Citroen must revise its German dealer contracts

Cologne. Citroen Germany must revise its dealer contracts as a result of a ruling by the country's high court.

The German Federation for Motor Trades and Repairs (ZDK) and the Citroen dealer association went to court over 14 clauses within dealers' contracts.

The judges declared that 12 of the clauses are unenforceable.

Based on the ruling Citroen cannot:

  • Prohibit its dealers' mechanics from working on vehicles made by other brands.

  • Force it dealers to buy their new vehicles exclusively from the German importer. (According to new block exemption rules, authorized dealers can get their cars from authorized dealers throughout Europe.)

  • Require dealers to provide demonstration cars for all model series.

  • Use an out-of-court process to terminate a dealer's contract if the business's unit sales are more than 30 percent below target. The court ruled that such a drop could happen despite the dealer's best efforts. The contract termination process due to poor sales could take up to two years, according to the court.

    Said a Citroen spokesman: "We will implement the court's decision of course. No appeal can be made against a federal high court ruling."

    He said that the importer's lawyers are examining which passages in the dealers' contracts have to be changed.

    He didn't know how long it would take for the changes to be made.

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