The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has welcomed the European Commission’s statement setting out the future legal framework for the sale of vehicles and aftersales services following the expiry of the current block exemption regulation in May 2010.
 
The report recommended the current regulation for the sale of vehicles should be extended until 2013. For the aftermarket, the commission is now considering and consulting on whether general competition rules or refined sector specific rules should be applied. The auto industry has until the end of September to respond to the commission’s proposals, following which further announcements are anticipated.
 
SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: “The commission’s statement recognises the importance of a smooth transition of the current regulation and a welcome desire to find the optimum solution for the aftermarket.
 
“[It] has recognised the high level of competition in the motor industry and this decision gives much needed reassurance and stability to the market during the current economic difficulties.”
 
SMMT said the current regulation had contributed to positive consumer benefits through healthy competition in all areas of the industry and it supported the EU’s desire to simplify regulation.