The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has shrugged any suggestions of divisions caused by Brexit by joining the newly-formed Alliance of European Car Dealers and Repairers (AECDR).
NFDA director Sue Robinson said that the creation of the AECDR, and stronger ties with similar organisations representing businesses in the automotive sector from across the region, would “allow us to continue to collectively represent the interests of our members alongside a number of European associations”.
Speaking to AM about the new organisation following last week’s AM100 Dinner, Robinson also suggested that the access to an office in Brussels would allow its various investors to respond more actively and lobby more effectively on a range issues affecting the sector.
Robinson said: “Despite what may happen with Brexit over the coming months, a number of crucial decisions will continue to be made outside the UK.
“Having representation in Brussels will be of vital importance to our members and the whole UK automotive industry.
“The alliance has been formed to coordinate efforts and objectives for the retail side of the automotive industry, not only domestically, but also at a European level.
“This collaboration will enable NFDA to increase its strategy and representation for the interests of our franchised dealer members”.
Following the inaugural meeting today (July 2), AECDR will seek to engage with MEPs, EC officials and other relevant stakeholders, the NFDA said.
Initial meetings have already taken place with SME United, the association of crafts and SMEs in Europe.
The formation of the AECDR comes around 18 months after the NFDA withdrew from CECRA
In addition to NFDA, the other members of the AECDR are: ZDK Germany, AKL Finland, Bilbranchen Denmark, MRF Sweden, NBF Norway, SACR Czech Republic, Traxio Belgium, as well as the following dealer councils: EBDA BMW, EVCDA Volvo, FEAC Mercedes Benz. More national associations are expected to join the alliance over the coming months.
Promoting the interests of European car dealers and repairers at European level is the primary objective of the newly-founded AECDR.
The NFDA said that AECDR founder members had consciously opted for a project-oriented ‘alliance’ as opposed to the structure of a traditional association.
In a statement issued today, the NFDA said that the AECDR had already contributed to the European Commission’s consultation aimed at evaluating the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation and lobbies for a new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation including supplementary guidelines.
“Considering the number of important aspects that need to be addressed such as digitalisation and internet, a revision of the current regulation seems inevitable. NFDA responded to the consultation independently as well as part of the Alliance,” it added.