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RMIF prepares to lobby Government

The RMIF is looking at franchise retail models in America and continental Europe as it prepares to lobby Government for change in the lead up to the Block Exemption review in 2010.

Keith Sayfritz, RMIF president, says: “Different countries have different legal regimes and we are interested in how they protect big and small companies. On the continent they have a mechanism for keeping dominant partners in check, for example.

“One of our jobs at the RMIF is to highlight the disparity to Government in the relationship between dealers and manufacturers, and to press for change.”

Sayfritz believes the balance between manufacturers and dealers needs to shift, but he recognizes that it’s the manufacturer’s franchise and “they have the right to want to have distinction with other brands”.

He adds: “Closer cooperation between manufacturers and dealers on car design, marketing programmes and customers’ needs will be to everyone’s benefit.”

Sayfritz is also pushing the RMIF to improve the industry’s image, which he believes suffers an unfair portrayal in the media. “Cars are key to the operation of the UK, but we’ve been too apologetic as an industry and afraid of singing our own praises,” he says.

“If there’s one thing I want to change it’s the public’s perception – I want them to recognize that this industry makes a major contribution.”

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