GERMANY: VW plans new dealer contracts ahead of EU sales reform
Volkswagen plans to write new contracts by Oct. 1, 2003, when the first changes take effect, it said in a press statement. The contracts will be uniform throughout Europe.
The new EU Commission rules reform the current 'Block Exemption' for the automotive retailing sector from EU competition laws. Currently, carmakers control the bulk of European distribution through a network of captive dealers in defined territories, as well as effectively controlling service and repair networks.
From October 2005, car dealers will be free to set up sales points anywhere in the EU and will not be bound by location contracts tying them to a specific territory.