IMI using Malaysia as launchpad for expansion

By CARSIFU | 27 January 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: The British-based Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) will expand its international footprint by using the blueprint and best practices developed in Malaysia.

“Malaysia is our most established base outside UK and it is the only country which we have maintained a local presence over the past decade. Our presence here has provided us with a significant test bed to help ensure our qualifications are suitable for an international audience. Our plan is now to leverage the same blueprint to expand our presence in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand and China as well as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates,” said IMI chief executive officer Steve Nash.

Since its establishment in Malaysia more than 10 years ago, the IMI has been working closely with automotive players to enable them to become IMI approved centres to offer internationally recognised IMI qualifications.

Steve Nash, CEO of UK-based Institute of Motor Industry (IMI).

Early last year, it signed a memorandum of understanding with the Malaysia Ministry of Education to provide training support across a network of community colleges in Malaysia to enhance the skills of automotive professionals, particularly focusing on electric and hybrid vehicles.

Currently, the IMI has 24 approved centres in Malaysia, consisting of automotive companies such as Peugeot distributor Nasim Sdn Bhd and community colleges such as Kepala Batas Community College and The Otomotif College.

"We have an average of 1,500 Malaysian training candidates registered on IMI courses every year, and the numbers have been growing steadily,” said IMI South-East Asia senior manager Matthew Stuart.

IMI’s plans in Malaysia for 2015 will see them continuing to focus on delivering industry-leading qualifications to bridge the skills gap in a rapidly evolving automotive industry, and in line with emerging technologies such as those involving hybrid vehicles.

There are also plans to hold seminars as well as to set up an online forum to engage industry players.

"We believe there is potential for us to double in size over the coming years in Malaysia as well as extend our reach further into other countries," said Nash.