French Agency Wants to See More Competition in Auto Service

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A French reg­u­la­to­ry agency would like to see automak­ers like PSA Peu­geot Cit­roen and Renault SA open up their dom­i­na­tion of parts sup­ply, to . Car­mak­ers “have a ver­i­ta­ble legal monop­oly on more than 70 per­cent of the sales of parts, and a duop­oly with parts mak­ers on the remain­ing 30 per­cent” of the mar­ket for vis­i­ble parts — such as mir­rors, lights, and bumpers, accord­ing to France’s agency and its study. Car­mak­ers should also clar­i­fy war­ran­ty con­tracts regard­ing whether own­ers can ser­vice their cars out­side the manufacturer’s own repair net­work with­out jeop­ar­diz­ing their cov­er­age, the reg­u­la­tor said.

As French automak­ers face declin­ing new vehi­cle sales, they’re rely­ing more on parts and ser­vice rev­enue, and they gen­er­ate more prof­it from repair and main­te­nance than car sales, accord­ing to the study. Auto­mo­tive trade groups didn’t care for the study very much, and crit­i­cized it for being erro­neous and unre­al­is­tic in its rec­om­men­da­tions that wouldn’t bring ben­e­fits to con­sumers, and that would grave­ly injure the French auto indus­try, busi­ness, and employ­ment.

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