As industry experts were predicting record R-registration business, Reilly said: 'French manufacturers have been quick to step in to fill the gap which has been created by ourselves and Ford reducing daily rental volume. They have picked up some good deals at our expense - but now they are left with the problem of figuring out how to re-market vehicles which are subject to a short turnaround period. I think it will hit them hard in the area of residuals.'
Vauxhall had continued to make modest profits while rivals had been operating at substantial losses and the company's volume for this year was likely to remain around the 300,000 mark.
'But the value of Sterling is the factor which has allowed French importers to clinch significant fleet deals during our peak sales period. The UK is a particularly attractive hunting ground because they can make money here while their own market is down by 20% after the end of the scrappage scheme,' said Reilly. 'Whether this is sensible long-term marketing remains to be seen. I don't think it is.'