Very interesting John. I can see the Manufacturers not wanting the supply independents with information eg, car pass codes etc. But if the dealers are also pressured into not supplying parts to independents, then this would also be curtains for thousands of dealerships parts dept. Also if they refuse to supply Independents they will also have to stop supplying Joe public. The parts department as we know it, will be gone for ever.
I know many dealerships are struggling for work as it is, my local Fiat dealers have just made two tech redundant, if the parts dept closed they would be more out of work, and not good for Government figures.
Well, this is a bit strange, Block Exemption is not a new thing, they say in the article that BER has been here since 2002, but this is wrong.
Back in the 1980's the EU, or EEC as it was then introduced a whole load of measures to ensure that big manufacturers of products (everything, not just cars) could not withhold information about their products, this meant that independent repairers of, say TVs, could get the info they needed to repair them.
The vehicle manufacturers went to the EU & said that they couldn't give this info, as it would undermine their business & be potentially unsafe.
They argued successfully & the EC brought in a whole series of 'Block Exemptions' to the new laws. This meant the VMs didn't have to give out the required information.
In October 2002, many of these 'Block Exemptions' were removed, except where the information appertained to 'Safety or Security Systems', these could remain in the domain of the VM, but all other info had to be divulged.
The other upshot was that the VMs had to allow the cars to be serviced outside the dealer network, provided that certain criteria were met. This effectively stopped the VMs holding their customers to ransom during the warranty period.
To my mind, if 'Block Exemption' were to be scrapped completely, then these 'exemptions' to the other common anti anti-competition laws would mean that the VMs would have to give us more info not less.
If it was to mean what the article says, then that would mean that there would be more Block Exemptions introduced to to current laws.
It was interesting to note what the EU spokesman said, that the VMs would now find themselves under the same anti-competition laws as everyone else. 'A spokesman for the European Commission said that motorists who buy new cars after the changes would be protected by competition laws, which have already been used to ensure that manufacturers continue to provide information to independent garages.'
Now we have not got main dealers for... Hang on. It'll be easier to say what we have got:
Ford (by the skin of their teeth!), Toyota, Citroen, Vauxhall, V.W., Fiat (just!) (and Chevrolet!).
We used to have Nissan, Volvo, Puegeot, Hyundai and, until very recently, Renault.
Amazingly, I still find people who have been told by their main dealer that they MUST have their car serviced by the authorised main agents or their warranty will be void! Then these same Dealers send their customers a letter saying that, because their local Renault main agents are 'relocating their business elswhere' (shutting down), they can have their vehicles serviced by the same company's Ford Agents!
just to add my tuppenceworth, I was suprised to find out just how far the VM,s are down the road of bringing in a licencing scheme for workshops, apparently along the same lines as CORGI gas fitters, ie if you dont have mandated certificates/training and tools you can,t work on it!