionalism. Without continued investment in the training and retraining of staff, initiatives such as the recently launched CarWise code of practice will become meaningless.

“I believe that CarWise is one of the most vital initiatives for the retail motor industry. It has the potential to raise the motorist's confidence and allow them to shun the 'rip-off garages' which bring our ndustry into disrepute.”

Maguire considers the unprecedented vehicle sales levels seen in recent years to be a direct result of a growing public confidence in the retail motor sector: 'The fact that so many people are buying through us shows that consumers have learned to trust our products, our abilities, and our integrity. In the end, the foundation for continued strong performance is that trust between garage and customer. It is vital that we maintain and build on it.'

According to Maguire the new Block Exemption Regulation has the potential to bring the retail motor sector and the manufacturers closer together, for the benefit of the consumer: “What is also vital for our customers is that we have a good working relationship with car manufacturers. The new Block Exemption Regulation has created new opportunities. We will work hard to ensure that independent repairers gain access to the technical information, training, and equipment that is now theirs by right. We will make sure that these rights are upheld, so that independents can become approved repairers if they so desire.”

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