The Bochum law firm specializing in business law WIESCHEMANN | Lawyers have brought an action against Mazda Motors (Germany) GmbH after the company has terminated all service partner contracts in Germany for the 31.12.2018.
Mazda maintains a network of approximately 690 service partners in Germany. Of these, approximately 240 locations have only one service partner contract without new car sales.
The Bochum law firm WIESCHEMANN | Lawyers represents a dealership with an affiliated workshop, which – like all service partners in Germany – has received from Mazda the termination of the service partner contract already in December 2016 with effect to the 31.12.2018.
The procedure before the Landgericht in Düsseldorf has a significant impact on the entire market. In the opinion of lawyer Christof Wieschemann, the denunciation violates the so-called Block exemption Regulation (Regulation EC No 1400/2002 of the European Commission of 2002) and the case law of the Federal Court of Justice.
Mazda had already considered in the year 2016 that its service partner network in Germany is lagging behind the requirements for a modern and future-oriented workshop network, but in particular that the number of service partners is too large and from the point of view of Mazda not optimally geographically distributed. However, this is why Mazda is aiming for a restructuring solely on the basis of quantitative aspects. The Federal Court considers this to be unlawful.
Previously dependent service partners must be given the opportunity to continue to be part of the network of contract workshops if they meet qualitative requirements. However, Mazda has already stated explicitly that the company has no interest in working with a multitude of existing service partners, irrespective of quality criteria.
In many cases, this has deprived the service partners of the economic basis. After the survey of German automobile Treuhand GmbH and Mazda itself, the vast majority of services will be provided in contract workshops. An economically sensible operation is hardly possible on this market, which is dominated by vehicle manufacturers, for free workshops.
Lawyer Christof Wieschemann: “We were surprised at the law firm how obviously Mazda is turning against the jurisprudence of the BGH in the denunciation. We believe that the approach is not only legal but also morally dubious, because Mazda owes a large part of its success primarily to the achievements of long-term partners, who are now obviously tired of Mazda“.