Hamilton welcomes MVBEO as ‘watershed’ moment

CEO of the LKQ UK & Ireland group of companies Andy Hamilton has said that the new Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Order (MVBEO), which came into force this month, is a ‘watershed moment’ for the independent aftermarket.

The new Order, introduced by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), replaces the previous EU-backed Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulations (MVBER) now that the UK is no longer bound by European competition rules and better reflects the more specific needs of the UK Aftermarket.

LKQ UK & Ireland had been lobbying for improvements to the previous MVBER framework since Brexit, and had joined forces with major industry trade bodies such as the IAAF and UK AFCAR to do so.

Several detailed submissions were made to the CMA’s consultations by LKQ with the company also helping to gather evidence from independent workshops about abuses of the MVBER by OEMs to support the industry’s push for reform.

Hamilton said: “The new MVBEO regulations have delivered on many of the industry’s key requests. It is more comprehensive – now covering software, training and improved access to data and information alongside parts – and it is now shorter in duration, coming up for review again before the end of the decade. This should allow the framework to be updated to keep pace with the rapidly evolving vehicle market.

“This is a real success for the independent aftermarket, where its ability to service modern vehicles was slowly being squeezed by OEMs capitalising on the shortcomings and loopholes of the ageing MVBER framework and advances in vehicle technology that support new business models.”

He continued: “As vehicles continue their gradual evolution to becoming tech hardware, there remain gaps in the legislative landscape that OEMs will no doubt exploit to restrict access to independents and, by extension, limit consumer choice. This includes cybersecurity where the UK currently has no plans to introduce a standardised certification system, such as the SERMI scheme that is due to come into force in Northern Ireland and the EU this summer.

“Meanwhile, the threat of damaging MOT reforms is still casting a shadow over the industry’s future. Because of all these issues, we and our partners in the industry are not resting on our laurels.”