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Speaking to the consumer

Over many years the RMI has demonstrated its strength in developing member benefits and value-added products that cover the retail motor industry, says Jakkie Olivier, CEO of the RMI
More than just membership benefits, the RMI ensures the ongoing protection of the industry against onerous legislation and regulation, big business dominance and one-sided business practices, militant trade unions, and even unrealistic and difficult consumers.
We have reported great successes and delivered great results against our objectives and mandate – and in general terms made substantive progress towards a better and sustainable industry. Better and more suitable promulgated legislation, reasonable wages and conditions of employment agreements with the trade unions, becoming the go-to organisation for stakeholders on matters affecting the retail motor industry, or simply better trading conditions for the motor-related businesses are all examples of the progress the RMI has made in a changing economy and in an industry which is characterised by its vast and quick technological enhancements and change. All of these improvements and successes happened quietly, allowing our members to focus on doing business in the best possible way.
This is what the RMI is all about – to protect, develop and be pro-active and innovative in times of prosperity, but also during the difficult periods of economic pressure and political changes affecting the business environment. Without our loyal members and partners in business, the RMI would cease to exist. By the same token, without the RMI the retail motor industry would be so much poorer and worse off. By standing together, we have credibility, are widely recognised and respected by all stakeholders.
A pro-active, dynamic and innovative approach is key in today’s business environment, and is no different for the RMI. For the past couple of years, the RMI has invested heavily in re-establishing itself through structured change and new thinking models. The process mainly focused on what we refer to as ‘inward business-to-business’ initiatives, activities relating to government and big business liaison, influence and interaction – all of which are aimed at making the trading environment for our members better and moresustainable for profitable trading.
Having re-established ourselves with great success, we have new ideas to take us into the future – our new financial year commences on 1 July and this date is going to be significant in many respects. One reason that we are all excited about is the launch of a brand-new advertising, awareness and PR campaign – this ‘campaign with a difference’ will focus entirely on the consumer, motorists who are dependent on our members for their daily motoring needs.
These consumers have become much more sophisticated and demanding when dealing with motor-related businesses, sourcing high-quality products and services, engaging in highly technical repairs and maintenance, or looking for businesses where they will be treated fairly, ethically and enjoy a satisfactory experience. We believe our members have those credentials.
The contracted PR and communications company will educate and inform motoring consumers about RMI members and why they should seek to do business with RMI-affiliated members and entrepreneurs. Why? Because RMI members are professional, represent the cream of the crop of all the retail motor businesses, subscribe to an ethical strong code of conduct, and ensure high standards of service and superior quality products. RMI members are therefore sought after as opposed to non-members who are not affiliated to a professional body like the RMI.
To ensure that consumers and motorists take note, RMI members should ensure that they are easily recognised and visible by proudly displaying their RMI membership certificates and code of conduct, add the RMI insignia and logo to their premises, stationery and delivery vehicles, and even use the RMI brand in their own advertising and branding campaigns. Exciting times indeed!
We have one objective in mind with this latest campaign – to ensure educated consumers who choose the RMI and its associations for their daily motoring needs and would therefore take pains to locate an RMI-affiliated member business for total motoring peace of mind.