Fleet News

Call for equal treatment of fleet and retail buyers

A LEADING dealer group is calling for fleets and retail buyers to be treated equally when buying cars to end the long-running and damaging row over UK car prices. Private buyers are staying away from forecourts, spurred on by a Consumers' Association campaign attacking UK 'rip-off' car prices and a Competition Commission investigation into pricing.

Paul Dixon, chief executive of dealer group Dixon Motors, spoke out as the crisis over new car pricing reached new heights. He said: 'If you ask a fleet customer and a retail customer whether prices are too high, then there will be different answers. Fleets receive discounts and support from manufacturers, so they do not think there is a problem. Sales of used cars and cars to fleets are booming, but the retail side is not. There is pent-up demand among private buyers.'

Frustration among dealers desperate to write new business with private customers has boiled over, as a consortium of 20 dealer groups attempted to create their own network to import cheap cars from Europe. But the dealers, members of the National Franchised Dealers Association, abandoned their plans on the association's recommendation, amid fears of severely damaging relationships with manufacturers. The uncertainty over new car prices is resulting in differing levels of performance from dealerships.

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