Driving Up Technical Standards
Back in 1920 a handful of members of the fledgling retail motor industry got together over dinner to talk about business and the best way to serve their customers. From this informal setting the foundations of today’s Institute of the Motor Industry were laid.
Established as the Institute of the Motor Trade, with offices in central London, the founders set about developing their organisation and driving up technical standards in the industry. Throughout the 20s the institute spread around the UK, with 3,000 members attending regular lectures at centres in London, Yorkshire and Scotland.
IMI A Brief History
In the 1930s and 40s the Institute continued to grow despite the depression and the war. The IMT helped members through the hard times by setting up an employment register. During the war enlisted members were not required to pay their subscriptions and they were helped back into work on their return from overseas.
After the austerity of the war and its aftermath of rationing and rebuilding, mass consumption and mass motoring began to develop in the 1950s. The then renamed, Institute of the Motor Industry grew to keep pace with the sector. The importance of the sector and the IMI within it was recognised in 1955 with the grant of the coat of arms. The institute built on this with the establishment of a code of conduct in 1970, which made it compulsory for members to keep their skills up to date with on-going training and requirement for them to always treat customers fairly.
The IMI has continued in this vein ever since continuously expanding its offer as the industry has grown and diversified. Today the IMI sets standards for training throughout the sector, offers 250 qualifications through 600 training providers around the UK, promotes automotive job opportunities to young people, and campaigns for greater recognition for professionals in the motor industry.