Kansas City, Mo. — The Western Equipment Dealers Assn. (WEDA) Board of Directors have developed a position paper regarding “Right to Repair” initiatives that have recently been launched in several states across the country. WEDA is concerned that legislative efforts to address Right to Repair issues will cause more unintended consequences that will harm farmer customers in the long term.
“WEDA believes that the discussions around Right to Repair are not addressing all of the issues and the primary concerns raised by customers,” stated Scott Eisenhauer, WEDA president. “Right-to-Repair legislation creates safety, warranty and environmental concerns that will have lasting effects to manufacturers and dealers, and it will impair a dealer’s ability to serve the needs of the customer as they strive for efficiencies.”
Manufacturers have the right to protect their investment in intellectual property that propels innovation in the agricultural industry. Well established copyright protections should not be abandoned to allow unnecessary access to embedded code that harbors proprietary information of the manufacturer.
“As equipment has become more technologically advanced to make farmers and ranchers more competitive in a global economy, challenges to maintaining and servicing that equipment have grown as well,” added Eisenhauer. “Equipment dealers across the country invest millions of dollars in personnel, training and tools every year to ensure they have the ability to serve their customers.”
The traditional supply chain has been well established for generations, and WEDA believes legislation should not upend a market-driven approach to service and repair that has served the customer well for decades. Aftermarket actors, who do not invest in the training and personnel, want to achieve a competitive advantage by forcing manufacturers to deal directly with them and avoid the traditional supply chain.
WEDA believes that our dealer members and their customers’ fates are tied together. If the farmer or rancher doesn’t do well, neither will the dealer or manufacturer. Therefore, WEDA's focus is educating stakeholders on this issue by pointing toward solutions where we can work together. Three other areas of policy that may have a more significant and positive impact include transportation, workforce development and rural broadband expansion.
WEDA has established a position paper on Right to Repair and has been reaching out to the respective Farm Bureaus in WEDA’s respective regions to discuss the issue in more detail.
“We welcome discussions with the state Farm Bureaus to ensure that unnecessary and divisive legislation does not interfere in the dealer customer relationship,” added Eisenhauer.