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.