Fleet News

MFI wins praise from industry chiefs over ban on grey imports

FURNITURE retailer MFI has banned grey imports from its fleet - and motor industry bosses have praised the company's action. MFI made the decision in the light of harsh criticism of grey imports by leading figures in the industry and consideration of the financial implications of accepting these cars on the company fleet.

Its decision has been praised by the Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and Subaru UK managing director Ed Swatman who recently criticised the Government's import restrictions which caused unacceptable waiting lists and forced people to seek alternative sources for their cars. The company, which has a fleet of 800 vehicles, was made to confront the issue for the first time when one of the smaller number of user-choosers on its fleet asked if she could spend her car allowance on a Subaru Impreza SDi on sale at a London garage and advertised through a car magazine.

After consideration Martin Morrison, MFI group insurance manager and fleet overseer, decided the risks were too great. A clause banning grey imports from the fleet will be written into drivers' company car policies in the new financial year. In the meantime drivers whose contracts are due for renewal before then will be told individually.

Paul Everitt, SMMT head of policy and economics, said MFI's decision was an indication of the increasing trend against grey imports.And Swatman said MFI's attitude was 'eminently responsible'. 'I hope the company will be the first of many to take this view, he said. 'Fleet managers have a great responsibility to and concern to ensure their vehicles' complete service care that only the manufacturer and official importers can provide.'

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