Jim Saker named as new IMI president

Professor Jim Saker has been appointed as the new president of the IMI, replacing Graham Smith who held the position for seven years.

PSA’s Linda Jackson and Sandy Burgess, from the SMTA, were both named as vice presidents, at the automotive professional body’s Annual General Meeting.

Kevin Finn and Tony Tomsett were also confirmed as chairman and honorary treasurer, respectively.

Saker, who writes monthly for AM magazine, said: “I don’t think there has been a more exciting – and challenging – time to be involved with the automotive sector’s sole professional body. With a clear focus on empowering those who work in automotive, the IMI has an immense role to play in future-proofing individuals, employers and even government. 

“The commitment the IMI has shown to creating a professional standard for those working on high voltage, connected and autonomous vehicles in the form of IMI TechSafe has been second to none. It has also remained a determined advocate of apprenticeships in the sector, helping employers capitalise on the recruitment opportunities and attracting the next generation of workers.”

Often found in the Automotive Industry Power 100, Saker is no stranger to the challenges and opportunities faced by the automotive sector. As director of the Centre for Automotive Management in the Business School at Loughborough University and a long-standing Professor of Retail Management, he has worked with government, employers and individuals in the sector for more than 30 years.

He brings another perspective to the IMI as the automotive industry faces a myriad of challenges, from adjusting to the changing dynamics of the economy in the aftermath of Covid-19, to equipping itself for the mobility revolution including connected and autonomous motoring and zero emissions.

Steve Nash, CEO of the IMI, added: “We are very excited by how Professor Jim Saker will continue Graham’s great work, placing skills at the forefront of good practice in the automotive retail sector. There is no question that the next few years will present all those involved in automotive with some big challenges.  But we believe there are big opportunities too. And we have a clear roadmap to ensure the IMI is well positioned to support individuals, employers and trainers to exploit the opportunities.”

Author: Ronald Tramp