Members of the European Parliament are pressing for a partial delay to the introduction of the European Commission's block exemption reforms, by proposing a two-year delay to the introduction of the right of dealers to establish themselves in foreign member states.

Insisting that this should be introduced in October 2005, parliament's economic and monetary affairs committees agreed a raft of other amendments, which are not binding on the Commission.

MEPs also asked that Brussels prove that such a freedom was actually necessary to promote cross-border competition before going ahead. The committee's aim is to give small and medium-sized dealers time to adjust to this new right, to effectively compete with larger chains.

Another proposed amendment would ensure that after-sales services, if subcontracted, are in future provided near to a dealer and the committee has also called for a change allowing manufacturers to limit the number of repairers.

That said, the MEPs tabled amendments encouraging dealers to promote a wider choice of different brands in showrooms; the key strand of the Commission's proposal to loosen the block exemption ties between vehicle sales and manufacturers.