On 24th of February, the Advocate General made it clear in her decision that refuse trucks and other special purpose trucks should be considered just the same as general purpose trucks in the truck cartel compensation process.
The early March published Opinion (Case C-588/20, Landkreis Northeim) details the facts and the legal reasons in 15 pages, while rejecting the truck manufacturers’ defence that these trucks with special construction would not be entitled to compensation.
Although the superstructure of these trucks contains parts that are not found in other trucks, it is stated in the justification that the majority of the characteristics and parts of these trucks with special construction are identical to those of other trucks.
This means that refuse collection trucks and other specialised trucks such as concrete mixer trucks, tipper chassis and flatbed chassis are considered to be part of the vehicles covered by the trucks cartel.
The only exception being military trucks which were explicitly excluded by the EC decision.
To understand the significance of this decision, it is important to know that, although it is not binding but the ECJ (Court of Justice of the European Union) generally follows the Advocate Generals opinions.