The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) welcomes today's decision by the European Commission (DG MARKT) to adopt its ‘European Retail Action Plan’ and consult on measures to tackle unfair business to business trading practices.

Practices that deviate from good commercial conduct, good faith and fair dealing - many of which were identified in the NFDA's 2012 Market Study as harming dealers in the automotive sector - need to be addressed urgently, particularly given the removal of sector-specific BER safeguards later this year.

The Commission's views are included in a Green Paper, which outlines the Commission's concerns, areas of particular focus and possible proposals. The Commission invites interested parties to submit their responses for consultation by 30 April this year. There is still a way to go and, indeed, the Commission will need to be ambitious in terms of the scope and extent of any solution. That said, today's announcement represents a very positive move in the right direction towards a more balanced and fairer deal for NFDA members and, indirectly, consumers.

Sue Robinson commented “NFDA has long campaigned for a fair market. At the heart of the NFDA's call is the need for a transparent supply chain, predictable contractual terms that recognise the substantial investments dealers make and proportionate freedoms for dealers to manage their own businesses without excessive interference."

“Following a number of positive meetings with the Commission last year, as well as reports identifying the significant unfair trading practices experienced by dealers, the NFDA sees this as a key step towards improving the market for dealers and consumers and looks forward to further consultation with the relevant departments in Brussels.”


Notes for editors:

Keely Scanlan, Press Officer

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The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses.