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RMI invites dealer councils to table audit procedure gripes

The RMI is writing to the dealer council chairman at every franchise inviting them to a meeting to discuss standards and audit procedures.

The move was prompted by the first meeting of the new RMI working party in December to discuss key issues facing motor retailers.

The conclusions from the meeting will be discussed this week with the RMI’s strategy board before the association decides its next steps.

Franchise standards and dealership audits are at the forefront of dealers’ minds. AM has been inundated with phone calls, letters and emails from retailers keen to, as one put it, “vent my spleen” at the perceived injustices of the carmakers’ audit programmes.

One carmaker boss, who asked to remain anonymous, told AM: “The audits on the whole are a total waste of precious time and money, both for the manufacturer and, more crucially, the dealer.”

His view was backed by one ex-auditor. He believes audits should be a process of continuous improvement to strengthen the business partnerships between carmakers dealers and customers.

But, he says: “My exit as an auditor was because I became frustrated at the unreasonableness of some of the standards I encountered, together with the lack of consistency in marking and interpretation by different auditors.”

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