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Brussels, 15 November 2000

Commission adopts evaluation report on motor vehicle distribution and servicing under Regulation 1475/95

The European Commission has adopted an evaluation report on Regulation 1475/95 on motor vehicle distribution and servicing agreements(1) which lays down specific EU competition rules for this particular sector. The report is a factual analysis of the current regime a "block exemption" from the normal rules which vehicle manufacturers can use as a binding framework for their distribution systems - and as such does not contain any proposals for the future. It analyses in particular whether or not the assumptions on which the Regulation is based are still valid and whether the objectives that it pursues have been met. Interested third parties who wish to comment on the report should do so before 16 January 2001. A hearing will be organised in February 2001.

The report comes to the conclusion that the block exemption has not achieved part of the aims stated by the Commission in 1995 when it renewed its permission to use selective distribution networks for the sale of motor cars. Consumers in particular do not seem to derive from this distribution system the fair share of the benefits of the creation of a European single market in 1993.

Before the end of the year 2001, the Commission intends to publish proposals for the new motor vehicle distribution and servicing regime that will be applicable after Regulation 1475/95 expires on 30 September 2002. The proposals will take into account comments received from interested parties and views aired at the hearing. The new framework will be decided by the Commission in the first half of the year 2002 at the latest.

Additional background information:

The evaluation report on Regulation 1475/95 had to be drawn up by the Commission by 31 December 2000 pursuant to Article 11 (3) of the Regulation.

The methodology used for the preparation of the report was the following:

In August/September 1999, eight different questionnaires(2) were sent to interested parties: car manufacturers and the associations of consumers, dealers, independent repairers, independent resellers and intermediaries, independent importers, spare part producers, and to some Internet operators. In total 117 questionnaires were sent, to which 101 replies have been received. The report is based on these replies, some recent studies on the motor vehicle industry and on motor vehicle distribution, the Commission's biannual car price report and also the Commission's own experience in dealing with competition issues within the motor vehicle industry.

The report as well as details on the hearing will be published on the Internet as from 15 November 2000 under:

Comments on the report should be forwarded to the following address:

European Commission

Competition DG, Directorate F

J-70 1/93

rue de la Loi 200

B-1049 Bruxelles/Brussel

or FAX: 0032-2-29.69.800

(1) Commission Regulation (EC) No 1475/95 of 28 June 1995 on the application of Article 81(3) of the Treaty to certain categories of motor vehicle distribution and servicing agreements, OJ L 145, 29.6.1995, p.25.


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