Importance of aftermarket recognised in EU report

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive

The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF) has welcomed the publishing of the Ricardo report that highlights the current difficulties faced by the trade in obtaining access to Repair and Maintenance Information (RMI) and the repercussions this has throughout the supply chain.

The report is based on questionnaires returned earlier in the year from all sections of the aftermarket. The “big picture analysis” focuses on the entire aftermarket supply chain and stresses the importance of parts distributors and wholesalers, tool manufacturers and data publishers in ensuring the aftermarket remains a competitive sector.

Concerning parts distributors, the report highlighted that access to unequivocal part identification is one of the biggest issues affecting their competitiveness. “The problem of multiple parts orders and returns causes unnecessary logistical and administrative burdens,” which according to Ricardo-AEA could “potentially harm consumers through higher prices.”

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “This is one area that has always been a real issue with parts distributors and garages alike and it is great news that this problem has finally been recognised.”

The report also emphasised the importance of third party providers to independent garages in obtaining access to Retail & Maintenance Information (RMI). The report also said it was critical that multi-brand tools and services provided economically viable solutions to remain competitive.

Going forward, the report detailed a number of recommendations aimed at improving current access to RMI and the need for the EU commission to provide additional guidelines.

These recommendations included better clarity and quality of OEM data at reasonable costs and better enforcement procedures to check compliance and for the investigation of complaints.

Williamson added: “The report confirms the difficulties and subsequent issues that current access to RMI provides and we will work closely with our FIGIEFA colleagues to ensure the proposed recommendations and improvements are recognised as part of the revision of the Euro 5 and the Vehicle Type-Approval Framework legislation.”

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