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Consumers' Association to call for end of Block Exemption at EC review

The Consumers' Association has launched the first salvo in the debate likely to surround the European Commission's review of Block Exemption which starts today.

The two-day closed hearing will be attended by manufacturers, importers and internet retailers and is to debate car prices, dealers and the link between sales and servicing.

Phil Evans, from the Consumers' Association, will argue that car manufacturers are "abusing" consumers across Europe.

"Car manufacturers have consistently tried to stop European consumers from buying cars outside their home counties. Car manufacturers are controlling car dealers and dictating prices," he said.

The CA is calling for Block Exemption as it stands now to be scrapped. It argues that the car market should work like other markets:

  • car dealers should be free to choose how they sell their cars and are able to provide repair facilities
  • car repair shops should be free to decide the services they supply to consumers
  • parts' suppliers should be able to provide a competitive alternative to manufacturers' franchise dealers.
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