Fleet News

Car price differences will remain

THE power of the fleet sector in the UK car market would help ensure price differences remain under a single currency, a major new survey from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has revealed. The survey of SMMT members - including car manufacturers, dealer groups and industry service companies - predicts 'significant differences would persist in terms of market structures and market requirements'.

Even if the UK joined the single currency in the first wave, the need for higher specification and right hand drive vehicles in this country would continue to influence pricing, says the report. 'Those surveyed felt that a single currency was unlikely to alter their existing pricing policies dramatically.'

The reactions may come as a surprise to many industry commentators, who have assumed the single currency would initially make price differences between member states more visible to customers, accelerating the trend to single pricing across markets.

The survey comes as debate intensifies in the UK motor industry over European integration. Toyota has issued a thinly-veiled warning that it may change its European investment strategy if the UK stays out of economic and monetary union (EMU). And Vauxhall chairman Nick Reilly was among a group of 23 business leaders which wrote to the Financial Times recently attacking the spread of 'extreme Euroscepticism'.

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