As we come out of the big motor shows this year, it is very clear that there is an overwhelming push for great compliance and transparency and a growing concern about the disconcerting increase in the amount of illicit trading activity taking place in the retail automotive sector. This ranges from parts which do not adhere to a specific standard and are therefore not fit for purpose proliferating the market; to illicit trade in tyres; to informal and non-compliant street mechanics.
This growing culture of regulatory non-compliance in the automotive aftermarket is not only creating an uneven playing field for many accredited business owners in the sector, but also placing consumers at risk – and is in fact illegal.
The objective of the RMI is to promote, protect and encourage the interests of members and the motoring public by setting and maintaining proper standards for service, and ethical trading conditions in the industry. This talks directly to the importance of regulatory compliance so that we are aware of, and take steps to comply with relevant laws, policies, and regulations and to make sure we always act responsibly and within the ambit of the law. There remains a duty for every businessman- and woman to take personal responsibility to do the right thing and in doing so, restore law and order to our society.
“It is important that as a sector we hold others to the same standards and campaign for greater transparency. The TEPA Blow the Whistle Compliance Forum at Automechanika did just that – bringing together a range of industry stakeholders to address the importance of industry collaborating with statutory regulatory bodies to deal with malpractices and illegal trading in automotive components. It was encouraging to see the support the Forum received. It is important we collaboratively work with these different role players in the interests of road safety and a more compliant automotive sector, improved revenue for the fiscus and, ultimately improving consumer peace of mind by having safe and reliable cars on our roads.”
Another important development is the announcement by SAIA of its new VIN Look-Up website, following sustained pressure from SAMBRA over the last four years.
While we thank SAIA for taking this first important step, we all realise it is not enough to protect consumers and other parties in the value chain. The real issue that the RMI is propagating is transparency and access to information. The code 3’s and 4’s are already on our system but it is the code 2’s which have been declared uneconomical to repair which talk to the problem. SAIA has committed to releasing these by the end of the year. Until then SAMBRA is actively engaging with other role players to form a task team which will monitor progress and sustain pressure to speed up implementation.
It is very encouraging to see the proactive steps RMI constituent associations are taking and the strong awareness campaigns they are implementing to drive awareness.
The RMI encourages each of you to prioritise compliance, transparency and self-regulation in an effort to create a cleaner, safer and more equitable business environment.