Voluntary code of conduct by the competition commission to guide operations in the south african vehicle repair, servicing and parts supply sectors
- NAAMSA to submit further proposals to the competition authorities
NAAMSA represents the interests of vehicle manufacturers, importers and distributors in South Africa. The industry has considered the proposed Voluntary Code of Conduct by the Competition Commission and, from an industry point of view, there is acceptance of the principle to broaden participation in the automotive value chain in South Africa. However, it is important that this should be done in an orderly, structured manner taking into account legitimate commercial interests, international best practices and the viability of franchise dealers and automotive companies in the SA automotive value chain.
Ultimately, the challenge confronting South Africa is how to balance social imperatives with the legitimate interests of stakeholders, particularly the industry’s customers. Proposed changes should also take into account the intensely competitive nature of the industry, the legal agreements governing the relationship between automotive companies, dealers and service providers, intellectual property provisions and related factors – as well as the rights of consumers to product safety and quality of service. Automotive companies are the custodians of their respective brands and remain responsible for the safety and operation of their products whether purchased, serviced or repaired. There can be no compromise on customer safety and quality of service. Brand and reputational protection comprises singular focus on the interests of consumers and their safety, particularly in respect of quality of parts, safety critical repairs and servicing.
Automotive companies accept most of the principles in the Draft Voluntary Code of Conduct by the Competition Commission, however, the proposed operational application thereof needs further extensive consideration and review. In this regard, NAAMSA is in the process of preparing a response regarding, amongst other things, in-warranty work, training and other elements – for submission to the Competition Commission by end October, 2018.
NAAMSA envisages an evolving process which will involve further discussions with the Competition authorities. NAAMSA also intends to engage the Ministry of Economic Development on matters relating to transformation and Competition in the Automotive Value Chain.