The whole car industry in Europe is experiencing great changes, mostly due to a new regulation imposed by the European Union of the Block Exemption. Aimed at increasing competition in car distribution, those new rules will have an impact on every actor involved, from manufacturers to car dealers and it will re-shape the whole industry. A new power balance will come up as manufacturers will loose some of their influence to car dealers on the distribution process. Let's focus on three of the main actors in the case: Europacar, Car Import Logistics (CIL) and Car Import Dealers. Europacar is a car manufacturer and one of the most important brands in Norway. CIL is the logistics department of Car Import, the importer for Europacar in Norway. Finally, Car Import dealers are responsible for selling Europacar cars to end-customers.
[...] HWB Management Briefing March 2006 : Impact of Block Exemption on car dealers Speech by Mario Monti (European commissioner for competition policy) at the 9th Annual European automobile conference: Car retailing at a crossroads: The new legal framework for car distribution (February 2003) Distribution Network in transition (Slides) : Gøran Persson, Leif Magnus Jensen Bohrman, E., Stenbrink, P. & Rosenberg, J. ”Overhauling European Auto Distribution,” McKinsey Quarterly, Issue Speech by Mario Monti (European commissioner for competition policy) at the 9th Annual European automobile conference: Car retailing at a crossroads: The new legal framework for car distribution (February 2003) Bohrman, E., Stenbrink, P. [...]
[...] Consequently, there will be fewer car showrooms but larger and bigger and customers will have to travel further to buy a new car. They will be able to compare price on the Internet but their will be fewer chances to play off one local dealer against another for the best trade-in deal for a particular new car. Another impact of the Block Exemption new rules will be an increase in dealer's operating costs since fierce inter-brand competition will continue to keep new car prices and margins down. [...]
[...] Therefore, Europacar will influence the Norwegian distribution system through its agreement to Car Import that will pass on these requirements to its division CIL. Car Import Dealers are at the downstream end of the process; they pass on customer orders and use CIL services. Being customers for CIL, they influence the distribution process through the ordering phase: CIL passes on orders based on the dealers 'requirements and on speculation and these orders will condition the flow of cars CIL will have to take care of. [...]
[...] CIL being the logistics department of Car Import, it is responsible for the flow of goods once the finished cars purchased by Car Import to Europacar arrive in Norway. It only steps in the process half-way through since Europacar Transport (division of Europacar in charge of logistics flows in Europe) takes care of all the activities necessary from the manufacturer's place to the arrival in Norway. Therefore, there is a share of responsibilities and importance in the distribution process between Europacar Transport and CIL: Europacar Transport is the major actor in the distribution process outside Norway and CIL in Norway. [...]
[...] CIL will have to implement a more efficient process of delivery and a better control of its costs, acting on the fill truck rate for example. However, CIL has to keep working with all its dealers, whatever their size and their status (depending from Car Import or Independent) since Gadde (2004) says that strength of the dealer network” is one of the greatest advantages as it enables a company get much closer to customers”. Consequently CIL could take advantage of the asset of its dealer's network as it could increase its level of activity. [...]
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