Call for code of conduct between car dealers and manufacturers

The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) has repeated its stance that the majority of vehicle manufacturers in Europe have been slow in establishing a good code of conduct with respective dealers.

Despite NFDA lobbying the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) to develop a comprehensive code of conduct in the industry, relations between manufacturers and dealers have remained stagnant.

Sue Robinson NFDA director said dealers had been spurned by unfair treatment from manufacturers in the form of terminations without cause and onerous standards, just two examples highlighted in two European Commission (EC) consultations in 2011 and 2013 and as part of the NFDA market study conducted in 2012.

EC has announced that it will initiate a legally binding solution unless an appropriate code of conduct is agreed.

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

“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’. ”