Code of Conduct Change in SA: How it will affect you
In September 2017, the first draft of the new Automotive Code of Conduct was published by the Competition Commission of South Africa. This could change the very fabric of the automotive industry going forward, and here’s why.
The new code of conduct proposes that customers must be able to go to the automotive-service provider of their choice for maintenance and repairs without manufacturers threatening to void their warranties. Instead of relying on a handful of approved providers, customers would have the freedom to decide on a provider that best suits their specific needs. Revolutionary as this may seem, this code of conduct has already been tried and proven successful by the US.
The Right to Repair bill was passed in Massachusetts in November 2013 and has realised great potential. Most companies have been supportive of the bill that stated that car companies should keep “all of their repair and diagnostic software in the cloud and make it available for download [by independent service providers] on a subscription basis.” Although these subscriptions are not by any means cheap, it is still affordable if a workshop subscribes to a specific brand/make it services, instead of subscribing to every make’s information.
The question is whether or not a similar bill would benefit South Africa. Here are just some of the possible benefits of the Right to Repair Bill.
The customer will have the freedom to choose.
Placing the freedom to choose back into the customers’ hands will allow them to find a service provider that suits their financial and personal needs. This would also ensure that manufacturers cannot void a customer’s warranty for using a specific provider.
Services, spares and maintenance will be more affordable due to wider competition.
Although there are more than 8000 independent shops in South Africa alone, a select few service providers are monopolising the industry. By allowing the customer to choose, more and more shops would be considered as viable, affordable options. This would not only increase the businesses’ revenue and customer base, but it would also lower the average repair and maintenance costs.
Hundreds of jobs would be available.
The increase in possible customers will allow independent shops to hire new staff and team members. This will be especially helpful considering the fact that South Africa is facing a recession and needs any economic boost it can get.