Automotive Aftermarket Releases Best Practice Guidelines for Legislators
South Africa – March 9, 2023 – Right to Repair South Africa and The Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA) have joined other global association leaders to support the critical global right to repair movement by signing the new right to repair position statement. The statement enumerates the core beliefs of the movement and the objectives and intended outcomes of right to repair legislation. Importantly, the document sets forth 10 best practice principles to developing a framework for right to repair legislation that any supporting country can use and adapt them to their needs.
Globally, the automotive aftermarket keeps 1.5 billion vehicles on the road while contributing $1.8 trillion to the global economy. After vehicles exit their warranty period, independent repair shops perform 70% of repairs. This vibrant industry and the consumer choice that it creates is being threatened by automotive manufacturers that block access to wirelessly transmitted vehicle repair and maintenance data.
Without the convenience and choice of independent parts and repair, especially in suburban and rural communities, consumers will have limited access to affordable vehicle service and repair. These restrictions can have catastrophic effects on local economies and the well-being and safety of millions that rely on vehicle transportation daily.
In South Africa, the aftermarket employs 297 826 employees and contributes approximately 2,8% to GDP. The automotive industry is the third largest sector in the national economy. While a large portion of this can be attributed to the manufacture and retail of new motor vehicles, the repair and service sector cannot be discounted. “There are about 12.7 million vehicles on the road in South Africa and all of these will need to be serviced and repaired during their lifetimes,” says Kate Elliott, CEO of Right to Repair.
Pieter Niemand, national director of MIWA, says the association initiated and funded the Right to Repair campaign in South Africa as far back as 2013 in an effort to ensure a fair and competitive regulatory environment that enabled freedom of choice for the consumer and one which gave the aftermarket a chance to compete on an equal playing field. As it developed and gained traction it made sense for MIWA to join forces with other campaign supporters to form an independent company solely committed to the progress of the campaign. This lead to the formation in 2017 of the Right to Repair South Africa (R2RSA), a Section 21, not-for-profit company, specifically formed to champion the Right to Repair campaign.
“We are proud of the fact that we are one of a few countries that have successfully ensured that motor vehicle owners’ right to choose is protected in South Africa, through our campaigning for the Guidelines for Competition in the South African Automotive Aftermarket. We hope that the Guidelines can act as a model for similar legislation and/or guidelines in other countries in order to level the playing field and keep the consumer at the heart of decision-making across the transportation ecosystem,” says Elliott.
“We would not have been able to achieve what we have achieved thus far without the Competition Commission and we are very grateful for the excellent work they do in protecting fair competition in South Africa. The Guidelines have opened up the market and paved the way for Government to support and drive growth and transformation and have made the automotive aftermarket a fairer place to do business,” she concludes.
Read the full position statement here
Organizations interested in supporting the right to repair vehicles of all classes can contact Kate Elliott on email@example.com to learn more
Distributed on behalf of Right to Repair and MIWA by Cathy Findley PR. Contact Jacqui Moloi on 0717648233 or firstname.lastname@example.org