Case Study

Note on the European car retailing and servicing industry

22 pages
November 2003
Reference: IMD-5-0611

Starting in 1992, European regulators turned their attention to car retailing. According to the EU, the intra-European market for car retailing and servicing was not really functioning. In spite of repeated complaints and heavy fines levied against some manufacturers, price harmonization was not any closer. But all this was going to change. Starting in October 2002, the “block exemption,” protecting car manufacturers from anti-trust laws, was going to be lifted. At last, car retailing could function properly. Car companies lobbied heavily against the changes, but without success. Under the new system, dealers could carry multiple brands and many other restrictions were removed. The possible implications were far-reaching. This note tackles car retailing and deregulation from different angles. Participants will learn about the car companies’ perspective, the difficulties of dealers to operate profitably and the actual decision-making process of customers. The note then explains in great detail the proposed changes, possible scenarios and how different car companies in the luxury, mass-market and import market are reacting to all of this.

Deregulation, Block Exemption, Franchising, Channel Conflict, Margin Structure, Automotive
Published Sources
© 2003
Available Languages
Case clearing houses
IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]


Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Discover our latest research
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics