(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

JOHANNESBURG - The Competition Commission has called for public comments on a draft automotive code of conduct for competition in the automotive sector, which was drafted following concerns about anticompetitive conduct and transformation in the sector.

Sipho Ngwema, the head of communications, said yesterday the code sought to address identified concerns in the automotive aftermarket industry and would bind various original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or vehicle manufacturers, government bodies and industry associations who would be signatories to it.

The intended outcome of the code includes facilitating small, independent and historically disadvantaged service providers to undertake service and maintenance work while a vehicle was under warranty; more small, historically disadvantaged individuals and independents to undertake in-warranty auto-body repairs; and for more small historically disadvantaged individuals to own OEM dealerships.

It also intends to facilitate the use of equal matching spare parts, in addition to OEM and identical parts, in the repair of motor vehicles; the removal of OEM restrictions in the sale and distribution of parts by retailers, whether OEM-approved or independent; more price and product options for consumers in the sale of parts; and consumer education and awareness of the costs involved in the purchase of a motor vehicle.

Ngwema said the commission had engaged with many private and public entities to fully understand the competitive dynamics that existed within the automotive aftermarket industry after conducting extensive advocacy work since the beginning of this year in the sector.

“During these engagements, particular attention was paid to the need to open up the market, transform and encourage increased economic participation of historically disadvantaged individuals. “The purpose of the code is thus to address the anti-competition concerns, enhance transformation in the industry and to foster inclusive growth,” he said.

The deadline for submissions about the draft code is November 3.