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RMI annual dinner: 'legislation must aid competition'

The industry has this evening been given a rallying cry for a united front to face the challenges of under-investment, consolidation and poor profits.

At the Retail Motor Industry Federation’s annual dinner, its president Keith Sayfritz told the audience at London’s Dorchester Hotel tonight that the automotive sector is experiencing ‘a period of profound change’, particularly amongst dealer groups and the independents.

“It is clear a lack of profitability could have a major impact on the willingness to invest in both the retail sector and in manufacturing - in turn, this may affect our ability to provide the very best retailing experience for consumers.

“Therefore, we need a united voice for our industry that can persuade and convince customers that it can, and will, look after their motoring needs from the moment they buy a motor vehicle to the moment they sell it. It is essential that Government legislation should foster healthy competition, rather than shackle the industry to a mountain of unnecessary cost, while ensuring that the customer is king.”

Sayfritz reiterated the RMI’s determination to work with the Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) to help develop a code and compliance regime that will have the full backing of retailers and manufacturers, and which will “encompass the whole industry, franchised as well as independent”.

“We are confident that this can be achieved,” he said.

“In addition, the RMIF is working towards ensuring the protection of the Block Exemption Regulation renewal in May 2010, not least because it increases competition to the benefit of consumers, without damaging the industry.”

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