Memorandum by the Automotive Distribution
END OF LIFE VEHICLES (REGULATIONS TO BE BASED
UPON EU DIRECTIVE 2000/53/EC)
Automotive Distribution Federation (ADF)
The ADF is a not for profit organisation representing
manufacturers, importers and independent wholesalers (motor factors)
of vehicle parts and accessories.
Membership of the ADF includes a wide range
of companies varying in size from global automotive parts manufacturers
(many of whom supply components for use when vehicles are assembled"Original
Equipment" or "OE suppliers"), through national
and regional networks of parts distributors, down to local family
businesses wholesaling parts and other items to their local garage
The ADF was established in 1930 as the Motor
Factors Association, changing its title in 1990 to reflect a broadening
of its membership across the whole sector of vehicle parts distribution.
Policy is decided by an elected Council of members and executed
by a small permanent secretariat.
The Federation has no commercial undertakings
with its members (other than by Membership subscriptions) and
so can present an authoritative and unbiased view of issues pertaining
to the independent automotive aftermarket.
Should any further information regarding the
ADF and its activities be required, please contact the Federation's
Description of the Independent Automotive Aftermarket
The "Aftermarket" is the sector of
the motor industry that deals with maintaining, servicing and
repairing vehicles after they have been put into service
"on the road".
The "Independent" sector is that part
of the Aftermarket that is not linked to the distribution chain
organised and controlled by the Vehicle Assemblers (VAs) and their
Parts and other materials required for servicing
or repairing a vehicle may be sourced either from a franchised
dealer or through an independent distributor (motor factor). Dealers
would tend to supply items solely for the marque for which they
are a dealer, whilst motor factors would supply parts to suit
all marques or makes.
Motor factors generally source their stock from
the original equipment supplier of the parts, although there are
a number of non-OE suppliers into the market and many OE suppliers
supply parts for vehicles for which they do not have original
Parts supply has regularly been an arena in
which claim and counter-claim of "poor", "sub-standard",
"copy", "pirate", "spurious" and
other derogatory terms have been bandied about by the Vehicle
Assemblers (VAs) in an effort to obtain a foothold in a sector
of the market in which, for many years, they have failed to take
The Independent Aftermarket has found that,
in considering proposed legislation, vigilance is required to
ensure that VAs' misleading statements regarding the quality and
suitability of parts supplied through the independent sector are
not allowed to go unchallenged. It is with this background that
we wish to comment upon "End of Life Vehicles" proposals.
Commentary on specific clauses
As identified in Section 2, our perspective
on ELV legislation is coloured by the activities of various Vehicle
Assemblers (VAs) in trying to establish a dominant market position
vis-a"-vis the independent suppliers of replacement vehicle
parts and accessories. The independent parts aftermarket wishes
only to ensure access to the market and efficient handling of
parts requiring scrapping or recycling.
For that reason the submission made to the European
Commission by the European sub-committee (CLEDIPA) of our "umbrella"
international association (FIGIEFA), concentrated upon the insertion
of an "anti-monopolisation" clause into Article 3(1)
of the Regulations. This amendment provides that the Directive
"shall apply irrespective of how the vehicle has been serviced
and irrespective of whether it is equipped with components supplied
by the VA or with other components which have been fitted as spare
or replacement parts".
This amendment was accepted by the Commission
and is included in the text. However, it is possible that even
this phrase may be misused by VAs seeking methods by which sections
of the motor industry; ie the independent (non-franchised) dealers;
may be disadvantaged. Ideally the independent parts aftermarket
would have substituted "as replacement or retrofit parts".
That protection for the consumer, through the
inclusion of the "anti-monopolisation clause", is maintained
is, in our view, essential.
Role of Remanufacturing
We understand that there are new proposals for
inclusion in the Directive regarding aspects of recycling and
recoverability from vehicles at the end of their life. It appears
that Vehicle Assemblers (VAs) will in the future be required to
give a list of how a vehicle is composed in order that it may
be recycled most efficiently. In this context, we understand,
definitions of what constitutes a "re-used" part are
to be agreed.
We feel that considerable effort will be required
to establish clear definitions of recycling and recoverability.
These definitions will require statutory status and means will
have to be found to ensure the consumer is protected from misuse
of the terms and misuse of the parts themselves. There are significant
dangers from the unregulated reuse of vehicle components.
are all terms that are currently misused by various sections of
the motor trade. Depending upon the component concerned, and its
use in a safety-critical section of the motor vehicle, there is
a varying scale of acceptability for reuse of components.
As examples: A rear light cluster incorporating
tail, stop and indicator lights is easily transferred from a scrap
vehicle to another in service with little chance of compromising
the safety of the vehicle.
However, reuse of a brake disc calliper from
an old, or crashed, vehicle will require expert engineering knowledge
and equipment to ensure it operates effectively and does not compromise
the safety of the vehicle and its occupants. Similarly, steering
and suspension components, electrical and electronic units, air
bags and other passive safety system, will all require expert
examination and detailed reworking of the item. Even away from
the "swap it over" mentality of the scrap yard, there
are still degrees of reworking components; from reconditioning
through rebuilding to remanufacturing.
In order for the legitimate remanufacturing
companies to perform their role and, in so doing, protect the
environment, they need access to component performance information
from the original supplier of that component or from the Vehicle
Assembler who installed it. This is particularly important in
relation to components which are either engine management units
or report to those units. Lack of the appropriate data, in a usable
form, will hamper the efficient recycling of components.
Significant assessments on the problems of,
and benefits from, recycling of parts has been done by two major
industry groups. CLEPAthe European Association of Automotive
Suppliers and the European chapter of APRAthe American
Parts Rebuilders Association. A copy of an APRA booklet on this
topic is enclosed.
The ADF supports the views of these two organisations
on the topic of recycling parts.
The ADF is convinced that the measures included
in the "End of Life Vehicles" Directive will prove beneficial
to the environment and to the benefit of vehicle owners, as long
as the current competitive elements in the market are allowed
to continue. The attempts by Vehicle Assemblers to distort market
forces and reduce competition, to the detriment of the consumer,
must be resisted.
For the further protection of the consumer and
in the interests of road safety, we feel that measures to regulate
the supply of recycled parts need to be introduced. We, along
with other trade groups, are ready to assist in any further examination
of this problem area and would welcome the opportunity to develop
an industry-wide code of conduct.
The ADF will be pleased to offer any further
information or advice deemed necessary by Members of the Committee.