Fleet News

No change ahead in block exemption, claims CECRA

THE European Council for Motor Traders and Repairers (CECRA) claims the European Commission has no immediate plans for radical changes to Block Exemption. CECRA said that the EU's Competition Commissioner Mario Monti had acknowledged it would be 'unfair and harmful' to dealers for the legislation simply to cease on September 30, 2002.

The comment comes despite Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers claiming changes in the UK could come before 2002 as part of the Competition Commission's New Cars Inquiry. A spokesman for the association said: 'If there was to be a radical change to the existing framework in 2002, Monti indicated that it would seem necessary to provide a reasonable transitional period for adjustment and protection of interests.'

The Government says it is to push for fundamental changes to loosen car manufacturers' grip on their dealers following the Competition Commission's report into the supply of new cars in the UK. The European Union's car Block Exemption rules allow selective and exclusive distribution of cars in Europe, tying dealers into strict supply channels, and the formal arrangement is due to run in the UK until at least September, 2002.

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