Fleet News

Editor gives evidence on car pricing

ASHLEY Martin, editor of sister title Fleet News, was one of five journalists from the motor industry media to give evidence to the Competition Commission inquiry into new car pricing and the motor industry in the UK.

The commission - previously known as the Monopolies and Mergers Commission - is gathering evidence from a wide range of organisations and individuals following the industry's referral by the Office of Fair Trading. Officially titled 'The New Motor Cars Monopoly Inquiry', it has nine months to gather evidence and report back to Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers.

Among issues discussed by journalists with the inquiry team on Monday were new car pricing in the UK and Europe, the influence of the fleet market, vehicle servicing, Block Exemption and motoring taxes. Ashley Martin told the Commission it was right that volume discounts should apply to volume buyers and warned that any call for an overnight drop in new car prices would have a disastrous impact on the second-hand market as residual values plummeted, costing fleets, leasing and rental companies potentially billions of pounds.

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