Cheaper auto parts in France from 2023 as law ends monopoly

Exterior components for cars in France could be up to 30% cheaper from 2023, as a measure partially removing automakers’ monopoly on supplying many parts is adopted.

This decision has been demanded by professional organizations and driver associations for decades and will now become a reality after the supreme constitutional authority, the Constitutional Council, validated a new climate law, including the measure that was introduced as an amendment by senators.

It is expected to enter into force in January 2023.

Proponents of the change say France has some of the highest prices for spare car parts in the world due to the monopoly, originally introduced in the 1970s after a series of accidents blamed on cheap spare parts failing to great speed.

The bodywork, windows, headlights and mirrors are the parts where manufacturers have had a monopoly – the parts most often replaced after an accident.

“This is great news and we expect there to be 30% savings on parts,” said Mathieu Séguran of the Fédération des Syndicates de la Distribution Automobile. The connection.

FSDA is the trade body primarily representing independent garages and parts distributors.

He said price reductions could be even greater if the government removed monopoly rights altogether.

Under the new law, glass will be taken out of the monopoly from 2023, but for the other parts concerned, only “first level” automotive suppliers, those who supply car manufacturers directly, will have from this date the right to sell all pieces to the public. themselves.

Other manufacturers have to wait until a period of 10 years has passed since the part was first registered in France, which usually corresponds to the launch of a new car model.

As models are generally changed every three to five years, this means that only older cars will benefit fully.

“Even with the change, France remains an exception in Europe and we will fight in Brussels to try to ensure greater European harmonisation,” Mr Séguran said.

He said the law will ensure that manufacturers will continue to honor warranties if parts from outside their network are used.

He added that he was confident that OEMs will put parts directly to market, even if that could upset the manufacturers who are their main customers.

“The 2023 implementation date means they can get used to the idea,” he said.

Research by the FSDA showed that prices for auto parts affected by the monopoly had risen 11% over the past three years.

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