Membership numbers for the organization fell by 9% in 2005 and so far this year the majority of members left the RMIF on economic and value-for-money grounds.
“The market is changing rapidly,” says Gary Elliott, director of sales and marketing at the RMIF.
“We go through cycles. 2006 so far has had its peaks and troughs, just the way every year has. We expect to finish 2006 with 91% of the membership retained.”
Key developments for this year include improving existing services such as insurance and banking, better communication with members and developing new services for members’ future requirements.
“We’ve set up a member forum, which links into the new website, to get more feedback from the people we work for,” says Elliott.
Franchised dealers continue to hold the highest level of representation in the organization, with one in three a member of the RMIF. However, around one in nine independent garages and one in 42 bodyshops are members.
“All sectors are represented with equal vigour,” says Elliott.
“We believe that 80% of issues affect everyone in the industry and for the others we have dedicated resources, plans and activities.”