Business / Auto China

Auto repair rules near green light

By Du Xiaoying (China Daily) Updated: 2015-08-10 10:00

Auto repair rules near green light

Occupational school students learn how to repair and maintain a car. China's most stringent car repair and maintenance regulation will be issued later this month.[Dong Naide / For China Daily]

Carmakers opposed to publishing intellectual property

A regulation that requires automakers to disclose their maintenance and repair technology information, written by several government departments including the Ministry of Transport and the National Development and Reform Commission, will be released later this month, reported on July 31.

With the country's antimonopoly law affecting the development of the after-sales market, the auto industry is paying close attention to the regulation.

The draft received much opposition from automakers and auto parts suppliers, when it was issued in February for public opinion, which led to a delay in releasing the final version.

According to the draft, the regulation aims to strengthen administration of auto maintenance and repair technology information, protect fair market competition, promote the development of technology, guarantee the quality of auto maintenance and repairs, and protect consumers' rights and public interest.

Making the information available means vehicle manufacturers must establish information channels for auto maintenance and repair companies, customers and related business operators, providing the necessary technical information to allow them to check, maintain and repair any vehicles.

Many automakers and auto parts suppliers debated the extent of the information to be disclosed, as auto parts contain many intellectual property and trade secrets. They believe a company's interest will be damaged once its technology information is open to the public.

Auto dealers, on the other hand, are looking forward to obtaining the information.

Luo Aijun, a manager with Pang Da Automobile Trade, one of China's biggest dealership companies, said dealers and auto repair factories are eagerly waiting for legal auto repair technology information, and the legal right to use quality auto parts.

Wei Tongwei, an official with China Automotive Maintenance and Repair Trades Association, one of the regulation's drafters, said an agreement has finally been reached with automakers.

Wei said the final version of the regulation would have some supplements and modifications on details such as environmental protection and technologies.

According to Wei, the regulation will be implemented gradually over two years.

The draft has set a deadline of Jan 1, 2017, for auto manufacturers to publish the maintenance and repair technology information of their models.

According to the draft, automakers can fix the price of their maintenance and repair technology information, but the price must be fair and reasonable.

Wei said the country's vehicle after-sales market is in disarray, especially in terms of auto parts and as maintenance and repair markets. The reason for the disarray is the monopoly automakers and parts suppliers have on technical information, he said.

According to Wei, the policy, if well implemented, will bring big business opportunities to the auto parts, maintenance and repair industries.

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