manufacturers’ Nespresso strategy is very expensive for motorists

Manufacturers make a lot of money on vehicle repairs, the price of which increases year after year. As a result, drivers pay their car insurance premium more and more expensive. But a law should soon change the situation.

Are car manufacturers responsible for the continuous increase in car insurance premiums? We can ask ourselves the question. Indeed, the rise in the price of spare parts is one of the main arguments put forward to justify the increase in the car insurance premium each year while at the same time the number of claims declared to be down (-20% in 2020).

According to Scurit et Rparation Automobile (SRA), an organization close to insurers, the price of car spare parts soared by 5.8% in 2020: +7% for Peugeot, +2% for Renault and +7% for Citron. French builders are those who practice the highest rises in Europe on spare parts, says the Federation of Automobile Distribution (Feda).

Up to 780 euros to change a mirror

Thus, a basic manual mirror is charged between 126 and 164 euros. With the electrically adjustable version, it will cost up to 300 euros and even 417 euros on a folding model. For the most high-end vehicles from Mercedes, Audi, BMW or Tesla, this piece can reach 780 euros, points out the firm Facts & Figures.

Exorbitant prices that can also be found for a bumper, the price of which ranges from 367 euros for a Twingo to 692 euros for a Peugeot 508. The favorite car of the French, the Clio, is not left out since the price of this part can reach 565 euros in France against… 100 euros in Germany for example, according to an insurer questioned by MoneyVox.

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The Nespresso strategy

Cyrille Chartier-Kastler, founding president of Facts & Figures points out that the massive sales of SUVs, the rise of electric vehicles like newcomers such as Tesla and their overpriced spare parts are leading to increased risks for insurers. For this insurance expert, manufacturers have adopted the Nespresso strategy, to the detriment of policyholders and insurers. Reduced margins on a new vehicle but maintenance and repairs charged at a high price, like the price of coffee capsules sold by Nespresso. A policy denounced by insurers because it increases the cost of claims and therefore the insurance premiums of the 38 million motorists.

In 2018, Mediapart thus revealed that Renault and PSA had artificially inflated the prices of their spare parts for a cost passed on to motorists estimated at 1.5 billion euros in 10 years. The so-called captive spare parts (fenders, bonnets, bumpers, windscreen, lights, mirrors, etc.) and for which the manufacturer has exclusive production rights, were invoices up to 5 times their cost price. Both groups did not respond to questions from online media.

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Questioned by MoneyVox, the Committee of French Automobile Manufacturers (CCFA) kicks in and believes that the rise in the price of spare parts is mainly linked to the increased diversity of models demanded by consumers.

An average saving of 80 euros per year

An argument that Damien Pichereau does not really share. The former LREM deputy took up this dossier and last year presented a bill aimed at liberalizing the spare parts market. He finally won his case with article 32 of the climate and resilience law which will come into force from January 2023. A measure which partly puts an end to the legal monopoly of manufacturers.

Clearly, visible parts such as mirrors, bonnet or bumper will no longer be protected and all glass parts will be completely open to competition. The other equipment manufacturers will be able to produce and market these parts at the end of a period of ten years from the registration of the design or the model of the part against twenty-five years currently, welcomes Mathieu Sguran, the general delegate of the Feda. He hopes so a 30 to 40% drop in the price of spare parts.

Insurance companies are tired of being singled out, but this text will force them to give back purchasing power to consumers. On average, each French person should be able to save 80 euros per year on your insurance, believes Damien Pichereau. This law is essential to limit premium increases, confirms Nicolas Gomart, vice-president and general manager of Matmut MoneyVox. This approach should guarantee more accessible prices for policyholders, agrees Fabien Soccio, sector specialist at the broker Meilleurtaux.


The price of labor is also soaring

The use of increasingly expensive spare parts on technology-packed vehicles has also resulted in an increase in the cost of labor: +11% in 2020. Mechanics who are increasingly qualified in electronics are also asking for salaries. higher which affect the bill. Result, one hour of intervention is invoiced between 66euros and 136euros according to the annual barometer of Arguswhich is based on the practices of 15,000 workshops in France.

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