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Communication on Block Exemption Regulation acknowledges strong competition in automotive sector


23 Jul 2009



Brussels, 22 July 2009 – The European automobile manufacturers call on the European Commission to swiftly define the future competition
framework for vehicle distribution and after sales services in order to provide the legal certainty, clarity and predictability that the automotive industry needs.

The Commission announced changes today in a Communication on the so-call Block Exemption Regulation for the sector while extending the current regime for vehicle distribution with three years.

“The ACEA members agree with the Commission that competition on the motor vehicle market is at least as intense, if not more intense, as in other sectors. We also agree that this effect stems mostly from general rules
of competition law. Therefore, there is no reason to maintain a separate, stricter and more complex legal regime for distribution agreements in the automotive sector”, said Ivan Hodac, Secretary General of the auto industry’s trade association ACEA.

Car manufacturers share the Commission’s view that competition on the markets for motor vehicle distribution and servicing has intensified.
Consumers benefit from this fierce competition: they have access to a wide product offer and a dense network of highly qualified service providers at very competitive prices.

Developments regarding the functioning of the internal market have been equally positive. Price differences between Member States have narrowed significantly despite the distorting effect of various sales and
registration taxes that exist in many Member States.

Applying a less detailed, less prescriptive and more flexible legal framework will help manufacturers and their sales and service partners to further improve distribution and servicing concepts, reduce costs and enhance efficiency. Manufacturers will continue to work closely with the EU institutions and other stakeholders to ensure the most appropriate framework for the upcoming changes.

About ACEA
The European automotive industry is key to the strength and competitiveness of Europe. The ACEA members are BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, FIAT Group, Ford of Europe, General Motors Europe, Jaguar Land
Rover, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, Porsche, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault, Scania, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen and Volvo. They provide direct employment to more than 2.2 million people and indirectly support another 10 million
jobs. Annually, ACEA members invest €20 billion in R&D, or 4% of turnover.

For further information, please contact Sigrid de Vries, Director Communications ACEA +32 2 738 73 45 or

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