Suppliers reiterate the need for an automotive-specific legislation on access to data

  • The aftermarket community gathered in Brussels with policymakers and other key EU stakeholders for the leading conference in its field
  • Several legislative proposals defining the future of the automotive aftermarket are currently on top of the Commission’s agenda
  • CLEPA sees high pressure on the need for a sector-specific legislation to ensure fair and equal access for all providers to create a competitive market for the benefit of consumers

The automotive aftermarket, dedicated to spare parts, components and increasingly to software-based technology and systems of a sold vehicle, is an essential dimension of the automotive value chain. In times where the availability of new vehicles is being challenged by geopolitical events and supply chain disruptions, the aftermarket has an important role to play in providing repair and maintenance services, as well as tailoring features for the existing fleet.

This sector, valued at €241 billion in Europe, is closely following legislative files at EU level that will significantly influence its future. To facilitate the exchange on the latest EU policies and market trends, CLEPA, the European association of automotive suppliers, organised its annual Aftermarket Conference. This time, in its 13th edition, and with a special focus on access to in-vehicle data, dataplaces and mobility use cases, the event was held in Brussels on 1 and 2 June, gathering over 200 participants.

The event brought together several top-level speakers from the industry as well as regulators, including the presence of the European Commission. In her keynote speech, Sigrid de Vries, CLEPA’s Secretary General, highlighted: “After three years of an ongoing crisis since the outbreak of COVID-19, today our industry is facing multiple transitions that will impact the sector on employment and value add. Connectivity, more automated functions in vehicles, and the electrification of powertrains are the next challenges, and those will impact the aftermarket business.”

She went on to say, “The economic situation has increasingly brought the aftermarket into focus and most suppliers today rely on its revenues and profits. In parallel, sustainability has gained ground on the agenda of legislators and the financial markets and taxonomy regulations are raising the bar for access to financial resources. This underscores the questions of future required skills, talents and how to attract the younger generations to feel confident about the automotive sector and more specifically, the aftermarket”.

The human transformation of the sector was addressed by Olivier Legrand, Global Head of Automotive at AIMS International, who provided an analysis on the attraction and retention of talent in the automotive aftermarket.

Mark Nicklas, Head of Unit Mobility Unit at the European Commission’s DG GROW, kicked-off the second day of the conference with an overview on planned aftermarket-relevant regulations. In his intervention, Nicklas stressed that the complexity and specifics of services based on in-vehicle data will require specific definitions and a tailored approach complementing the EU Data Act.

The use and monetisation of in-vehicle data was presented by Roland Berger and Caruso, followed by a panel discussion on the relevance of dataplaces guided by Frost & Sullivan with experts from vehicle manufactures (Ford), roadside assistance (ANWB), parts distributors (ATR), and repairers (ZDK). The discussion confirmed the strong desire from all parties to speed up the deployment of data-based services, but also highlighted the major obstacles as the missing transparency on available data, the lack of a common data set, and complex procedures for the management of the user consent.

The last part of the event was dedicated to four best practice examples presented by Arval, Bridgestone Mobility Solutions, Michelin Connected Fleet, and Groupauto International. The audience gained a flavour of what is possible in terms of use cases and data-based mobility services/products far beyond fleet management.

Frank Schlehuber, CLEPA’s Senior Consultant Market Affairs closed the 13th edition of this conference. During his speech, he commented:

“The aftermarket is becoming increasingly complex, influenced by regulatory measures and new technological developments. CLEPA sees that competition is growing when it comes to getting access to the repair and maintenance business, and we feel it is essential that consumers always have free choice to select their repairer of trust. A robust regulatory framework is needed to maintain a competitive balance of different repair channels.”

“In our way to sustainable mobility, the aftermarket can play a key role by keeping vehicles longer on our roads and using spare parts from sustainable sources. During the Aftermarket Conference, we have seen impressive examples making use of modern vehicle connectivity and creating value for vehicle owners, but also for fleets or businesses”.

The next edition of the CLEPA Aftermarket Conference is planned for 2023.

For more information about this event, please contact Jose Almeida.


    In: Aftermarket, CLEPA News
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