Fleet News

'Little scope for price cuts'

WELCOMING 'with relief' the publication of the report, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said there was little scope for price reductions. But the car manufacturers' representative body said it would be working with the Government 'to ensure UK customers continued to buy with confidence'.

Chief executive Christopher Macgowan said recent events at Rover had shown the fragile nature of survival in motor manufacturing. He added: 'While the European motor industry struggles for profitability, it is worth noting that UK registrations are ahead of last year as consumers continue to buy new cars from UK franchised dealers.' The society said it would be considering the full report over the coming weeks and in the meantime maintaining pressure on the Government to address issues such as the strong Pound and European taxation anomalies.

Mitsubishi, which cut prices last year, said it hoped publication of the report would open the way for a surge of sales. A spokesman said: 'Hopefully the public desire for action will be satisfied and the pent-up demand for new cars should be released by this and we'll see sales increase. But it's crucial that manufacturers listen to the message by Byers that prices need to come down by 11-12%.' But Vauxhall said it was already prepared to offer dealers which buy large volumes of cars the equivalent terms to fleet customers, which could then be passed on to buyers. It also welcomed the move to highlight pre-registrations of cars, but insisted it did not pre-register vehicles.

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