Fleet News

Online information on block exemption

EUROPEAN fleets and motoring organisations can now access a website aimed at explaining the implications of the new car distribution block exemption regulation.

Automotive consultancy Autoconnect has launched the site, at www.blockexemption.com, after it staged a think-tank attended by leading industry companies.

A panel of 19 experts from major companies including MG Rover, information solutions company Experian and Lex Logistics took part in the event near Autoconnect's UK headquarters in Redditch, Worcestershire.

The conference was facilitated by auto industry expert John Kiff, of the International Car Distribution Programme (ICDP) and Cardiff Business School, and led by Autoconnect managing director Paul Clarke.

Changes to the block exemption regulations came into force on October 1 and highlighting two examples of conclusions reached during the session, Autoconnect said:

  • Vehicle manufacturers will need to be much tougher policing the authorised repairs, including dealerships, taking action on repairers who fall below the minimum.
  • Existing franchised dealerships could take advantage of the regulations and open multi-brand servicing within existing workshops.

    Autoconnect's managing director Paul Clarke said: 'It was a fascinating day. We had some extremely interesting discussions and it is clear that the new rules have spurred a change, but that change has yet to be clearly defined.

    'It is apparent that franchised dealers and independent garages do not fully understand the impact of the legislation. We know that relationships between manufacturers, their dealerships and independent motor traders will alter now that the block exemption changes have hit the UK but what that means for the industry isn't yet clear.'

    Clarke added: 'The new website is intended to be a one-stop shop for anyone who wants to learn more about how the legislation could impact on their business.

    'We have included the main conclusions of the think-tank, the positives and negatives from the point of view of dealers and manufacturers, and a series of links to other sites that explain more about Block Exemption legislation.'

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