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Give dealers more freedom demands RMI

The chief executive of the Retail Motor Industry Federation David Evans has urged European legislators to allow dealers to sell any make of car they choose.

Mr Evans spoke at the European Commission hearing on Block Exemption yesterday arguing for the rules to be relaxed.

He said: “The RMI wants the control vehicle makers have over franchised dealers to be relaxed, perhaps even letting dealers sell any make of car or truck they want from one showroom.”

He also wants independent service and repair centres to have access to all manufacturer information about vehicles “so they can provide the highest quality services”.

“If this is achieved the process of buying and running a car for consumers will become increasingly flexible, not just in terms of improving the price, but also providing them with a reliable, efficient, integrated sales and servicing network that unites franchised car dealers, independent service and repair outlets and allows scope for internet-based retailers,” Mr Evans said.

The changes to Block Exemption the RMI is calling for include:

  • contract termination notice period manufacturers give to dealers extended to five years and two years notice period from the retailer
  • dealer should have the right to sell their business
  • dealers should be free to choose their own suppliers of finance, insurance and warranties
  • fairness and equity of franchised standards
  • set-up costs should be reviewed more frequently
  • dealers should be free to promote their own brand, irrespective of franchise
  • linkage between sales and service should remain as a distinct consumer benefit
  • independent garages should have free access to all vehicle specification in order to maximise consumer choice
  • retail and fleet sales should be handled through franchised dealers
  • selectivity and exclusivity should remain
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