Firing the industry back up

Steve Nash

There will be a huge sense of relief as dealerships in England reopen their doors from 1 June. It’s the next stage in a return to some form of normality, bringing staff back into the workplace, getting customers in and bringing some much-needed liquidity to the industry.

A lot of work has gone into making sure premises and staff are ready for the return, and businesses large and small have invested time, effort and resource into making sure that it’s a safe environment for everyone. No doubt helped by the knowledge of the MOT and service centres that have remained open throughout. It’s something we’ve been keen to help with, and worked closely with other trade organisations to develop the Aftermarket with COVID-19 Protective Measures Best Practice Guide.

Insurance companies have played their part too. Discussions have taken place and agreements made to allow unaccompanied test drives. That’s another important aspect, as there is definitely pent-up demand as people look to change their vehicles as finance deals come to an end.

This is also the start of taking people off furlough and bringing them back into the jobs and apprenticeships that the pandemic forced some firms to put on hold. It’s unlikely to be a simple process with decisions on who comes back first and in what form to be made.

With the IMI’s Covid-19: Understanding organizations’ furlough and apprenticeship commitments survey, we want to find out more about you and your organisation and how it’s responding in the current climate to furloughed working and employment of apprentices, now and in the future.

If we can understand the challenges you face it’ll help us support you through the coming months. It’ll also allow us to inform the government of your real-life experiences and concerns as businesses, training providers and learners. So, if you have five minutes to spare, your feedback would be invaluable.

Firing up the industry again after the lockdown will take time, and may not be a simple process, but we’ll get there together.

And as we move forward, if you have any questions that you need answering or want to discuss how the IMI can help you, please contact us on +44 (0)1992 519025, or send emails to
With my very best wishes,