The Voice of European vehicle dealers and repairers
Representing 336,720 enterprises of automotive trade and repair businesses
What does CECRA do?
CECRA is the European umbrella organisation regrouping national automotive trade associations and European brand dealer councils
Acting as a watchdog, ensuring the interests of authorized dealers and repairers are taken into due account by European regulatory bodies
CECRA's 'Best Practice'
platform offers its members a real added value enabling them to learn more about new tendencies and best practices in place
JOINT PRESS STATEMENT
Europe’s Consumers, Independent Automotive Service and Mobility Providers rally for urgent Commission action on vehicle data legislation
Europe’s independent service providers and consumers reiterate the significant potential for safer, smarter and more affordable mobility that is being sacrificed due to the lack of regulated access to vehicle data.
Vehicle manufacturers have quasi-monopoly control over data generated by vehicles owned by European consumers and businesses. This heavily limits the choice of innovative services that independent service providers could provide - if they had equal access to vehicle data.
The group calls on President von der Leyen to urgently deliver the legislative proposal on access to vehicle data that has been eight years in the making.
A group of 10 representatives of independent automotive service providers have called on President von der Leyen and the College of Commissioners to urgently deliver sector-specific legislation on access to vehicle data. Together they represent 80% of the European automotive economy and include the continent’s automotive parts suppliers and distributors, workshops and their technology suppliers, mobility services companies, the insurance industry and consumers.
The majority of modern vehicles are connected and offer immense potential for safer, smarter and more affordable mobility for European consumers and businesses.
However, manufacturers' quasi-monopoly control of vehicle data is impeding the development of services that independent service providers could offer. This limits service innovation and competition, restricting consumer and business choice, driving up prices and erodes Europe’s competitive position globally.
The group stresses the European Commission’s long-promised plan for a sector-specific legislation on access to in-vehicle data, functions, and resources is more necessary than ever. The Data Act neither addresses the quasi-monopolistic market structure nor the technical requirements in the automotive industry to make equitable data access a reality.
Action is urgent due to the regulatory cliff-edge in July when new cybersecurity laws kick in, potentially leading to the progressive shutdown of the only independent means of remote access to vehicle data (via the on-board diagnostic port).
The EU must urgently put in place equal access to vehicle-generated data for all market actors by delivering sector-specific legislation that protects consumer choice and encourages real competition and investment in digital transformation and data-driven businesses. Each day of delay stifles European innovation, job creation and the safer, smarter, more sustainable and affordable mobility that Europe’s citizens and businesses deserve.
“FIA members continuously seek to develop consumer services in mobility and beyond. But our efforts are hampered through the low quality, scarce and costly data made available by vehicle manufacturers. Fair access to vehicle data is essential in unlocking the full potential of innovative services, beneficial for consumers and all players in the aftermarket. A level playing field is needed to favour innovation for all players and not only a few.”
- Karsten Schulze, ADAC Technical Services President.
"Ensuring full and real-time data access is essential for fleet companies to be able to offer smart, sustainable, and affordable mobility to their clients. There is no further time to lose as the automotive industry is moving at very high pace and the independent service providers risk losing their competitive position. Thus, we ask President von der Leyen to urgently deliver the legislative proposal on access to in-vehicle data."
-Tim Albertsen, Group Chief Executive Office of Ayvens (formerly ALD Automotive I LeasePlan).
“There is currently no level playing field in accessing vehicle data which is stifling competition and innovation. The European Commission must stop dragging its feet and urgently put forward EU regulation. This will enable insurers to provide better products and services to support the climate transition and improve road safety. It will also help them understand and manage the risks related to new and future forms of mobility, such as autonomous driving. Opening data access will prevent a few big companies controlling data and instead create a competitive market that delivers for Europeans.”
- Yann Arnaud, Director of Responses to Customer Needs & Innovation at MACIF, the French insurer, speaking on behalf of the European insurance sector.
“Leveraging anonymized vehicle intelligence and linked tyre data provides a tremendous opportunity for building creative solutions that will shape the future of mobility.”
- Raghunath Banerjee, Vice President of Data Solutions at Bridgestone Mobility Solutions.
“Investments in services based on in-vehicle generated data require a stable and predictable business environment. A sector specific regulation is needed to create such environment.”
- Benjamin Krieger, Secretary General of CLEPA.
EU 2024 Elections – CECRA’s key policy recommendations for the EU institution’s next five-year mandate
CECRA - the European Council for Motor Trades and Repairs - has during its press conference of today presented its key priorities of the automotive distribution and repair sector for the upcoming European legislative period. CECRA’s manifesto for an innovative and future proof mobility
Vehicles play a crucial role in society’s functioning whether it is transporting people and/or goods. CECRA supports all efforts in achieving Europe’s set climate targets. It however advocates Europe to opt for a more open approach, encouraging technology diversity within the vehicle sector which would not only foster innovation but also provide operators with a range of options to effectively reduce emissions in a way that’s both affordable and feasible.
New technologies, such as connected cars emitting tremendous amount of data offering unlimited possibilities of digitalisation, are reshaping business models. European automotive manufacturers are adapting their business strategies, reducing distribution costs and transforming their distribution network from a franchised ‘dealer’ model into ‘agency’ models alongside with setting up on-line sales platforms putting their retailers in direct competition with them. Agency business models will have major consequences for manufacturers, their distribution networks and European consumers. Vehicle manufacturers know that their distribution network has a distinct advantage as they have a face-to-face customer interaction and guarantee a network of physical rural and non-rural touchpoints where consumers can get assistance to the purchase, repair and maintenance of their expensive good. The agency model will significantly impact the distributors’ earnings model and it remains to be seen whether this model is a viable business model and how it will affect the service.
Aftersales operators must have direct access to in-vehicle data, its functions and resources to create a level playing field within the automotive aftersales. A direct, unmonitored, unrestricted and real-time access to in-vehicle data is a critical requirement for new data- enabled services. Given the increasing centrality of these new data-based services — fair competition, innovation and consumer’s freedom of choice will only be possible if such an equal access is guaranteed to all players in the vehicle service industry.
The automotive industry, as a whole, whether it is the production, the sales and after sales are at a critical juncture. The challenges are huge and the stakes are high. Through this policy manifesto, CECRA asks EU’s new leaders to take into account the concerns and needs of the automotive distribution and repair sector to ensure a competitive market for consumers across the European Union.
In short, the key objectives and concerns for which CECRA seeks support from EU decision makers are:
A fair balance… to protect SMEs in the automotive sector by supporting fair rules at EU level to ensure that contracts between vehicle manufacturers and dealer/agents cannot contain unfair, oppressive and unreasonable requirements;
Protect European consumers from deterioration in the automotive sales and aftersales industry… since vehicle manufacturers are transforming their sales and repair model it is to be awaited whether this model is a viable business model and what the consequences will be on EU consumers regarding the service and after-sales service of their expensive good;
A level playing field … to ensure that SMEs in the sector have equal access to in-vehicle data to enable them to service and repair latest technology vehicles to ensure competitive market for consumers across the European Union;
Protect European consumers from fraudsters and criminals… to help deliver EU-wide requirements to fight odometer manipulation by unscrupulous traders who can take advantage of the current lack of verifiable vehicle data. We are seeking the recording and collection of odometer and vehicle damage information to be made available to EU consumers, as a right, through state supported agencies.
EU Parliament upholds CO2 emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles
Yesterday, the European Parliament adopted its negotiating position on new measures to strengthen CO2 emission reduction targets for new heavy-duty vehicles, including buses, trucks and trailers.
The Parliament maintains the CO2 emission reduction targets proposed by the European Commission, 45% less CO2 emissions by 2030, 65% by 2035 and 90% by 2040, it brings forward the review by a year to 2027 and asks the European Commission to develop a methodology for registering heavy-duty vehicles running on CO2 neutral fuels leaving the door open to biofuels and e-fuels.
The Parliament and Council will now start their negotiations on the final text, which is expected to be concluded begin 2024.
Bernard Lycke, General Director of CECRA says: this is a positive signal for technology diversity, giving more choice to operators and bringing down emissions more effectively. CECRA supports all efforts in proposing solutions to reduce pollutant emissions, however it is essential they need to remain achievable and affordable. The set targets will be very challenging for manufacturers as well as for all other players in the distribution, transport and logistics value chain.
ECJ ruling on restrictions on access to OBD information
CECRA welcomes the decision of the European Court of Justice ruling that manufacturer-specific restrictions on access to vehicles' on-board diagnostic (OBD) systems are unlawful. This Court decision strengthens our position that security gateways implemented under the pretext of cybersecurity are unfair and conflicting with EU legislations.
The decision sends a strong message: EU regulations must be respected without setting barriers to dealers or repairers seeking access to in-vehicle data. CECRA continues to claim it is crucial that all dealers and aftermarket operators have an equal access to in-vehicle data, functions and resources, in order to ensure fair competition.
Bernard Lycke, Director General of CECRA emphasises: “there is no quality and innovative services without an equal access to in-vehicle data! This is the reason for which we continue requesting the European Commission to come very soon with the long awaited sector specific legislation. We continue to advocate that fair and transparent practices are essential within the automotive ecosystem so that the interests of consumers, and dealers and repairers, are duly taken into account.”
Euro 7 proposal: Member States reject stricter vehicle pollutant standards
The Member states' governments within the Council adopted yesterday the general approach for Euro 7. This forms the foundation for forthcoming negotiations with the European Parliament regarding the next phase of regulations on vehicle pollutant emissions.
Member states are lending their support to test conditions and limit values for cars, vans, and trucks that overall align more closely with the existing Euro 6/VI standards rather than the Commission's proposed revisions, providing little, if any, contribution to improved air quality. The Council did not retain the new refuelling emissions requirements nor the reduced evaporative limits proposed by the Commission but did preserve the inclusion of limit values for tires and brakes.
Benjamin Krieger, the Secretary General of CLEPA, the association representing the European automotive supply industry, remarks, "Automotive suppliers support the advancement of Euro 7, with realistic testing conditions and limits. The Commission’s proposal could be effectively implemented with a few prudent safeguards. The required technology is available and economically viable. Regressing to Euro 6, as proposed by the Council, is not needed to maintain affordable mobility and will neither support implementing stricter air quality limits nor stimulate innovation in the EU. In the next decade, an estimated 100 million conventionally powered vehicles will be sold in the EU. This decision now determines whether the EU will have a role in shaping technology standards or leaves this prerogative to the United States and China.”
Bernard Lycke, Director General of CECRA representing cars, vans and truck dealers agents and repairers at European level, encourages the co-legislators to continue working on robust Euro 7 standards and their adoption before the upcoming EU elections in June 2024.
“This is crucial to enable a quick implementation of the new Euro 7 legislation. Indeed, millions of vehicles with internal combustion engines will continue to be sold, maintained and repaired in the next years and these should contribute to air quality improvements.”
A decision regarding the European Parliament's position is anticipated on 12 October. Following the adoption of positions by both institutions, the Parliament and the Council, negotiations in the trilogue phase will commence.
At #CONNECTEurope 2023 more than 230 automotive dealers, repairers and experts gather in Berlin to exchange their expertise on tomorrow’s automotive distribution
CECRA and Infopro Digital, a French press group, just held its 3rd edition of #CONNECTEurope, a European and International forum on automotive distribution. The successful event, organised in Berlin, was attended by 230 participants being automotive distributors and repairers of passenger cars & trucks around Europe, representatives of national & international trade associations advocating their interests.
During its 1st plenary session, automotive dealers debate on what to expect from an agency distribution model. Will it be a viable business model? And what about customer data ownership, data which is crucial to improve business performance. All these questions remain at this stage unanswered since the rolling out of agency in Europe has started only recently. The uptake of Chinese electric vehicles is a challenge for Europe’s vehicle manufacturers. How will Europe react bearing in mind that electric vehicles are much more expensive than ICE cars and European citizens purchase power is decreasing. CECRA calls upon European decision makers to set up financial incentives programmes to make European electric vehicles more affordable all this to ensure a massive uptake of electric vehicles will take place and reach the EU set climate targets.
New business opportunities for dealers was discussed during the 2nd session. How the agency models are implemented and what will be the impact on distributors business profitability. Distributors urge manufacturers to closely monitor this new distribution model and to adjust where necessary. It goes without saying that it needs to be a profitable business otherwise distributors might be attracted to take on board other brands which engender better profits.
At its 3rd plenary session the focus was on how to professionalise the used car business and how to eradicate odometer fraud. Car-Pass registering odometer during the vehicle live span is an effective means to tackle the problem. The battery state of health and repairability is key for second-hand electric vehicles’ residual value calculation and used EV market.
In between the plenary sessions, 12 workshops took place debating, amongst others, on profitability of electric vehicle maintenance and repairing, in-vehicle data and ownership, new leasing models, optimizing business with customer data, investing in new services and how to adapt the business to consumer changing behaviours.