Fleet News

Garages still unaware of block exemption change

A MAJOR new survey has shown that 40% of garages and 63% of tyre dealers in key European markets are still unaware of changes to the car distribution block exemption.

The Aftermarket Dealer Survey, conducted by independent market analyst Datamonitor, reveals that a large proportion of garages and tyre dealers in the UK and major European markets of France, Germany, Spain and Italy are not even aware of the new legislation.

Changes to the automotive industry's block exemption take effect from October.

Announced last year by the European Commission, new rules give dealers greater freedom to open multi-brand showrooms, while independent repairers will be guaranteed access to technical information and training from manufacturers to allow them to compete with franchised garages.

Datamonitor's survey of more than 700 garages and tyre specialists across the five major European markets reveals that in the UK 77% of garages and 83% of tyre dealers are not aware of the new block exemption regulations.

Across France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK only 60% of garages and 37% of tyre dealers are aware of them.

Optimism over effects of the new legislation is high among German garages, lowest in Spain, while Italy anticipates that the new legislation will have a negative impact on its businesses.

Throughout Europe, a little more than half of the garages expect the new legislation to increase sales volumes, while 71% of tyre dealers are pessimistic.

On an individual country basis however, awareness of the new legislation is particularly high among German garages (81%).

They are also the most optimistic, with 71% expecting a positive impact on the volume of their business.

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