German dealers complain new contracts are vague

Brussels. Approximately 10 German dealers have begun official complaint procedures with the European Commission concerning their new contracts with manufacturers under the revised block exemption. Meanwhile, approximately 100 dealers have submitted informal complaints to the commission, said Juergen Creutzig of the European dealer association CECRA.

Cologne, Germany,-based attorney Christian Genzow said carmakers -- particularly Volkswagen, Audi and BMW -- have betrayed their dealers' trust with the new contracts.

He fears that dealers "may have lost their faith forever" and that carmakers' market shares will decline as a result.

"In two years, the loss of dealers will cost Audi 5 percent of its market share," Genzow said.

BMW, which aims to increase its sales 40 percent by 2006, will suffer a similar fate, he said.

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