Fleet News

GM is latest to face EC accusations

GENERAL Motors has become the latest target of a European Commission investigation into alleged anti-competitive practices within the motor industry. The EC has issued a statement of objection against GM Netherlands and Opel Netherlands, accusing them of preventing their dealers from selling new cars to foreign customers, particularly British and German buyers.

An EC spokesman said: 'We have come to the conclusion that we have a seamless chain of information that Opel Netherlands has instructed its dealers not to sell to foreign customers, especially British and German buyers. Opel has two months to reply.' The allegations are unusual in as much as they apply only to the Dutch operations of GM and Opel, and not to the manufacturer itself.

By contrast, both DaimlerChrysler and Renault have been served with infraction proceedings. The former is accused of preventing its dealer networks in Germany, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands from selling cars to foreign buyers. The EC has raided Renault's French and Irish headquarters amid claims that the manufacturer has tried to block dealers from selling into the UK.

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