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The South African car industry is 'exclusionary and unsustainable' - Right to Repair aims to give SA motorists more choice with their vehicles

2018-09-20 13:00

Image: iStock

When purchasing a car would you want the right to choose a dealer or workshop of your choice?

The Right to Repair (R2RSA) campaign aims to allow consumers to select where their vehicles are serviced, maintained and repaired at competitive prices in the workshop of their choice.

Nature of the industry

"As a workshop owner and member of the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA), the current anti-competitive nature of the motor industry in South Africa directly affects my business so I am passionate about the campaign and the changes it aims to bring about."

READ: How SA’s new automotive code of conduct could kickstart the economy

There is a need for a fair and competitive regulatory environment that enables freedom of choice for the consumers and gives aftermarket Small Medium Enterprises a chance to stay in business," RSRSA chairman Gunther Schmitz said.

                                                                      Image: iStock

He believes the status quo in South Africa cannot continue as "it's exclusionary and unsustainable". 

Change in the landscape

He said: "Competition is the basis for an inclusive and sustainable economy. It’s all good and well to give a BEE investment group a shareholding in a large dealership, but in the long run we need to make sure that the independent small business can compete. That is a far more sustainable way of assuring real change in our economic landscape. 

"Current exclusionary practices mean start-ups are being driven out of business, and job creation is restricted as is the growth of this sector. Denying workshops the chance to repair vehicles because of warranties and access to information has allowed manufacturers to monopolise the automotive industry."

Schmitz says the anti-competitive situation means inflated prices for consumers.

                                                                           Image: iStock

He said: "Extended warranties are locking consumers into periods where firstly, they have no choice but to use the dealer for repairs and secondly, they are at the mercy of the dealer who can charge whatever rates he/she chooses. 

"Ultimately consumers are being denied the right to have their vehicle repaired at a workshop of their choice. We believe this also inhibits the consumer’s right to support local business. We are driving for much needed change."

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