Fleet News

Manufacturers back away from New Year price rises

VEHICLE manufacturers are remaining price cautious with only a handful of car makers joining in the traditional New Year round of price rises - and some are reducing the list price of models. Of the major manufacturers - Ford, Vauxhall, Rover, Peugeot, Renault and Citroen - only Ford is increasing prices from the beginning of 1999, with the rest sticking to last year's autumn or spring changes.

Peugeot claims it has effectively reduced the price of its cars by improving the level of standard specification with no change to the list price. The exact details of the spec change will be announced later this month.

Ford increased the price of selected cars - including the recently launched Focus - and commercial vehicles by an average of 0.9% from Monday (January 4), a smaller increase than the 1.1% average last year Volvo increased the price of most of its range on January 1 but option packs remain at 1998 levels. However, all 1999 model year vehicles will benefit from extra safety features.

Honda will increase prices in February, but has already upped the price of the Integra Type R from £19,845 on-the-road to £20,495. Volkswagen, which in January of last year increased prices on Passat and Polo by 2.5% and 1.4% respectively, has opted for no change. And smaller players such as Daewoo, SEAT, Hyundai and Daihatsu have all announced price reductions.

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