I wish all of our valued members, industry stakeholders and staff the very best for 2020. We are positive and excited about the start of this year and the new stories we will be sharing with you through Automobil.
As mentioned in the last edition, we have launched the new RMI and associational logos and merged 13 associations into eight. Each of the logos has been simplified and modernised, whilst still retaining its unique essence and rich heritage.
This change has also prompted us to re-look how Automobil is managed in 2020 and we felt it made sense, in line with the general trend in printed media worldwide, to reduce the publication of our magazine from monthly to every second month. We will focus on six excellent issues which will each enjoy a two-month shelf life, commencing with this edition.
The magazine remains an important and valued source of information for the industry. During the next few months we will be carrying out some further research to ensure both our content, and the platform on which it is presented, remains relevant, appropriate and in line with changing media trends and the growth in digital news. We will be contacting readers and would appreciate your input in this regard.
We will continue to share weekly news in our RMI web letter. We will also continue producing a digital version of the magazine which can be easily downloaded from our website. This is an easy and quick way to access Automobil.
We are living in changing and dynamic times with artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and automation being applied to create ingenious innovations and speeding up the evolution of industries. The retail motor environment is no exception. We will need to keep abreast of this fast-moving transformation, especially around customer care and after-sales service issues.
A priority of the RMI will be to ensure we ready our members for these changes through awareness, education, and skills development. I have no doubt our objectives and actions this year will influence not only the automotive industry, but generations to come. A new-look automotive industry is no longer a dream. It is happening and it is happening at a rapid rate. How our members and business owners think about their future in the industry, how they prepare for the change and most importantly how they meet the ever increasing demands of consumers will largely be influenced by our actions and aspirations at the beginning of this new decade.
We all are faced with concerning external challenges over which we have little or no control. An ongoing low growth economy and performance with the threat of a downgrade to junk status by Moody’s and other rating agencies; pressure from load shedding and Eskom’s inability to provide sustainable power for businesses and industry to produce and deliver products and services coupled with a lack of appropriate skills and leadership to save our country from a total collapse will colour our business landscape this year. A collective effort, effective co-operation and collaborative relationships amongst all key stakeholders are therefore fundamental as we enter the year 2020.
We hope you enjoy our latest edition. The focus of this edition is on one of our newly-merged associations, the Automotive Remanufacturers’ Association (ARA). ARA represents the remanufacturing trade sector. ARA promotes the responsible reuse of remanufactured engine components for a ‘greener’ environment (carbon footprint). Its members are dedicated to providing consumers with only the best advice, finest service delivery, and highest quality workmanship.
The RMI and its various associations and structures remain committed to making a difference in the lives of business owners and the economy going forward. Our hope is that 2020 be the beginning of great and lasting outcomes in the automotive industry – outcomes we can all be proud of in time to come.