arm. Almost unnoticed, this innovation is “progress” for motorists

The automotive aftermarket is now open to competition. (©Jean-Paul BARBIER/La Manche Press)

This a novelty between, it was almost ignored car repairers. since 1er January 2023Article 32 of the “Climate and Sustainability” Law Official Journal in August 2021partially opens up the production and sale of visible spare parts to competition, thereby partially ending the legal monopoly of car manufacturers. France.

So-called “visible” parts such as lights, hoods and other fenders were preserved until the New Year. Intellectual property such as French manufacturers Renault, Peugeot Where Citroën. Specifically, mechanics and carriage makers they were obliged to provide for themselves at home. This liberalization of the market, which came into force a few days ago, is applied in two stages.

Insurance, the big winners?

What will be the real impact on the portfolio of car drivers? “It won’t change much,” says Pascal Renault, director of Sodiama, a spare parts distribution company across the channel. Until now, French manufacturers have been able to maintain a monopoly on these spare parts, which was a way for them to maintain control over prices.
It is a damaging fact when we know that most European countries have been liberalizing their markets for more than two decades. Even if aftermarket parts cost less and are now available 10 years after the design of original equipment parts, they will primarily benefit insurance companies.
“Replacing a wing or a mirror often happens after a collision and is covered by insurance,” explains the specialist, who is also president of the Norman car company Decharenton, which owns Sodiama. . Therefore, there is little chance for insurance companies to lower insurance premiums after this innovation.

“Adaptable”, not the first choice

Common to all glass parts (windshield and side window). Manufacturers of “originally compatible” equipment – that is, produced glasses for glasses new cars and which should meet specification highly accurate – can freely produce and market glass parts provided by the manufacturer.

These are equivalent, quality parts. We have no problem with these. The product is exactly the same as the original, at the same price. Only the packaging changes.

A coachman from Cherbourg-en-Cotentin

This includes so-called “independent” equipment manufacturers, suppliers of “adaptable” parts.

A boost for drivers?

the arrival of this law is accepted as progress for consumers “, according to the Competition Authority. Indeed, the cost of replacing one of these “adaptable” parts should theoretically be lower. However, most mechanics and other bodybuilders use them very little: “The quality not on schedule. They are very rarely used,” assure the two in the Cherbourg sector (Manche).

When you like your job, when you want to do well, you choose origin or equivalent.

A carriage manufacturer based in Cherbourg

Therefore, the motorist will have the opportunity to get a reduced price in exchange for lower quality repairs.

for other visible spare parts such as wing mirrorthey are titles or even lightsonly “original equipment” manufacturers, e.g Valeo, will be able to market them alongside the producers. “Independents” will have to wait 10 years after registering a design or model of a part, compared to the previous 25 years.

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