AM Online

Senior RMI staff made redundant

High profile executives are among the 14 redundancies at the Retail Motor Industry Federation this week.

Bodyshop division head Jeff Mack, legal services director Graham Coleshill and Frank Finch, director of standards, have lost their jobs, together with a number of staff from administration and support roles, including the RMI’s press office.

RMI staff numbered 387 before the job losses.

AM revealed last month that job losses were imminent as the RMI was preparing to restructure in order to improve services to its members and reduce costs.

Legal services are now being outsourced, and responsibility for bodyshops has been added to Ray Holloway’s portfolio, which includes independent garages and motorcycle dealers.

Today, in a briefing with AM, RMI chief executive Matthew Carrington and sales and marketing director Gary Elliott outlined their plan for the future. They revealed a new organisational structure which includes the creation of a dedicated lobbying team, tasked with fighting for members’ interests across all the motor retail and repair sectors. It will report directly to Carrington.

“We will be a leaner, more flexible trade association where people work better together on a cross-disciplinary basis,” says Carrington.

The strategy has been set following a consultation with RMI members, which started last year.

Carrington insists it is not in reaction to the RMI’s present financial problems. Last year it lost £1.6m and membership fell 6%.

The consultation showed members face many of the same issues no matter whether they are franchised dealers, independent motor retailers, independent garages, bodyshops or petrol retailers. Such issues include taxation, legislation and delivering better services to consumers.

Four focus groups will shortly be established, to look at standards and quality, Europe and Block Exemption 2010, tax and VAT and skills shortages.

The restructure will also mean a re-branding of the RMI, to be known as the RMI Federation. Its website will be overhauled, while its magazines such as RMEye, Autotech and Forecourt will be re-launched next year.

  • See AM magazine on October 21 for the full analysis of the RMI’s strategy.
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