He said: 'The difference in the pricing of new cars between the UK and Europe has led to a certain amount of personal imports and also by third party organisations, usually small brokerages. This has mainly impacted on the specialist marques and has had a downward effect on our new car margins. Although I don't believe the national volumes are large, the media hype is exaggerating the reality. The actual process of importing is not easy with the long delivery dates being quoted by European dealers. Once the pricing differences begin to converge, the majority of the importing will cease.'
With the new car sales war raging and manufacturers offering extra marketing money to dealers on a substantial number of models, Bramall said the 'very good value propositions' available largely eliminated the pricing differences which occurred by buyers comparing prices. The pricing issue has impacted largely on retail sales and Bramall acknowledged: 'The fleet/corporate market is not affected by the pricing problem as generally their transaction price is extremely competitive and usually massaged by direct manufacturer assistance.'