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Parts sales may suffer from Net

Dealers have been warned to adopt e-commerce in order to benefit from the “massive advantages” of internet-based parts buying.

Eddie Longworth, Norton Consulting managing director, fears repairers who continue to rely on traditional arrangements for the sale and distribution of parts will “lose out to those dealer groups who see the potential of national sales opportunities”.

He added: “Local arrangements between bodyshops and the parts department will crumble under the onslaught of easy access to sources of supply that are based anywhere in the country.”

The warning came as an Economist Intelligent Unit report, Europe's automotive aftermarket: trends and forecasts to 2005, claimed the euro, combined with e-commerce, would slash parts prices across the EU, as greater transparency led suppliers to introduce single price structures.

However, the UK, which has yet to decide on joining the euro, “will be much less exposed to such pressures”, said the report. Prices will, therefore, not fall to coincide with the rest of Europe.

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