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Vehicle dealers wary of Block Exemption change

  • 13 August 2013
  • By Kevin Swallow

Dealers fear they may be forced to invest to meet Block Exemption Regulation (BER) changes by the European Commission, placing greater control in the hands of the manufacturers.

The two most significant changes that came into effect on 1 June to BER 330/2010 require franchised dealers to purchase higher quotas of CVs from the manufacturer, and allow manufacturers to demand that a multi franchise dealer separates its point-of-sale into solus dealerships.

Several single-franchise and multi-franchise dealers, who did not want to be named, felt the changes could force them to needlessly invest in more stock and premises if manufacturers exercised their new powers.

Derek Brinklow, the network development director for Renault Trucks UK, said the manufacturer won’t encourage its affected dealers to become solus (aligned to a single manufacturer), but added that any future dealer growth plans, “which could have included provision for multi-franchising, will need more serious consideration”.

One of the fastest-growing dealer networks belongs to Isuzu Truck (UK), and several dealerships it has brought in have franchises with other manufacturers.

Marketing director Keith Child believes the company is “reasonably relaxed about the changes”, but concedes that forcing dealers to separate brands will stifle competition.

He said: “This will make it difficult and expensive for new brands that are going to try and enter the UK marketplace.”

  • CM has a more in-depth look at the effect of BER changes in the 22 August issue.


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