Allan Amey, LDV’s chief executive, today added his voice to industry concerns about proposals for future European legislation to replace the current Block Exemption legislation, which ties dealers to motor manufacturers and which expires in September next year.

LDV is a small, UK-based independent commercial van maker that recently announced that it has severed all formal links with former shareholder Daewoo Motor following agreements reached in August.

Speaking about the European Commission’s review of Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulations 1475/95, Mr Amey stressed the need for consideration of specific issues relating to commercial vehicles.

“The European Commission has appointed Arthur Anderson Business Consulting to analyse the specific issue of commercial vehicle distribution as part of a more general study. The commercial vehicle market is very different from that of cars and we hope that separate legislation will differentiate the two sectors.”

Mr Amey also stressed that customer safety must play a critical role in legislation. “While we are very much in favour of a more open European market, safety must remain a priority in our industry and any new legislation should take into consideration smaller repairers and garages, who many customers rely on, for both convenience as well as good service.”

Concluding, Mr Amey said: “It’s a misconception that a break up of the present franchise system will lead to greater consumer benefits. Prices are already falling fast under the present system and a proliferation of unregulated sellers and repairers could spell disaster for safety as well as affordable quality standards.”

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