Block Exemption Regulation acknowledges strong competition in automotive sector

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The European automobile manufacturers call on  the   European  Commission

to  swiftly  define  the  future  competition  framework  for  vehicle distribution

and after sales services in order to provide   the  legal  certainty,  clarity  and

predictability  that  the automotive industry needs.

The  Commission announced changes today in a Communication on the so-call
Block  Exemption  Regulation  for  the sector while extending the current
regime for vehicle distribution with three years.

“The ACEA members agree with the Commission that competition on the motor
vehicle  market  is at least as intense, if not more intense, as in other
sectors.  We  also agree that this effect stems mostly from general rules
of competition law. Therefore, there is no reason to maintain a separate,
stricter and more complex legal regime for distribution agreements in the
automotive  sector”,  said  Ivan  Hodac,  Secretary  General  of the auto
industry’s trade association ACEA.

Car  manufacturers  share  the  Commission’s view that competition on the
markets  for  motor  vehicle  distribution and servicing has intensified.
Consumers  benefit  from  this  fierce competition: they have access to a
wide  product  offer  and  a  dense  network  of highly qualified service
providers at very competitive prices.

Developments  regarding  the functioning of the internal market have been
equally  positive.  Price differences between Member States have narrowed
significantly   despite  the  distorting  effect  of  various  sales  and
registration taxes that exist in many Member States.

Applying a less detailed, less prescriptive and more flexible legal
framework will help manufacturers and their sales and service partners to
further improve distribution and servicing concepts, reduce costs and
enhance efficiency. Manufacturers will continue to work closely with the
EU institutions and other stakeholders to ensure the most appropriate
framework for the upcoming changes.