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German trade association supports BER's 2005 schedule for ending dealer territories

The German ZDK dealer's federation has pronounced unanimously in favour of maintaining the September 2005 date for the abolition of dealer territories under the motor industry new block exemption, after a week of what the organisation describes as sometimes controversial debate.

Germany's large population of small family-owned dealerships may be particularly vulnerable to expansion by the country's few large groups, one of which, the Swiss-owned Emil Frey, this wek appointed former Fiat Deutschland boss Klaus Fricke as CEO.

The ZDK describes the freedom of franchised dealers to establish sales outlets wherever they please, as a significant improvement in dealers' rights vis a vis their manufacturer partners.

The ZDK debate itself suggests that some fear the ending of dealer territory restrictions might be delayed beyond September 2005, but there has been no official comment on the subject from the European Commission.

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