18 Jul 18

OEMs apply software to maximise part prices

Car makers, including PSA, Renault and JLR, use advanced software to hike spare part prices to the maximum a customer is willing to pay. That is what documents filed in a court case indicate. The software, called Partneo, has been sold by consultancy Accenture.

According to Belgian newspaper De Standaard, consumers across Europe have been paying at least €1.5 billion more over the past years than they should have. Still, all defendants deny that what they do is illegal.

How it works

Accenture’s sales presentation for prospective clients shows that the software identifies which spare parts in a manufacturer’s range customers would be happy to pay more for, how much the price can be increased, and which prices should not be hiked.

The latter would include, for instance, radiators and body parts that may feature in French automotive insurer group SRA’s basket of parts that measures them for inflation. That’s what the software creator, Laurent Boutboul, explains in his court filing.

The plaintiff is claiming €33 million from Accenture over what he says is damage to his reputation because Accenture broke European competition rules. He says it did this by using non-public information taken from Renault to help configure the pricing systems it set up for PSA and potentially other manufacturers (source: Reuters).

Perfectly legal

The defendants deny the illegal nature of their using Partneo. Accenture stated that “Solutions of this type, which enable companies to assess and manage their products, are commonplace across industries. They help companies analyse spare part visibility and availability.”

Renault, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and Peugeot said their pricing strategies for spare parts were legal, did not take advantage of car owners and were focused on efficiency and ensuring availability for motorists.

JLR stated it uses Partneo to achieve consistency in the pricing of its parts, so that they are in line with prices of competitors’ parts. Peugeot claims its replacement parts strategy “consists in offering ranges of spare parts that meet the needs of all customers, regardless of their budget, at the highest level of reliability and safety.”

Renault “strives to provide its customers with a wide variety of quality spare parts, the price of which is calculated based on parameters that Renault considers fair and equitable”.   
Authored by: Dieter Quartier