Fleet News

Survey finds price disounting rife as car makers woo buyers

NEW car price discounting in the UK is widespread as manufacturers seek to woo buyers back to showrooms, according to a new report. 'UK Motor Distribution' by stockbroker Charterhouse Securities, said price discounting was already rife - 'new cars are now selling at about 17% discount to RRP' - and that an official move on pricing could unlock the 100,000 deferred sales the UK market has suffered in 1999.

'Consumers are waiting until the new year in the hope, if not the expectation, of further price reductions,' it said. Evidence of distress marketing is widespread, with Fleet NewsNet's local paper full of dealer offers on V-reg cars with delivery mileage on the clock, while Trade Sales of Slough is offering 100 imported new model Ford Fiestas for up to £3,000 below official list price. Mitsubishi recently went one step further and slashed its list prices. As a consequence, its general manager of fleet and used cars, Matthew Cheyne, warned fleets not to expect major discounts or volume-related bonuses in future.

But it's not just mainstream marques under pressure, with Volkswagen advertising locally: '£1,000 off any V registration delivery mileage Volkswagen Polo' and Charterhouse said prestige marques were being far more affected. Audi this week announced price cuts of more than £1,800 on selected A4 models as part of a restructuring move.

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