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IMI calls on dealers to invest in skills or risk failure

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) is calling on dealers to invest in training to up-skill to help their businesses survive in the future.

The view from the IMI comes as it looks to launch its Professional Register in April which is a voluntary licence to practice in the automotive industry.

Steve Nash, the IMI’s new CEO and former BMW UK aftersales director, said: “There’s no question that our industry needs to up-skill.

“Managers, especially those in small businesses, typically do not possess the formal training in areas such as sales, customer service and financial planning, to survive and prosper.

“In an industry that suffers from poor public perception, having well skilled staff can make the difference between the life and death of a business.”

Nash believes businesses can often look at training as a cost and as one of the first things to be cut in difficult times.

He said: “The fact is that well trained people will sustain a business and bring the good times earlier. This is even more important for small businesses where having a wider skill set is vital in running the enterprise.”

The Professional Register has been put together in a bid to recognise the skills and qualifications of each person in the automotive industry which the IMI believes will provide businesses and individuals with a means to leverage their investment in training for commercial advantage for the first time.

Backed by the Government’s UK Commission for Employment & Skills (UKCES), the Professional Register will be available for public viewing from April at and aims to have 50,000 registered individuals by 2014.

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  • Roland Waters - 18/02/2013 15:52

    Perhaps the IMI now regret automatically giveing away memberships to so many untrained individuals without any regard to the standards those who took many exams to achieve Mebership understand are required to be professionals. It remains astonishing how many doggy second hand car sales folks profess IMI skills along with other specialist skills which appear to be translate into the most awful conduct making quick cash from whatever sucker they can! The public perception remains very accurate, unfortunately accurate given the sheer volume of terrible folks taking money from the trade? Size and turnover appears to be linked to those who 'get away' with it rather than those who gain high levels of respect.

    • Jane Allan - Head of Communications at the IMI - 21/02/2013 17:40

      @Roland Waters - The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has changed considerably as an organisation in the last 10-15 years and continually working to change the perception of our sector and to ensure those who are employed within it have the right skills to keep pace with technology and ever evolving customer needs and requirements. This is one of the reasons why we specify that Individuals can only gain access onto the Professional Register if they have the right skill set, agree to keep those skills current through continual professional development (CPD) and sign an ethical code of conduct. You can read more about our vision for the UK automotive retail industry (, the five key challenges we are facing and how we are tackling these challenges. However, we cannot change perceptions overnight and we at the IMI hope that people such as Mr Waters will take 10 minutes to read the above document on our website, see where we are making inroads, help us get the messages out and promote the Professional Register as a positive move to raise the standards and recognise those who have invested in skills and competency in our sector.