A major victory for the tuning parts and accessories aftermarket has been secured at a court in Germany.
Back in November 2013, tuning parts trade body VDAT (Verband der Automobiltuner) filed a lawsuit in Germany against Porsche after the manufacturer ordered that vehicles, accessories and spare parts should not be supplied to the tuning industry. It also stated that the tuning industry should not be able to provide Porsche owners aftermarket parts that would replace or augment the original items.
In addition to the tuning companies, VDAT reports that Porsche also tried to prohibit sales of cars and parts to anyone who was remotely associated to a performance aftermarket business – even if the car ordered was only
intended to be a regular means of transport.
In the last month, a judgement by the Oberlandesgericht (Higher Regional Court) in Stuttgart ruled that Porsche’s attempt to impose these restrictions was a violation of the German and European antitrust law. The court decided that VDAT’s protest was entirely justified and consequently, the ruling was made in favour of the association who consequently won the case outright.
David Power, director of UK trade body PAAA (Performance Automotive Aftermarket Association), said: “Had Porsche’s claim been upheld it would have had serious implications for the sustainability and ultimately the survival of the performance tuning industry as a whole.
“Working alongside VDAT’s committee, the PAAA is rightly proud to have had input into this industry-threatening legal battle. It is an outstanding example of the important role the PAAA plays in these current times, when the pressures and changes within the automotive industry have never been more apparent.”
Since the ruling, Porsche has taken up its option to appeal.