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Park Logistics - Creating supply Chain Solutions

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Manufacturers slow to improve relationship with dealers

  • 09 June 2014
  • By Kevin Swallow

The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has reiterated its belief that most vehicle manufacturers in Europe have been reluctant to establish a ‘code of good conduct’ between themselves and their respective dealers.

Since 2010, the attempts to develop a meaningful and binding industry code of good conduct designed to create clearer and fairer relations between dealers and manufacturers have faltered despite the NFDA lobbying the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

NFDA director Sue Robinson said unfairness experienced by dealers at the hands of manufacturers – ranging from arbitrary terminations to onerous standards – was highlighted in two European Commission (EC) consultations in 2011 and 2013 and as part of the NFDA market study conducted in 2012.

In an effort to overcome the impasse, the EC announced that unless an acceptable code can be agreed, it intends to initiate a legally binding solution, which could feasibly take the form of a new sector-specific regulation, intended to improve dealer-manufacturer relations.

“This is an important first step in bridging the harmful gaps left by the removal of the sector-specific block exemption,” she said.

“We still have a long way to go, but this is a good sign. The clear message from the EU is that manufacturer intransigence is not an option.

“The NFDA is continuing to lobby on key fronts and, thanks to our members’ support and that of our colleagues in Europe, a solution designed to support more predictable, clearer and equitable arrangements for dealers is very much becoming a question of ‘when’ not ‘if’ . ”

ACEA is made up of 15 OEMs, including Daf Trucks, Daimler, Iveco, Volkswagen and Volvo Group. ACEA declined to comment.


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