Fleet News

Car prices tumble as makers bid to reduce Government pressure

MANUFACTURERS are slashing thousands of pounds off the price of new cars to 'get the Government off their backs' it was claimed this week. Coupled with the most competitive new car market in history and widespread criticism that UK new car prices are too high when compared with vehicle prices on the continent, numerous car makers are cutting prices and loading vehicles with extra specification.

With the Government set to debate the controversial Department of Trade and Industry Select Committee report on new car pricing and the Office of Fair Trading due to report in the spring on new car prices all car manufacturers are under the microscope. The select committee has called on the OFT to jail heads of car firms if they are proved to be acting in a monopolistic fashion.

It is now thought manufacturers are attempting to put their own houses in order and fleets, company car drivers and private buyers are getting a better deal as car makers from Proton to Mercedes-Benz wield the car pricing axe to both new and existing models.

Alan Pulham, RMI franchised dealers director, said: 'Hyundai, Proton, Ford on the Escort and many other manufacturers have dropped their prices in recent weeks and it is all at a time when the Government is watching them. The DTI select committee report must be discussed by the Government and there is the OFT report to come. Pressure is on the manufacturers to do something about pricing. By taking this action the manufacturers are trying to show that they are responsible and taking action off their own back.'

Reductions:

  • Audi: A4 - specification increase on 1999 facelifted model
  • Citroen: Saxo, Xantia £365-£1,185
  • Daewoo: Lanos, Nubira, Leganza £325-£925
  • Daihatsu: Cuore £100
  • Ford: Escort - about £200, plus extra specification including alloys, CD player and air conditioning
  • Hyundai: Accent £300-£625
  • Land Rover: Range Rover SE (County Special Edition) £105, plus extra spec
  • Mercedes: S-class £800-£3,400
  • Proton: Compact, Persona £700-£1,600
  • Renault: Clio £45, but extra spec takes reduction to more than £1,000
  • Rover: 600, 800 £3,080-£6,480
  • SEAT: Cordoba, Inca £100-£400
  • Vauxhall: Corsa £425-£920, extra spec Vectra

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