Fleet News

A 'promise' but no slashed new car prices from Ford

WIDESPREAD industry speculation that Ford - Britain's No.1 car retailer - was about to slash UK new car prices has been dismissed by the company's chairman and managing director, Ian McAllister. And in launching a unique 'price promise' to customers buying new Ford cars from September 1's introduction of the V-plate, he has effectively ruled out any round of price cuts being led by the Essex-based manufacturer.

However, he did admit that a reduction could occur in response to 'competitive actions' in the market place. McAllister, who days earlier had given evidence to the Competition Commission inquiry into the motor industry and car pricing, said: 'We have introduced the Ford 'price promise' following considerable speculation in the media of impending vehicle price reductions by UK manufacturers, including Ford. This speculation has unsettled and confused customers. While Ford has no plans to reduce prices at this time, we are making the Ford 'price promise' to our customers so that they can buy a new V-plate car with complete peace of mind.'

Under the terms of the 'price promise', if Ford reduces the recommended retail price of any car model this year, it will reimburse the difference between the new and old price provided the car was bought from an authorised UK Ford dealer from September 1. Ford's move was immediately welcomed by the Retail Motor Industry Federation as a 'valuable step towards stabilising the market'. However, the Consumers' Association said the announcement was 'an admission of guilt' that Ford was over-charging and was 'running scared' and preparing itself for tough action from the Competition Commission at the end of the year.

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