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Seat boss predicts end of Block Exemption and widespread death of dealerships

Bernd Pischetsrieder, head of Seat, has been quoted in German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, as saying Block Exemption will be withdrawn in 2002 and its demise will lead to a two-thirds reduction in the number of European dealerships.

He says: "Two thirds of all car dealers in western Europe are going to have to look for other work in 10-15 years."

Mr Pischetsrieder said only the largest, most customer friendly outlets would survive the impact of the internet.

He suggested that alternative distibution channels that could be developed after September 2002 could include franchised workshops with subsidiary sales facilities, in place of workshops.

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