Important communication from the Stellantis group about future dealer and authorised repairers contracts
20 May 2021
Yesterday, the Stellantis Group announced it will terminate all sales and service distribution contracts by 31 May next. The Group is reorganising its distribution and has given two years’ notice to all its sales and service partners. It plans to build a multi-brand distribution model which it will launch in June 2023.
Only in some cases dealers have been approached. There is no letter of intent. Representatives of dealer organisations will be approached and will be actively involved in the development of future sales plans and strategies. In recent years, the manufacturer has already started to merge the Peugeot and Citroën networks with that of Opel. The new distribution network will be selected on the basis of key objective drivers and criteria.
Stellantis, which operates brands including Vauxhall, Peugeot, Citroen, Fiat and Jeep, is making the move ahead of the new Block Exemption regulations which are due to come in on 1st June 2022 for the general rules and 1st June 2023 for the motor rules.
CECRA, together with its Citroën, Opel and Peugeot European Dealer Councils members will follow carefully the evolution.
This radical decision only comes less than two months after the Austrian Supreme Cartel Court banned its Peugeot brand from tying dealers payments to customer satisfaction surveys and from subsidising vehicle prices sold at its manufacturer-owned sales outlets. The case arose following a long legal dispute between Austrian Peugeot dealer Büchl and PSA's Peugeot Austria, in which Büchl claimed Peugeot's national sales company was abusing its market power and in breach of competition law.
CECRA and all dealers across Europe took note of the decision of the Supreme Court which should be taken into account together with the new EU rules to pave the way to a balanced distribution model between manufacturers and their networks after June 2023.
Creating a level playing field for vehicle data access in the interest of consumers: Secure On-board Telematics Platform Approach
30 March 2021
A large coalition representing automotive dealers, aftermarket and consumers is calling on the European Union to take on board its proposal for a Secure On-board Telematics Platform (S-OTP) when legislating on access to in-vehicle data. In the detailed document, “Creating a level playing field for vehicle data access: Secure On-board Telematics Platform Approach”, publishers of technical information, body repairers, dealers and workshops, garage equipment suppliers, tyre manufacturers, road patrols, parts distributors and leasing and rental companies, as well as consumers, provide technical and commercial arguments sustaining their recommendation.
It is the only solution guaranteeing true consumer choice, effective competition and free entrepreneurship in a secure and technology-neutral manner.
With the advent of the connected car, competition now starts in the vehicle where the ability to safely and securely access in-vehicle data, functions and resources determines the quality of the service. The intention of the S-OTP is therefore to ensure that consumers can still choose and rely on service providers, many of them SMEs, to benefit from innovative, competitive and affordable services and products, improving road mobility, safety and sustainability. To do so, service providers have to be able to compete with all mobility stakeholders, some of whom might be tempted to act as “gatekeepers” through proprietary access methods to in-vehicle data.
As a solution addressing the challenges of true consumer choice, security and free entrepreneurship in the automotive services sector, the S-OTP is based on some key characteristics, such as:
Consumer is in full control regarding the access to in-vehicle data;
A clear separation of duties, with free management of access control for all service providers, including vehicle manufacturers;
Unmonitored and undistorted communication between in-vehicle services and their respective back ends;
Independent customer contract/direct consent management and service offering without the interposition of the vehicle manufacturer;
Standardised access to in-vehicle networks via safe and secure software interfaces enabling bi-directional communication with the vehicle;
The ability to safely interact with the driver through the vehicles human-machine interfaces.
Enabling effective competition in the automotive aftermarket, the S-OTP would benefit consumers and society at large, by:
Empowering consumers by ensuring their rights on privacy and widening their choice of service providers;
Boosting innovation and facilitating the digital transformation of mobility and the deployment of a digital ecosystem of services;
Contributing to the European Union’s path to become a frontrunner in connected and autonomous mobility and related services.
The S-OTP concept is in line with the European institutions’ ambitious goals to foster innovation and legislate in a way that works for the modern economy. The initial concept has been enriched to take into account the increased (cyber-)security requirements, by including certification of service providers and a robust approach to the development of secure applications, which consumers and operators can choose to install in their vehicles.
The coalition of associations has fed this concept into the study conducted by TRL on behalf of the European Commission, and invite the European legislators to take into account this detailed and complete solution (which enables consumers, vehicles and independent businesses to go smarter, safer, greener) when assessing legislative options.
Austrian Supreme Court rules that Peugeot Austria has abused market power against independent dealers
26 March 2021
Source: Competition Counseling & Research Peter Thyri
On March 22, 2021 the Austrian Supreme Cartel Court upheld the Cartel Court‘s earlier decision of May 12, 2020 in a legal dispute between Austrian Peugeot dealer Büchl and Peugeot Austria (PSA), that the general importer for Peugeot vehicles in Austria abused its market power vis-à-vis Büchl in violation of Austrian and European competition law. Büchl had turned to the cartel court because, like many other Peugeot dealers in Austria and Europe, it claimed to suffer from PSA‘s suffocating system of requirements and non-transparent reimbursement conditions.
The Supreme Court has banned Peugeot from tying the dealer‘s premium payments to customer satisfaction surveys; reducing the dealer‘s margin if they do not reach sales targets inflated by PSA and competing with dealers through subsidized vehicle prices on the end customer market at PSA’s own, vertically integrated sales outlets. Also, an elaborate control system for guarantee and warranty work and hourly rates that did not cover the dealers costs is prohibited, as those measures make guarantee and warranty work unprofitable for dealers. Finally, PSA may no longer pass on the costs of its mystery shopping and audit system for the new car and workshop business to dealers.
The Supreme Court recognizes that PSA economically forces dealers to take part in promotions and thereby restricting dealers’ freedom of setting their own prices. While the Cartel Court of first instance is requested to further complete its findings and decide anew as to this point, all the other points are now legally binding and must be implemented by PSA within three months time.
The Supreme Court stresses that its decision applies to all contractual relationships in which similar economic dependencies exist and awaits considerable changes in the remuneration system of PSA. The Supreme Court also clearly points to the parallel applicability of European competition law and elaborates on the finding of a dominant position on the part of the importer as well as on the treatment of abusive clauses in contractual relationships under Art 102 TFEU.
PSA's remuneration system must be adjusted within the deadline set by the Supreme Court. For other brands ‘networks – especially those of the newly formed Stellantis-Group directly affected by the decision – the judgement can serve as a valuable guideline to legal safety. It will also have to be discussed how numerous Peugeot dealers subject to the abusive conditions can be reimbursed for the loss in remuneration they suffered over the years as a consequence of PSA’s violation of the prohibition to abuse a dominant position.
CECRA and its Austrian member WKÖ welcome the decision of the Supreme Court as a breakthrough in their decade-long struggle for more fairness in the manufacturer-dealer relationship in Austrian and European car markets. Especially in light of all current radical changes and challenges, the judgment paves the way for a new partnership in the automotive industry.
Electric vehicles – the race for transformation
26 February 2021
In 2020, hybrid electric vehicles made up 11.9% of total passenger car sales across the EU (5.7% in 2019). Electrically-chargeable vehicles accounted for 10.5% of all new car registrations, compared to a 3.0% in 2019. While the European market was cut by approx. 24% of its passenger car sales due to the COVID pandemic, sales of hybrid and electric vehicles exceeded diesel sales in Europe for the first time with more than 900.000 vehicles sold. Germany, Italy and France have seen their sales of electric vehicle explode. According to Xerfi, a consulting firm, this is just the beginning. In France, for example, sales of electric and plug-in hybrids are expected to increase by 30% per year on average to represent 25% of the total market in 2025.
Car manufacturers race to transform their business to meet CO2 emission targets set by governments across the world. The UK government already announced to ban sales of new cars and vans powered by petrol and diesel from 2030. The Norwegian government, determined to take the lead, will interdict the sales by 2025. Car manufacturer Ford is planning all its cars sold in Europe to be electric by 2030. They would invest $1bn converting a vehicle assembly plant in Cologne, Germany, to become its first electric vehicle facility in Europe. The first all-electric cars would start rolling off the production line in 2023.
ACEA’s Director General, Eric-Mark Huitema says in yesterday’s press release that the CO2 targets can only be reached if a dedicated network of charging points right across the EU is deployed. The upcoming revision of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive (AFID) must be used by the European Commission to force member states to deploy one million public charging points across the EU by 2024, and to triple that number to three million by 2029. Likewise, some one thousand public hydrogen stations should be made available for cars and vans before 2030.
CECRA has always spoken out like the European Commission during the high level working groups (Cars 21, Cars 2020 and Gear 2030) in favour of technological neutrality. It is necessary to move forward towards zero CO2 emissions by 2050 but with the necessary transition that this represents and by being open to all technologies, whether electric or hydrogen engines.
CECRA also represents all repairers who have a major role to play in keeping millions of cars on European roads in good condition, as it contributes to better road safety as well as to the environment. For this reason, CECRA is part of several alliances with other European associations. It has recently jointed the ‘European Clean Hydrogen Alliance’.
CECRA welcomes two new members
3 February 2021
ARAN’s new President, Rodrigo Ferreira da Silva, said “our board agreed to apply for a membership within CECRA and as President I welcome this decision as it is very significant, with an ever more challenging future for our sector, only together we grow stronger”.
CEO, Head of Brussels Office of FinMobility, Pasi Moisio said “we are willing and committed to join and strengthen the cooperation between CECRA and FinMobility. FinMobility has several pillars of mobility advocacy (passenger and freight transport, logistics, taxi sector, automotive, infrastructure, driving schools). I am sure that CECRA will also benefit from this teamwork”.
ARAN’s mission is to promote, defend and support the interests of the activities within the automotive sector. It fosters the spirit of solidarity and mutual support among its members, as well as their development. ARAN develops skills and promote activities that boost the interests and the professional development of its members.
FinMobility is a leading voice in the EU for the Finnish employers’ and business organisations in the mobility sector. FinMobility represents 13.500 companies employing 100.000 people. FinMobility cooperates widely and transparently with the EU-institutions, Brussels-based representatives of transport and mobility sectors, business organisations and authorities of the EU member states. We also participate in the activities of our members’ umbrella organisations in the EU
EU passenger car market contracted by 23.7%
2020 worst year on record
19 January 2021
Today, ACEA published its registration figures for the full year 2020.
The EU passenger car market contracted by 23.7% to 9.9 million units as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 saw the biggest yearly drop in car demand since records began, with new-car registrations falling by 3 million units compared to 2019. All 27 EU markets recorded double-digit declines throughout 2020.
Among the region’s biggest car markets, Spain posted the sharpest drop (-32.3%), followed closely by Italy (-27.9%) and France (-25.5%), while full-year losses were significant but less pronounced in Germany (-19.1%).
This drop in sales has a huge impact on the entire automotive value chain and in particular on automotive dealers and repairers represented by CECRA.
CECRA’s European Car Dealers Chairman Peter Daeninck said “These figures are to be taken into account during manufacturers’ sales target negotiations with their authorised network”.
CECRA and ACEA jointly ask the European Commission to provide written assurances to Member States in the issue of end-of-series provisions for vehicles in stock
17 November 2020
Due to the interruptions in sales of automotive vehicles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, CECRA, ACEA and the automotive industry associations urge the European Commission to intervene regarding the postponement of the application dates of several EU pollutant emission and safety standards, as well as flexibilities on the so-called end of series (EoS) provisions for vehicles in stock that manufacturers and dealers were not able to sell before the entry into force of the Euro 6d-TEMP.
Through the European Commission’s guidance during the first lockdown last summer, many Members States introduced flexibilities at national level taking away a significant pressure on automotive importers and sales outlets to meet the end-of-series provisions set in the type-approval framework Regulation EU 2018/858.
CECRA and ACEA see a need for Member States put in place additional end-of-series flexibilities. These flexibilities are essential as the second lockdown-measures will even worsening the situation. Automotive dealerships in several EU countries have to close their sales departments again and are unable to sell their vehicles. As a result, dealers are cumulating a stock of unsold vehicles that meet the current emission standards but not the new Euro 6d ISC‐FCM standards that will enter into force on 1 January 2021.
12 November 2020
On the 10th of November, EC Commissioners Schmit and Breton officially launched the Pact for Skills (P4S). One of the four selected European skill partnerships is the automotive ecosystem. CECRA together with ACEA (European Automotive Manufacturer’s Association), CLEPA (European Association of Automotive Suppliers), ETRMA (European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association), IndustriALL and CEEMET (both social partners) are, amongst others, member of the Pact.
The P4S sets up large-scale partnerships in strategic industrial ecosystems as skills are central to recover from the coronavirus crisis as well as for mastering the digital and green transitions. Businesses, large and small, need skilled people to innovate and grow. Only by joining the forces it is possible to make substantial progress in meeting the challenges to overcome mismatches and shortages in skills. The Pact for Skills promotes joint action to maximise the impact of investing in improving existing skills (upskilling) and training in new skills (reskilling). It calls on industry, employers, social partners, chambers of commerce, public authorities, education and training providers and employment agencies to work together and make a clear commitment to invest in training. The ambition in the field of automotive is to upskill 5% of the workforce each year, which would result in around 700,000 people being upskilled throughout the entire ecosystem.
For more information:
You can hear the recording here
Summary of The Pact for Skills –Skills Partnership for the Automotive Ecosystem
In view of the European Commission’s initiative “Pact for skills”, to be launched on November 10th, CECRA in co-operation with ACEA, CLEPA, ETRMA and many other partners have elaborated a joint proposal for a recovery strategy to deliver and implement a sectorial up & reskilling framework for the automotive value chain
15 October 2020
The automotive ecosystem is facing an unprecedented disruption due to the impact of the covid pandemic as well as the EU goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. It is of crucial importance that this transformation is done in a socially responsible way.
CECRA was associated in the recent roundtable discussion with European Commissioners Nicolas Schmit (Jobs and Social Rights) and Thierry Breton (Internal Market) on 23 September.
Today, CECRA, together with a broad coalition is now jointly calling on the Commission to set up the Pact as a public-private partnership to help the automotive ecosystem cope with the major structural changes ahead.
4 September 2020
Market registrations show in important decrease
17 June 2020
Joint position paper on COVID-19 (focused on the aftermarket) signed by CECRA together with 6 other EU associations. The position paper can be found here.
17 June 2020
CECRA, ACEA and CLEPA sent a letter to the heads of state and government of the 27 EU member states, calling for urgent support for the automotive sector in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. The letter can be found here.
8 June 2020
IIn Austria, the Vienna Cartel Court handed down a very interesting decision on May 12, 2020, at first instance, in a dispute between the Peugeot Büchl dealer and the general importer of Peugeot vehicles in Austria.
26 May 2020
IndustriAll Europe, Ceemet, ACEA, CLEPA, CECRA and ETRMA, the European business organisations and the trade unions for the sector call on the European Commission for a industrial recovery plan.
5 May 2020
Europe's four auto sector associations publish 25-point action plan for successful restart
26 March 2020
European vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, tyre manufacturers, dealers and repairers wrote a joint letter to the European Commission on the COVID-19 crisis
12 March 2020
Odometer manipulation is widespread across the EU and has tremendous consequences for the consumer. CECRA is strongly committed in fighting against such harmful practice.
11 March 2020
It is time for all the stakeholder to build together the intelligent mobility of tomorrow in terms of data access, security and energy. This is essential for Europe and the future of the sector.
04 March 2020
CECRA has been contacted by the contractor chosen by the European Commission as the sole representative of European dealers and repairers to help in the renewal process of the Automotive Block Exemption 461/2010.
24 January 2020
After the Brussels Motor Show, CECRA underlines that the Green Deal will only work if policy makers and the entire automotive sector work hand in hand
27 November 2019
On 26/11/19, a meeting between CECRA's ECD Division and a DG COMP delegation took place in Brussels. The aim of the meeting was to explain the renewal process of the General Block Exemption Regulation 330/2010 and Automotive Block Exemption 461/2010 that respectively expire in May 2022 and May 2023. Both DG COMP and CECRA are working in close collaboration in order to ensure that the automotive sector is taken into account in the new legislative framework regarding competition and the consumer welfare.
22 November 2019
On 19/11/19, a meeting of CECRAs IR division took place in London. Many points concerning the future of Independent Repairers where discussed.
Today, a large number of associations of the automotive sector and mobility services operators, insurers, consumers and SME representatives, with among them CECRA, reaffirmed their call for a legislative solution, ensuring effective remote access to in-vehicle data and functional resources which will guarantee competition, innovation, and free consumer choice.
CECRA organized its Annual Dinner Event at The Hotel in Brussels with great success. Almost all of the federation’s national associations and European dealer councils attended, as the event provides the opportunity to bring together its members once per year and exchange views on the current state of affairs in the sector, as well as to discuss and express their ideas as regards the present and future challenges for cars, vans and trucks dealers and repairers.
1 April 2019
Today, a large number of associations, representing the car dealers’ interest throughout the world (CECRA – EU; NADA – US; CADA – China; CADA – Canada; FADA – India; FENEBRAVE – Brazil; ROAD – Russia) gathered in Geneva - on the occasion of the kick-off ceremony of the 89th International Motor Show - to discuss the various issues arising from access to data, both from dealers and from the vehicles they sell, the unprecedented opportunities stemming from connected-car technology, and the role that car dealers will play in the future.
14 December 2018
After the success of the first edition last year, the adventure of the European Startup Prize for mobility will continue in 2019, co-founded by BCG and Via ID, with the participation of several other stakeholders among which CECRA, Groupe ADP, RATP, GRDF, Europcar Mobility Group, Grimaldi Studio, and with the support of Karima Delli, President of the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament.
Today, 22 November 2018, the TRAN Committee (Transport and Tourism) of the European Parliament has adopted a draft own-initiative report on Autonomous driving in European transport which calls on the European Commission to introduce a robust legislative framework ensuring the removal of any obstacle to the use of in-vehicle data before January 2020.
21 November 2019
The European Council for Motor Trades and Repairs (CECRA) organized - together with AFCAR, an alliance of several European associations representing automotive industry and mobility services operators as well as motorist consumers - a policy event in presence of representatives of the European Commission and the European Parliament, to discuss access to vehicles, their data and driver interaction functions.
A coalition of 7 organisations welcome today’s vote in the European Parliament calling on the European Commission to take decisive action against odometer fraud throughout the European Union. This is a significant step towards restoring consumer trust in the used car market. Read more.
8 July 2021
In the European Commission’s communication on the ‘European Green Deal’ published end 2019, it was announced, the Commission would by June 2021, propose its revised legislation on CO2 emission performance standards for cars and vans.
Within the so-called ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package, the Commission is currently finalizing its proposal for a directive amending Directive 2003/87/EC and decision (EU) 2015/1814 to strengthen the EU Emissions Trading System and extend it in line with the Union’s increased climate ambition for 2030. Once this Directive is approved, Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by 31 December 2023 at the latest.
CECRA, the European Council for Motor Trades and Repairs, representing automotive sales and repairs businesses at European level are looking forward to take stock of the Commission’s proposal and to examine whether it is achievable within the set timeframe.
Jean-Charles Herrenschmidt, President of CECRA says: “it is necessary to move forward towards zero-and low-emission vehicles and thereby achieve the Commission’s goal of a carbon-neutral Europe. The automotive sales and repair businesses welcome all new technologies to reduce CO2 emissions, however, it is essential to move forward offering a certain transitional period which is crucial to prepare our businesses for the upcoming challenges and thereby ensuring high qualified maintenance and repair of the cars of tomorrow.”
It goes without saying that the entire automotive value chain, including dealers and repairers, is facing enormous challenges. An extended infrastructure of recharging and refuelling stations is crucial for the deployment of massive sales of zero- and low-emission vehicles. European customers will only be willing to shift towards these vehicles if the infrastructure is available. Automotive manufacturers are questioning the speed of its deployment. If tomorrow, customers remain reluctant who will buy these vehicles?
CECRA is therefore requesting the Commission to take into account a transition period which is needed to transform all stakeholders’ businesses as well as to set the deployment of recharging and refuelling stations into high gear.