In August 2021, the Constitutional Council validated the liberalization of auto spare parts. This decision is an important victory for the Federation of Automobile Distribution (FEDA), which does not want to stop there.
The amendment tabled by the Senate is also in line with the way of life of many French people, which is more oriented towards “Do It Yourself”.
In France, the auto parts market has exploded in recent years. Today, it represents 33 billion euros in earnings per year. This astronomical recipe supports more than 8,000 specialized brands on the subject, throughout the territory.
However, the auto parts market is not free. Manufacturers currently have a monopoly.
In 2023, towards an opening of the auto spare parts market
France is the only country in Europe where manufacturers have a monopoly on the auto parts market. That is to say that to change a part of your vehicle, it is now mandatory to order it from its manufacturer. A measure denounced for several years by the FEDA, as well as by the deputy Damien Pichereau.
But last August, after a third attempt, the Constitutional Council finally approved the liberalization of auto parts in France. This measure will therefore be applied from January 1, 2023. A decision strongly approved by Mathieu Séguran, Director General of the FEDA who declared to Capital: “We had fears concerning the outcome of the measure, but we finally obtained the green light for the end of the manufacturers’ monopoly”
This decision will therefore concern the construction of the glazing, or the choice of the builder will be completely free. As for the choices for a change of headlight, mirror, or any other visible accessory, the monopoly will be reduced.
But the Automobile Distribution Federation does not intend to stop there. Indeed, Mathieu Sérégan declared that the FEDA would turn to the European Commission to obtain “harmonization between the different countries of Europe”, for the total abandonment of the manufacturers’ monopoly.
This measure will therefore open up to competition, which will lead to lower prices. For Mathieu Séguran, “This is especially good news for motorists”. Indeed, this opening to competition should allow a fall in prices of 6 to 15% of spare auto parts, which are affected by the measure. This fall would offset a price increase of 10% in three years.
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French people more oriented towards “Do It Yourself”
The drop in prices caused by the opening up to competition will amplify the “Do It Yourself” (DIY) phenomenon which is winning over many French people. Following the health crisis as well as the various confinements, the French had to find manual activities to do at home.
The “do it yourself” has therefore gained momentum. In 2020, 96% of French people said they had used this process at home. And 41% of them say they want to change the way they consume. Finally, 56% of French people say they spend more than €20 per month on “do-it-yourself”.
The explosion of spare auto parts as well as the liberalization of the market will allow these many French people to carry out their repair themselves, while avoiding wasting their money.
In addition, the health crisis has revealed the supply difficulties of the major manufacturers. Liberalization will therefore reduce the risk of stock shortages, manufacturing costs, and will also allow consumers to obtain supplies close to home.