Media Release

South Africa's Leading International Trade Fair for the Automotive Industry targeting Trade Visitors from the Sub-Saharan Region

6 - 9 May 2015
Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec

13th May 2015

Roger Houghton
Fax          +27 11 494 5004


The Right to Repair Campaign is gaining impetus in South Africa and this month there will be a big step forward when the local campaign organisers, the Motor Industry Workshop Association (MIWA) holds formal meetings with the vehicle manufacturers and distributors.
A most informative and very well-attended conference on this subject took place at the recent Automechanika Johannesburg trade fair for the automotive aftermarket. Speakers included two Right to Repair champions from Europe, being Neil Pattemore, the Technical Advisor to both the FIGIEFA (Association of European parts distributors) and the EGEA (European Garage Equipment Association) and Hartmut Röhl, the FIGIEFA President
The reason for this campaign is that motor vehicles have become more and more like 'computers on wheels'. While technological innovations provide better emissions control, greater safety and more comfort, they have made it increasingly challenging to service or repair a vehicle should the repairer not have access to the necessary information.

Without full and fair access from the OEMs to technical information, multi-brand diagnostic tools and test equipment, as well as replacement parts and training, the independent automotive aftermarket will no longer be able to provide South African motorists with the quality service and parts they deserve in the aftermarket care of their vehicles.

"This may have a direct impact on the safety of vehicles and consequently other road users travelling on South African roads," said Vishal Premlall, Director of MIWA.

This is a very real challenge. Unlike the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (EC) 1400/2002 currently in place in Europe to protect competition and consumer choice in the parts and repair sector, South Africa is way behind our European and North American counterparts. The Euro 5 Regulation, which came into force in September 2009, covers access to all technical information for newly type approved vehicles. This Right to Repair Campaign, which was launched in SA in 2010, already has a strong foothold in many world markets, such as Europe, the US, Australia and Brazil.

Page 2 Les Mc Master, the National Chairman of MIWA, provided an update on progress with the campaign in SA and highlighted what needs to be done to make the Right to Repair a reality. "This event at Automechanika Johannesburg has been ground-breaking," said Premlall. "We have brought vital role players together and tackled sensitive and burning issues around the campaign. Delegates in attendance, amongst others, included NADA, the DTI, NCC, AIDC, OEMs, the Independent Dealer Association, neighbouring African countries and universities, major insurance and warranty companies, and the independent aftermarket."
"Both Neil and Hartmut have been championing the Right to Repair cause in Europe with great success. It was exciting to hear about Europe's automotive aftermarket structure, and the work that FIGIEFA is doing in Brussels.
"Pattemore also addressed the 'game changing' challenge created by technical innovation and the control of in-vehicle data for the aftermarket. This included an overview of the latest legal developments in European legislation on e- Call and telematics including access for independent market operators to connected vehicles. He also looked at the implications of telematics for free consumer choice and their impact on a competitive automotive aftermarket value chain.
"We believe that both the lack of access to information and the stringent framework surrounding warranty, maintenance and service plans, minimises, if not destroys, the consumers right to choose and places OEMs and their franchise dealers with exclusive control of that segment of the market. This imbalance needs to be addressed in South Africa as it has in other parts of the world, and we will continue to champion the cause until the change is made," concluded Premlall.

Background information on Automechanika Johannesburg

Automechanika Johannesburg is part of the global group of Automechanika automotive aftermarket business- to-business trade shows and business events with its portfolio of 15 trade fairs in 14 countries (4 continents).

Automechanika Johannesburg is licensed to SA Shows Messe Frankfurt (Pty) Ltd, part of the Messe Frankfurt Group. It is the largest event of its kind on the African continent and serves South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa since 2009

For more information visit

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is one of the world's leading trade fair organisers, generating around €550* million in sales and employing more than 2200* people worldwide. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 28 subsidiaries and around 50 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in more than 160 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at more than 30 locations around the globe. In 2014, Messe Frankfurt organised a total of 120* trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany.

Comprising an area of 578,000 square metres, Messe Frankfurt's exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two congress centres.

The company is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 per cent and the State of Hesse 40 per cent.

Further information on the company can be found at
* preliminary numbers (2014)

(from left) Hartmut Röhl, FIGIEFA President; Les Mc Master, Chairman of MIWA; Neil Pattemore, Technical Advisor to FIGIEFA and the EGEA; and Jan Jooste, Director of Innovation at the Vaal University of Technology, were guest speakers at the Right to Repair breakfast held at Automechanika on 8 May. Vishal Premlall (far right), Director of MIWA, hosted the event acting as MC.

For more information contact:

Roger Houghton on 012 998 1771 or at

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