Fleet News

Block exemption investigation reaches crucial second stage

A CRUCIAL second stage of a European Commission investigation into block exemption will take place next month, which could define the future shape of car supply to the fleet industry. The deadline has passed for comments on the EC's long-awaited report on the selective and exclusive car distribution system allowing manufacturers to nominate a dealer network and their sales areas.

A hearing will take place on February 13 to 14 in Brussels that will allow invited interested parties to voice any concerns they have about the report and the future of the system. Among the groups attending are the Department of Trade and Industry and the European Car and Truck Rental Association (ECATRA) which will be forwarding a submission from the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association.

The EC report claimed that dealers were unable to compete with manufacturers for large fleet accounts and added that the system was not achieving its aims. The system is due for review in September 2002, but the EC will announce details of any planned change at least a year in advance. Mario Monti, the EU competition commissioner, said he would start with a 'clean sheet of paper', when looking at block exemption.

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