The “motor industry” is so much more than the global giant car manufacturers, encompassing, for example components suppliers, engineering consultancies and academic research, through motor retailers which themselves vary from multinational concerns to modest sole traders; and of course the end users: private car and commercial vehicle owners. Much of the industry is highly regulated and often subject to unique requirements.
We have a range of expertise relevant to automotive businesses including corporate and commercial, property, planning and employment. Our Transport Team under the leadership of Tim Culpin is widely recognised for its transport, warehousing and logistics expertise and in addition, we have specialist expertise in automotive disputes.
Our automotive group is led by David Harries, who has experience of acting for leading retail motor groups, components suppliers and manufacturers. He regularly contributes articles to specialist press on automotive matters, and provides training in dispute management and avoidance to the retail motor industry.
Franchise agreements are drafted to protect the franchisor and it can as a result often feel like a rather one-sided relationship. There is usually however virtually nothing the franchisee can do to alter the agreement! The skill is in working with the franchisor and understanding properly the potential risks and benefits. The risks can often be managed through for example portfolio diversification, independent financing, intelligent premises development and of course good work, sales and employment practices. We can help in all these areas, working effectively with you to help you keep ahead.
Automotive disputes are particularly difficult to manage cost effectively as, for example:
- Consumer expectation is high;
- Improvements in reliability have often not kept pace with vehicles’ increasing complexity;
- Many involved have an inadequate understanding of the legal position;
Although the products themselves are costly, the margins are often relatively small. We provide accurate analysis and a pragmatic and imaginative approach to problem solving. When acting for retail groups we provide a “hotline” advice service with a flexible charging regime, and actively promote management practices designed to avoid disputes arising in the first place.