The European Commission today revealed plans to extend the current Block Exemption regulation for the motor trade for three years.
Then from 2013, new car sales and distribution will come under the general competition rules on vertical agreements.
The aftermarket will also be under the general rules, however the EC intends to apply these together with specific guidelines or a Block Exemption specific to the aftermarket.
Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "It is important to give the automotive sector, one of the most important sectors in the EU, legal certainty and predictability as to the future competition law regime. This holds even more true in times of crisis.
"That is why I favour a new framework which will make it easier for market players to respond to rapidly changing market circumstances while better safeguarding consumer interests".
The EC has asked for feedback on its proposed policy options. Details are at http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/sectors/motor_vehicles/news.html
Observations must be submitted by 25 September 2009 to Compfirstname.lastname@example.org
Download the full communication from the EC here: ec.europa.eu/competition/sectors/motor_vehicles/documents/communication.pdf