(1) GLOBE MOTORS INC (2) GLOBE MOTORS PORTUGAL-MATERIAL ELECTRICO PARA A INDUSTRIA AUTOMOVEL LDA (3) SAFRAN USA INC v (1) TRW LUCAS VARITY ELECTRIC STEERING LTD (2) TRW LTD (2016)

CONTRACTS – INDUSTRY

BREACH OF CONTRACT : CARS : CONTRACT TERMS : ENGINEERING : EXCLUSIVE SUPPLY AGREEMENTS : INTERPRETATION : LONG-TERM CONTRACTS : MANUFACTURING : MOTOR INDUSTRY : VARIATION : VEHICLE COMPONENTS

A supplier of electric power assisted steering systems to car manufacturers was not in breach of an exclusive supply agreement when it sourced “second generation” electric motors from another manufacturer. In obiter comments, the court stated that it had been open to the parties to vary the agreement orally, or by conduct, notwithstanding a clause that required any amendment to be in writing and to be signed by both parties.

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