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No block exemption scope for independents

Independent garage take-up of “authorised repairer” status under the new block exemption is likely to be low because of the high level of investment required, a team of aftersales experts concluded at a special “Think Tank” meeting in Redditch this week.

But existing franchised dealerships could take advantage of the regulations and open multi-brand servicing within existing workshops, the 19 experts from major companies including MG Rover, MVRA, Experian, Allparts, and Lex Logistics concluded.

Paul Clarke of meeting hosts Autoconnect said:“It is apparent that franchised dealers and independent garages do not fully understand the impact of the legislation. We know that relationships between manufacturers, their dealerships and independent motor traders will alter now that the block exemption changes have hit the UK, but what that means for the industry isn't yet clear.”

But the participants were clear on one heightened responsibility on manufacturers as a result of the changes: the need to ensure adequate policing of standards within their authorised repairer networks and to take action on those who fail to meet them.

Details of the meeting conclusions can be accessed on a new aftermarket information website dedicated to the block exemption ramifications www.blockexemption.com. Click here.

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