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NFDA continues its lobby for dealers

Sue Robinson, NFDA director, said: “Our focus is to ensure that dealers’ rights to engage in active competition and exploit new opportunities in the sector are preserved through clear, workable and robust safeguards, regardless of the strict legal format of the rules themselves.”

The NFDA has always recognised the EC’s options of reducing retail motor sector cover to a ‘general regulation’.

Robinson and other RMIF officials pressed the case for dealer protection when they met EC representatives in March.

This month they lobbied Geoffrey Norris, the prime minister’s special adviser at No.10. Norris had requested a briefing on the dealer position on BER.

Meetings are also scheduled with Baroness Vadera, under-secretary for business and competitiveness, and with representatives from the Department for Business, Enterprise, and Regulatory Reform (BERR).

Robinson said: “Dealers make substantial investments in their facilities and the valuable services that they provide to customers.

It is in the long-term interests of consumers that such investments are recognised.

“The Commission is also aware of the imbalance in bargaining power between dealers and manufacturers and the problems for competition that this can cause.”

She added: “It follows that the Commission is contemplating certain measures to try to ensure that competition is not prejudiced going forward - although the format of such measures is still very much up for discussion.”

She said the effectiveness of such measures remained to be seen.

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