Why a Right to Repair Campaign?
Cars have become more and more “computers on wheels”. While technological innovations provide better emissions control, greater safety and more comfort, they have made it increasingly challenging to service or repair a vehicle. Without full and fair access to technical information, multibrand diagnostic tools and test equipment, replacement parts and training, the independent automotive aftermarket will no longer be able to provide European motorists with the quality service and parts they deserve in the aftermarket care of their vehicles.
This is a very real challenge, as the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (EC) 1400/2002, which is currently in place to protect competition and consumer choice in the parts and repair sector, will expire in 2010, its renewal being uncertain. The Euro 5 Regulation, which will enter into force in September 2009, will cover access to all technical information for newly typeapproved vehicles and can thus not fill the gap for the existing vehicle park.
Many local and European policymakers have very limited knowledge of these challenges and of the contribution the independent automotive aftermarket makes to the EU’s economy and society.
Unless we act now the future of the independent automotive aftermarket and freedom of consumers to choose is in jeopardy.
Reasons to support the Right to Repair Campaign
Dynamic SMEs in a competitive automotive aftermarket
The 3.5 million people employed in component production, distribution and the servicing of vehicles in Europe’s independent multibrand automotive aftermarket play a vital role in providing affordable mobility, promoting consumer choice, and maintaining safe and clean vehicles on Europe’s roads. As an example, motorists spend annually approximately 140 billion Euro on components and services (i.e. including labour) for their passenger cars. 665.000 companies, predominantly small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), provide competitive components and quality services in the European aftermarket. There is a need for a regulatory environment that ensures effective competition in the automotive aftermarket, thereby giving these aftermarket SMEs a chance to compete and a chance to stay in business.
Maintain jobs and a sound SME landscape in Europe
SME entrepreneurs form the backbone of Europe’s independent and multibrand parts and repair market. They offer repair services at close proximity of consumers and help to keep jobs and skills local. They sustain and create employment not only in major cities, but in every corner of Europe’s urban and rural communities, where daily human activity is most dependent on road-based mobility.
Affordable mobility for consumers – throughout the entire life of a vehicle
An Independent Aftermarket means that competition is maintained. This is good news for consumers and the economy, as motorists are not forced to rely on the vehicle manufacturer as the exclusive supply source for parts and repair services for the aftermarket care of their vehicles. Motorists should be able to choose what is done to their property and who executes the work on what is, after all, their car.
Safety and sustainable benefits for the environment
The technical advances in emissions control contribute to global environmental protection. In order to ensure that vehicles conform to EU emission and safety standards not only when they leave brand-newly the factory but throughout their lives, regular inspection, servicing and repair is required. With fair and full access to information, multi-brand tools and equipment, parts and training, independent operators are able to make affordable, safe and clean mobility possible throughout the entire life cycle of the vehicle.