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SMMT ‘misses opportunity to unite industry’

The Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF) has spoken openly for the first time regarding the position on the development of an industry-wide code of practice.

The announcement from RMIF chief executive Matthew Carrington follows a recent interview on AM-online with SMMT CEO, Chris Macgowan.

Macgowan said the SMMT had submitted a code of practise for OFT Stage 1 approval, supported by the Retail Motor Strategy Group (RMSG) and the RMIF.

Contrary to the statement, no formal framework has been agreed by the RMIF or formally adopted by the RMSG, said Carrington.

He said: “The code referred to by Macgowan does not have the support of the RMIF. We have not been given the opportunity to be part of the development of the code. This is an SMMT code and is clearly influenced by the requirements of the manufacturer rather than what is needed by the whole industry.”

Carrington expressed his disappointment, accusing the SMMT of having missed a great opportunity to be part of a united industry.

"The RMSG was an excellent initiative from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and created the ideal platform to bring together the whole industry’s thinking around one code of practice. But like so many good initiatives, it was hijacked by hidden agendas," said Carrington.

The RMIF remains committed to the development of a single code of practice and believes to be successful it must tick these boxes:

  • It must lead to improved standards in the industry
  • It must be affordable
  • It must have relevance to consumers

    “This can only be developed by the industry trade bodies - SMMT, RMIF, SMTA, IMI and ADF - working together on a jointly owned code. So far, the SMMT has refused to work with the RMIF on this project,” said Carrington.

    In reaction to Carrington’s comments, the SMMT said: "We are not at loggerheads with the RMIF and we do not know why they've changed their tune."

  • Click here to read the interview with Macgowan
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